The final Nippon Foundation Nereus Ocean Science Conference was recently held at Princeton University in New Jersey. Nereus Program research fellows, principal investigators, alumni, research associates and guests presented their research and reflected on the culmination of a decade of interdisciplinary research, and what the future holds for the oceans and society.
‘Predicting Future Oceans: Sustainability of Ocean and Human Systems Amidst Global Environmental Change’ is now available. It contains contributions from previous and current Nereus research fellows, associates and Principal Investigators, and covers a diverse span of ocean topics that include marine ecology, biodiversity, economics, fisheries management, seafood supply, climate change and many more.
Nereus members Guillermo Ortuño Crespo, Daniel Dunn, and Patrick Halpin are co-authors on a new paper published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, ‘High-seas fish biodiversity is slipping through the governance net’. They stress the need to include fish biodiversity in negotiations for the new BBNJ treaty at the United Nations General Assembly and close current legal gaps in existing ocean governance frameworks.
Andrés Cisneros-Montemayor (UBC) and director (science) William Cheung (UBC) are co-authors on a recent publication that models how changing environmental conditions and climate may influence future Pacific sardine distribution in Northwest Mexico, and what it may mean for marine ecosystems and regional fishers.
A new report was just released from the workshop ‘From visions to scenarios for nature and nature’s contributions to people for the 21st century’, which was co-organized by Nereus Program, Peter Wall Institute, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’s (IPBES).
Research fellows Harriet Harden-Davies (University of Wollongong/ANCORS) and Guillermo Ortuño Crespo (Duke University) with Daniel Dunn (Duke University) are co-authors on a policy brief published by IDDRI that aims to strengthen the current high seas management and governance framework to improve marine conservation and sustainability.
Nereus research fellow Harriet Harden-Davies (University of Wollongong/ANCORS) and Rashid Sumaila (UBC) are co-authors on a new paper published in Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems that identifies necessary measures to restore ocean health for future generations.
In her new publication, Nereus Fellow Sarah Roberts (Ph.D. Candidate at Duke University) finds that several fish species’ responses to ocean warming in the North Atlantic depend on the phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO).
Nereus research fellow Kisei Tanaka (Princeton University) accepted a position as Research Scientist in the Conservation & Science department at Monterey Bay Aquarium, starting in August 2019.
Nereus’s Tyler Eddy, William Cheung, Miranda Jones, Derek Tittensor, and Charles Stock are co-authors on a recent article that projects a 5% decline, on average, in global marine biomass for every 1 degree (C) of warming. They did this by combining several different types of models, rather than using a single-model approach.
Nereus research associate Lydia Teh (UBC) writes a blog about her and other Nereus colleagues attending the Integrated Marine Biosphere Research Conference (IMBeR) Future Oceans Open Science Conference in Brest, France.
Nereus Fellow Tyler Eddy will be starting a position in November 2019 as an Associate Research Professor at the Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research, Marine Institute, Memorial University, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.
Nereus director (science) William Cheung (UBC) and research associate Rashid Sumaila (UBC) are co-authors on an article recently published in the journal Marine Policy – ‘Climate change impact on Canada’s Pacific marine ecosystem: The current state of knowledge’. They conducted a literature review to investigate currently known and projected impacts of climate change on Canada’s Pacific marine ecosystem.
Nereus research fellow Harriet Harden-Davies (Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS), University of Wollongong) recently published a short article in the special Oceans edition (Spring 2019) of The Geographer, entitled ‘Sharing benefits from genetic resources and sustaining the high seas’.
Nereus Fellow Zoë Kitchel (Rutgers University) writes about fellows Katy Seto, Julia Mason, Tiff-Annie Kenny, Becca Selden and Harriet Harden-Davies discussing critically important themes concerning equity and interdisciplinarity in relation to how the ocean is studied at the United Nations building, during an Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea.
Nereus research associate Andrés M. Cisneros-Montemayor (UBC) and director (science) William Cheung (UBC) are co-authors on a recent paper published in the open access journal PLoS ONE that uses metadata to evaluate the current state of knowledge of the ocean, using Mexico as a case study.
Lead author Gerald Singh (University of British Columbia – UBC) with other Nereus Program co-authors recently published ‘Climate impacts on the ocean are making the Sustainable Development Goals a moving target travelling away from us’ in the open access journal People and Nature.
Nereus Program blog on the Sargassum mass-bloom of 2018 is referenced in a piece in the Riviera Maya News that aims to clarify the severity of the bloom on beaches in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.
Nereus alumnus Rebecca Asch (East Carolina University) writes a blog about her upcoming publication in the journal Global Change Biology, which focuses on how climate change is influencing seasonality, thereby creating critical mismatches in the timing between fish spawning and phytoplankton blooms in marine food webs.
Meet Nereus’s new research fellow Frédérique Fardin, who is working toward her Ph.D. researching mangrove forests throughout South East Asia and the Caribbean at the University of Cambridge/UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). You can briefly learn about her background and previous work experience in the Caribbean here.
Nereus Fellow Guillermo Ortuño Crespo (Duke University) received the ‘2019 Dean’s Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Manuscript’ as the lead author for the paper ‘The Environmental Niche of the Global High Seas Pelagic Longline Fleet’, published in Science Advances.
Nereus Program Manager/Research Associate Vicky Lam (University of British Columbia) wrote a blog about using a modeling approach and scenario analysis to help project future biodiversity and ecological scenarios and identify approaches to achieve long-term ecological, economic and socially sustainable ways to utilize marine resources.
Meet Nereus’s new research fellow Zoë Kitchel, who is working towards her Ph.D. in the Ecology and Evolution Department at Rutgers University under Principal Investigator Dr. Malin Pinsky. You can learn about her background, and what inspired her to pursue research exploring the dynamics at species range boundaries.
Nereus Fellow Kisei Tanaka (Princeton University) writes a blog about species’ suitability to their surrounding habitat and how traditional ecological models take into account a species’ habitat preference and known geographic distribution. His research focuses on incorporating species’ evolutionary aspects and adaptations into models, to better reflect their suitability to a changing habitat and environment.
Nereus’s Vicky Lam, William Cheung, Andrés Cisneros-Montemayor and Oai Li Chen from University of British Columbia (UBC) are all co-authors on an article with Rashid Sumaila recently published in Science Advances, entitled ‘Benefits of the Paris Agreement to ocean life, economies, and people’. The authors investigated how implementing the Paris Agreement could protect top-revenue generating catch globally, impacting fishers’ revenues, seafood workers’ income and household seafood expenditure.
Nereus Fellow Tyler Eddy (University of South Carolina) is a co-author on a recently published article in the journal Nature Communications, entitled ‘State-of-the-art global models underestimate impact from climate extremes’. He writes about the importance of modelling for projecting future extreme events related to climate change, and how modellers from different research communities are addressing the impacts of climate change on things such as agriculture, human health, coastal infrastructure, marine ecology, fisheries, and more.
Nereus Research Associate Colette Wabnitz (University of British Columbia) wrote a blog about the Sargassum mass bloom event that occurred in 2018, and how it impacted countries throughout the Caribbean. She discusses the origins of Sargassum, factors that trigger mass blooms, and what can be done about it.
Nereus Fellow Kisei Tanaka (Princeton University) recently had a paper accepted by ICES Journal of Marine Science in which he and contributing authors use a modeling approach that incorporates environmental factors in assessing commercial fisheries influenced by climate, specifically the American lobster.
Nereus Research Associate Andrés Cisneros-Montemayor (University of British Columbia) will give a webinar to a group of young researchers and professionals in Central America on the Blue Economy. This is part of the Leadership Program in the Mesoamerican Reef System, hosted by the Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Naturaleza.
Nereus Fellow Becca Selden will be joining the Biology faculty at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. She is thrilled to be at this highly prestigious institution to continue her research and help launch the careers of the next generation of women scientists.
Nereus alumnus Gabriel Reygondeau (University of British Columbia – UBC) was chosen to work for the Half Earth Project, and become a UBC-Yale Fellow for his work on global marine species distribution. At UBC and Yale, he will continue his research on “the effects of climate change and anthropogenic activities on global ocean biodiversity.”
Nereus Fellow Julia Mason (Stanford University) recently successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation – ‘Who knows and who decides? Incorporating diverse perspectives in fisheries management’. You can read the abstract for it here.
Nereus Fellow Guillermo Ortuño Crespo (Duke University) attended the Climate Impacts on Oceanic Top Predators (CLIOTOP) symposium in Taiwan, where he presented his research on the spatial ecology of pelagic long liners. Guillermo’s research was recently published in a special collection in Science Advances on high seas fisheries.
Nereus Fellow Tyler Eddy (University of South Carolina) writes about his recent trips to attend climate change impacts workshops at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Potsdam, Germany and Institute for Marine Science in Barcelona, Spain. While there he worked with other climate change impacts modellers on ways to get different models to interact with each other.
Nereus fellow Colin Thackray (Harvard University) discusses how toxic methylmercury (MeHg) bioaccumulates within marine food webs, beginning with phytoplankton and zooplankton. This ultimately leads to some larger marine predators, such as fish, having much higher MeHg concentrations than the surrounding seawater.
Nereus fellow Fernando Gonzalez Taboada from Princeton University writes about how the painting ‘And They Still Say Fish are Expensive!’ by Joaquín Sorolla is still relevant to modern fishing culture and practices, as well as different approaches to predicting future fish abundance in the ocean.
University of British Columbia researchers have found that chemical pollutant accumulation in Chinook salmon and southern resident killer whales in the Pacific Northeast Coast region will be exacerbated under climate change. This is yet another anthropogenic stressor that threatens the survivability of the both Chinook salmon and southern resident killer whales.
On the surface, it’s a joy to see students take ownership of research and form a connection with the ocean. But now, against a backdrop of cuts to programs supporting low-income communities and erosion of policies protecting marine ecosystems, this kind of community-oriented science education is incredibly urgent.
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals are an admirable set of targets set out to achieve a better world–but how do they interact with each other? Are some more pivotal to the success of all? Possibly.
The excitement around Sustainable Development Goals has faded somewhat since the United Nations meeting in 2015, and now comes the less inspiring dirty work of analysis and policy-setting to achieve them.
By Guillermo Ortuño Crespo, Nereus Program Fellow at Duke University
Due to their wide-ranging swimming behaviors, migratory fish, marine mammal, seabird and sea turtle species experience a variety, and an increasing amount, of anthropogenic pressures over the course of their lives. These threats, including climate change, overfishing, and marine pollution, combined with conservation strategies that largely fail to consider spatial connectivity over the life cycle, are resulting in declining populations worldwide.
The mesopelagic zone of the ocean, which includes the 200 to 1000 m below the ocean surface, is poorly understood. Our limited scope of understanding for these areas may become increasingly problematic, as they may be vulnerable to global issues such as climate warming, deoxygenation, acidification, commercial fishing, and seabed mining.
Due to the expansion of fishing practices, fish catches have become stagnant at best while global fishing efforts continue to grow, ultimately creating major stresses on marine resources. Fisheries impacts on both coastal and deep-sea ecosystems are well understood and documented; however, the biological and ecological impacts of fishing on open-ocean systems are not well studied or documented.
Madingley is a global computational model. To a broad approximation, the Madingley model represents all (most) forms of life.
Spatial differentiation of marine eutrophication damage indicators based on species density” was recently published in Ecological Indicators, co-authored by Nereus Alumnus Miranda Jones (UNEP-WCMC) and Nereus Director of Science William Cheung.
In his newly published chapter “Wilderness protection in Estonia“, Richard Caddell, Nereus Fellow at Utrecht University, uses Estonia as a case study for European wilderness management.
Nereus Director of Science William Cheung gave a keynote entitled “Applying macroecology to project future marine ecosystems under climate change” at the British Ecological Society’s Aquatic Macroecology Meeting in London on September 30, 2016.
This chapter explores recent and future impacts of rapid temperature changes in the North Sea, identified as a ‘hot spot’ of climate change, with respect to biological, operational, and economic concerns in fisheries.
‘Aliens’, ‘jelly-balls’, ‘globs’, ‘buckets of snot’, and ‘sea-walnuts’. These are the names media have used to describe salps, as mentioned by Nereus Fellow Natasha Henschke, Princeton University, in her recently published paper “Rethinking the Roles of Salps in the Ocean”.
This year, the Nereus Program will hold a seminar series with UBC’s Green College on “Adapting to global changes in oceans and fisheries.” This series will consist of seven lectures looking at how ocean changes are affecting environments and people.
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) released their Methodological Assessment of Scenarios & Models of Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services, for which Nereus Director of Science William Cheung was a coordinating lead author, as well as a contributing author for Chapter 5.
Nereus Alumni at ETH Zurich Thomas Fröelicher attended The Royal Society’s meeting on ‘Ocean Ventilation and Deoxygenation in a Warming World’ on September 12 and 13, in London, United Kingdom.
Nereus Director of Science William Cheung was a plenary speaker at the ‘International Conference on Scenarios and Models of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Support of Decision-Making.’
Explaining Ocean Warming is a comprehensive report produced by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) looking at the impacts of warming on ocean life, ecosystems, and goods and services. The report is the work of 80 scientists from 12 countries, launched during the IUCN World Conservation Congress, September 1-10 in Hawaii. Nereus Program research was contributed to two chapters within the report.
Biomass is the mass of organisms in an ecosystem or community; it is thought of in terms of energy for the next trophic level – the higher chain in the food web. For example, the biomass of plankton, which may be eaten by herring, which may be eaten by tuna.
This blog explores the collaborative process I followed as a Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program consulting artist. I was commissioned to create 17 illustrations celebrating the beauty and complexity of our planet’s oceans and fisheries.
Nereus Fellow at UBC Muhammed Oyinlola attended the ClimEco5 Summer School organized by the Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research project (IMBER), titled ‘Towards more resilient oceans: Predicting and projecting future changes in the ocean and their impacts on human societies’. The summer school took place from August 10 to 17, in Natal, Brazil.
alps, a type of gelatinous zooplankton, are often confused with jellyfish and while jellyfish research has increased drastically, salps have been ignored. The authors write that there “has been no comprehensive study on the biology or ecological impact of salps in almost 20 years”. This paper looks at four misconceptions about salps, including that salps are jellyfish, salps are rare, salps are trophic dead ends, and salps have a minor role in biogeochemical cycles.
The Nereus Program was created to look at ocean questions that need input from experts on a range of topics from around the world. This past May 30 to June 3, nearly 50 of these experts gathered at the University of British Columbia for the Nereus Program Annual General Meeting.
In our current eco-friendly world, where climate change makes front-page news and the killing of a lion launches thousands of Facebook posts, how can a porpoise be nearing extinction and most of the world not even know of its existence?
Nereus Program Fellow at Princeton University Natasha Henschke attended the ICES/PICES 6th Zooplankton Production Symposium “New Challenges in a Changing Ocean” from May 9-13 2016, in Bergen, Norway.
Floating marine species and objects can drift from one area in the surface ocean to any other spot across the globe in less than a decade, finds a new study published in Nature Communications by Nereus Program alumnus James Watson, currently a research scientist at Stockholm Resilience Centre.
“Seasonal phytoplankton blooms in the North Atlantic linked to the overwintering strategies of copepods,” co-authored by Nereus Fellow Rebecca Asch (Princeton University), was recently published in Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene.
The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released in 2013 and 2014, highlighted the vulnerability, impacts and adaptation of marine systems to climate change and ocean acidification.
Climate change is expected to have major impacts on the ocean, the species that live there, and the people who rely it for their food and livelihood. Since the beginning of the 20th century, CO2 emissions from human activities have altered physical and chemical properties of the ocean. The ocean has become warmer and, in some areas, less oxygenated, which has caused changes in the productivity and distribution of marine species.
For three days from January 18th to 20th, Monterey, California, has become an aggregation hotspot for more than 100 of the world’s foremost experts on the conservation and management of the three bluefin tuna species that inhabit our global ocean.
Nereus research reported on in the Washington Post, the Vancouver Sun, CTV News, Global News, NPR, Hakai magazine, The Tyee, Times Colonist and Vancouver Observer.
Based on the current trajectory of human-induced impacts on the environment, it is clear that we are pushing the oceans and marine ecosystems to unprecedented limits.
From November 20 to December 11, leaders from more than 195 countries will meet in Paris to discuss the future of the planet. But will oceans be on the agenda?
Colleen Petrik, Senior Nereus Fellow at Princeton, visited the Stockholm Resilience Centre at the University of Stockholm from October 26 to 30 to collaborate with former Nereus Fellow James Watson.
Gabriel Reygondeau, Nereus Fellow (UBC), has co-authored a paper entitled “Reliability of spatial and temporal patterns of C. finmarchicus inferred from the CPR survey” in the Journal of Marine Systems.
The fourth Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research (IMBER) IMBIZO (a Zulu word meaning ‘meeting or gathering’) workshop took place at the Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia and Geofisica (OGS) in Trieste, Italy, from October 26 to 30th, 2015.
Water spills from the edge of a giant, melting iceberg on the cover of the November 2015 issue of Science. The special issue focused on the effects of climate change on our ocean systems, and highlighted research by Dr. William Cheung, an Associate Professor with the Changing Ocean Research Unit at the University of British Columbia, and Director (Science) of the Nereus Program.
New media coverage from Science, BBC News, South China Morning Post, International Business Times, Undercurrent News and more.
“Boom or Bust: The Future of Fish in the South China Sea” has been published by William Cheung, Director of the Nereus Program (Science), and Rashid Sumaila, Research Director of the OceanCanada Partnership (UBC), for the OceanAsia project.
In A Sand County Almanac, the landmark book on wilderness, ecology, and conservation, we are offered a short anecdote regarding a changing environment:
“I had a bird dog named Gus. When Gus couldn’t find pheasants he worked up an enthusiasm for Sora rails and meadowlarks. This whipped-up zeal for unsatisfactory substitutes masked his failure to find the real thing. It assuaged his inner frustration.” – Aldo Leopold (1949).
William Cheung, Director of the Nereus Program (Science), and Gabriel Reygondeau, Nereus Fellow (UBC), are co-authors of a chapter on The Southern Ocean, published in the Ocean and Climate Platform’s Scientific Notes.