The "Trait-based Approaches to Ocean Life" international workshop was held October 5-8, 2015 at Waterville Valley Resort, New Hampshire, USA.

The trait-based approach to ocean life is emerging as a novel framework for understanding the complexity and function of marine ecosystems. Rather than considering species individually, organisms are characterized by essential traits that capture key aspects of functional diversity.

Following on a successful first meeting in Copenhagen in 2013, we will convene an Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry (OCB)-sponsored scoping workshop in New England in autumn of 2015. The workshop will bring together biologists, chemists, mathematicians, and physicists working on different aspects of trait-based descriptions of life in the oceans across all trophic levels and scales, from viruses to top predators and from fine-scale turbulence to global climate change. The aim is to stimulate discussions, forge new collaborations, and develop novel ideas on four principal themes:

  • Individuals – What are the key traits and trait trade-offs of marine organisms?
  • Scaling – How do we scale up from individuals to populations and ecosystems?
  • Emergent Patterns – How are biogeography, phenology, community structure, and the character of the biological pump linked to traits?
  • Adaptive Capacity - What are the implications for biological responses to global change?

We welcome abstract submissions on any aspect of trait-based descriptions of life in the oceans, from any methodological perspective, and encourage early career scientists and researchers from related fields to attend. The meeting schedule will include the formal program (including plenaries, research talks, discussions, and posters) and group meals, but also time for outdoor activities. Applications will be accepted beginning in spring 2015.

The workshop is made possible by support from the Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry (OCB) program, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Simons Foundation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Confirmed Speakers

Thomas Kiørboe (Technical University of Denmark)
Elena Litchman (Michigan State University)
Sonya Dyhrman (Columbia University)
Simon Jennings (University of East Anglia)
Hans Cornelissen (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

The application and abstract submission deadline has passed. Please contact Mary Zawoysky (mzawoysky@whoi.edu) or Andrew Barton (abarton@princeton.edu) with any workshop questions.


Last updated: January 3, 2017