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ASLO 2011, Aquatic Sciences Meeting

13 February 2011 - 18 February 2011

ASLO 2011, Aquatic Sciences Meeting
Dates: 13-18 February 2011
Location: Puerto Rico

For more information: http://www.aslo.org/meetings/sanjuan2011/

Relevant Sessions:

*GSO2: Chemical Oceanography/GEOTRACES
Presentations available at: https://www.sgmeet.com/aslo/sanjuan2011/sessionschedule.asp?SessionID=GS02

Conveners: Greg Cutter, Old Dominion University and Pere Masqué, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

*S87: Trace Metals and their Nutritional Importance to Marine Phytoplankton and Bacteria
Presentations available at: http://www.sgmeet.com/aslo/sanjuan2011/sessionschedule.asp?SessionID=S87

Conveners: Mak Saito, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Pete Sedwick, Old Dominion University.

The past few decades have seen a growing appreciation of the vital role of micronutrient trace metals in the ocean carbon cycle. With the launch of the international GEOTRACES program and the rapid development of molecular techniques, now is an opportune time to strengthen linkages between the geochemists and biologists who focus on trace metals and metalloproteins in the ocean. For this session, we invite presentations on geochemical, physiological, biochemical and modeling studies that address the complex interactions between trace micronutrients and marine microbiota on scales ranging from global to molecular.

*Town Hall Meeting: Microbial Biogeography and Biogeochemistry  

Conveners:  Eric Webb, University of Southern California and Ben Van Mooy, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

An Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry (OCB) Scoping Workshop chaired by Jim Moffett and Eric Webb (University of Southern California) was held in Los Angeles in November 2010 entitled “The Molecular Biology of Biogeochemistry.” The goal of this workshop was to assess the potential role of molecular biology to study marine biogeochemical cycles, particularly the carbon cycle, via large survey programs such as GEOTRACES.  Rapid advances in molecular methods are providing new tools applicable to global surveys and other observational programs focused on the oceans’ response to changing climate and other impacts.   However, molecular biologists generally examine ecological problems like community diversity, whereas geochemists are more interested in functionality and rates.  Here, geochemists and molecular biologists sought common ground to identify which molecular biological measurements would be most useful for understanding marine biogeochemical cycles and characterizing their response to climate change.

Workshop participants were enthusiastic about the integration of geochemical and marine biological tools in existing large survey programs but recognized the need for a new, stand-alone field campaign to characterize the biogeography of marine microbial communities that will complement the existing global survey and observational programs.  The new program will characterize the distribution of microbial communities within the ocean on complete surface to bottom sections and couple these data with important geochemical measurements and rate measurements of key processes.    Such a program was seen as essential to achieve the core science objectives in biogeochemistry that was the charge of the workshop.  A stand-alone program is desirable for logistical and science reasons, but the core parameters in GEOTRACES are highly complementary.  Therefore, a plan was outlined for a sectional survey cruise in Fall 2013 concurrently or back to back with a proposed GEOTRACES zonal section in the eastern tropical South Pacific.  The effort will be spearheaded by participants at the workshop, and led by Ginger Armbrust (University of Washington).  However, planning of the program is still at a very early stage, and input from the broader community of marine microbiologists, biogeochemists and modelers is essential. 

The following objectives were developed as an organizational framework for the development of the hypotheses and approaches for the first sectional cruise and the program as a whole:

(1)    Characterize and define the connections between the presence and activity of microbes (i.e., functional biogeography) and physical and chemical parameters, utilizing the tools of an unprecedented, large group of microbiologists and geochemists.
(2)    Utilize genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics in combination with process measurements to define biogeochemical ‘connections’ and their constraints.
(3)    Integrate results from multiple sections to identify boundaries of microbial biogeographic provinces (analogous to the Longhurst provinces) over horizontal and vertical scales.

(4)    Develop an operational framework for many laboratories to collaborate together using a variety of molecular and biogeochemical  tools that includes rigorous protocols for methodological inter-calibration and standardization
(5)    Incorporate the program’s observations into a new generation of models that capture the connections between microbes and chemistry in an ocean perturbed by climate change. 

At the Town Hall Meeting, these plans will be discussed along with a detailed summary of the meeting deliberations about the topics in points 1-5.


13 February 2011
18 February 2011
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