Antarctic biologists meet in Belgium

Zwölftes biologisches Symposium von SCAR, dem Wissenschaftskomitee der Antarktisforschung
[10. July 2017] 

Antarctic scientists from all over the world meet in Leuven, Belgium, from July 10th to 14th. “Scale matters” is the overarching theme of the 12th biology symposium organized by SCAR, the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research. From the small molecular scale, through population and large ecosystem scale, biological processes and diversity span all these levels, and the contributions are accordingly variable.

Prof Karin Lochte, SCAR vice president and director of the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) gives an invited talk on Protecting Antarctic Marine Ecosystems just after the symposium starts on Monday. She addresses climatic and anthropogenic impacts, which range from ocean acidification and warming, changes in sea ice cover, introduction of alien species, to fishing and increased shipping. At present efforts are underway to develop Marine Protected Areas (MPA) around the Antarctic continent to protect the unique and vulnerable ecosystem. Karin Lochte addresses several questions for future biological research in Antarctica to face the political opposition against MPAs.

AWI biologist Prof Scarlett Trimborn gives another invited talk about the sensitivity of Southern Ocean phytoplankton to climate change. She investigates the impacts of changing temperatures, ocean acidification and iron availability on different phytoplankton taxa. Her presentation is part of the symposium’s focus on understanding biological distribution and trends as well as adaptation and processes. The participants will additionally address the societal impact of Antarctic biological sciences and how this can be communicated, not only to the general public, but also to policy makers. Further informations and the programme can be found here...