Scientific Program

This event will consist of:

Plenary Sessions


Topic Sessions
Concurrent Topic Sessions every day, following a morning plenary session

  • Session 1: Roles of gelatinous zooplankton in ecosystems: Production, population dynamics, trophic interactions and biogeochemical cycling
  • Session 2: Interactions between zooplankton and pollution in a changing ocean
  • Session 3: The role of zooplankton in the Biological Carbon Pump
  • Session 4: Shedding new light on zooplankton: Unveiling communities, ecology, and evolution through integrated approaches
  • Session 5: Zooplankton diets: Advancements in methods, models, and applications
  • Session 6: Applications of time series to track changes in zooplankton communities and impacts on ecosystem structure and function
  • Session 7: The role of microzooplankton in biogeochemical cycling and food webs
  • Session 8: Get it from the image: In situ imaging and spatially detailed observations of zooplankton for ecosystem studies
  • Session 9: Impacts of zooplankton production on fisheries recruitment in the ocean
  • Session 10: Zooplankton in changing polar oceans
  • Session 11: Advancements in zooplankton censusing and monitoring technologies
  • Session 12: Trophic web interactions and contributions to the early life of marine fishes – Innovative methods, applications and findings
  • Session 13: Dynamics and role of diapausing copepods in marine ecosystems
  • Session 14: The role of zooplankton (including Antarctic krill) in Southern Ocean ecosystems in a changing world: Integrating across scales, disciplines, and methods
  • Session 15: Recent advances in global euphausiid ecology
  • Session 16: Improving zooplankton representation in models
  • Session 17: The forgotten plankton - Neuston
  • Session 18: General Session: Zooplankton production in the Anthropocene

Pre-symposium concurrent Workshops

  • Workshop 1: Reference sequence databases for global zooplankton biodiversity: Optimization, applications and user guidelines
  • Workshop 2: Today I Learned: Useful tools and data resources that every researcher should know
  • Workshop 3: Global plankton time series synthesis and comparisons
  • Workshop 4: Zooplankton morphological identification. Is it still necessary?
  • Workshop 5: Approaches towards findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR) zooplankton trait data as stepping stones to improved functional ecology  

Topic Sessions

S1: Roles of gelatinous zooplankton in ecosystems: Production, population dynamics, trophic interactions and biogeochemical cycling

Cornelia Jaspers (DanishTechnical University, Denmark) (corresponding)
Alexis Bahl (University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada, ECS)
Richard Brodeur (Oregon State University, USA, PICES)
Evgeny Pakhomov (University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada, PICES)
Kylie Pitt (Griffith University, Australia)


Mary Beth Decker
(Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven, USA)
Fabien Lombard
(Sorbonne Université, Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche, Villefranche-sur-Mer, France)

Gelatinous zooplankton, such as ctenophores, jellyfish, and pelagic tunicates (larvaceans, salps, pyrosomes, and doliolids) are widespread in marine ecosystems and contain groups belonging to the fastest-growing metazoans on earth. Due to their unique feeding strategies and interactions with other organisms, these groups have significant impacts on carbon export, nutrient cycling, and transfer of energy in marine ecosystems. Irrespectively, gelatinous zooplankton remain understudied compared to crustacean taxa and are often disregarded in food web investigations. Gelatinous zooplankton are notoriously difficult to sample due to their soft body texture and patchy distribution, limiting our understanding of their behaviour and ecophysiology. Nonetheless, this view is slowly changing, and accumulating evidence shows that gelatinous zooplankton may be more important to trophic transfer and nutrient cycling in the ocean than previously thought. Moreover, recent modeling efforts incorporating gelatinous zooplankton suggest that their impact on ecosystem structure and function can, at times, be high. This is reinforcing the need for an improved understanding of gelatinous zooplankton and their impacts on marine food webs and carbon cycling. 

This session invites a diverse set of researchers from different career stages to present their latest findings on gelatinous zooplankton, including their physiology, biogeography, behaviour, genetics, ecology, and biogeochemistry. We especially encourage presentations focusing on the role of gelatinous zooplankton in ecosystems and how this may change in the future. Topics covering population dynamics to blooms and bio-invasions are welcome. We highlight the need for presentations that deal with long-term data in order to determine population trends and potential future impacts on trophic transfer and carbon export of all gelatinous zooplankton groups ranging from microscopic larvaceans to macroscopic salps and scyphomedusae. Presentations of field investigations in combination with experimental approaches, and modeling studies that quantify evolutionary changes in response to selective pressures are amongst the priority topics of this session. We aim to provide a forum to discuss the latest research results, exchange ideas and collaborate to advance our understanding of gelatinous zooplankton and their role in marine ecosystems now and in the future.

Email S1 Corresponding Convenor
Email S1 Invited Speakers

S2: Interactions between zooplankton and pollution in a changing ocean

Penelope Lindeque (Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK) (corresponding)
Rodrigo Almeda Garcia (University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain)
Matthew Cole (Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK)
Amanda Dawson (CSIRO, Australia)
Claudia Halsband (Akvaplan-Niva, Norway)
Sinja Rist (Technical University of Denmark)


Claudia Halsband
(Akvaplan-Niva, Norway)

Zooplankton is exposed to a multitude of pollutants in marine environments, stemming from anthropogenic activities both at land and at sea. Such pollutants include microplastics and microfibres that are the predominant forms of plastic debris. Negative impacts on zooplankton from pollutants have been reported on many levels – from a molecular level to populations, threatening marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. However, our understanding of the effects of pollution on zooplankton considerably lags behind the continuous emergence of new contaminants, including novel plastics, tyre particles, plastic additives, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, endocrine disruptors, pesticides, and their transformation products. There is still ambiguity in the impact of pollutants on the breadth of zooplankton species and developmental stages, a paucity of evidence on how pollutants can impact upon higher levels of biological organisation (i.e. individuals, populations, communities, ecosystem structure and function) and additionally, a lack of understanding on the role of zooplankton in the fate of pollutants in marine environments. Furthermore, knowledge on the impacts of pollution in a changing climate with multiple anthropogenic stressors is limited.

Email S2 Corresponding Convenor
Email S2 Invited Speaker

S3: The role of zooplankton in the Biological Carbon Pump

Svenja Halfter (NIWA, New Zealand) (corresponding)
Katy Baker (IMAS/UTAS, Australia)
Klas Ove Moeller (HEREON, Germany)
Deborah Steinberg (VIMS, USA)



Zooplankton play an important role in the transport of carbon from the surface ocean to the deep sea, also called the Biological Carbon Pump (BCP). Zooplankton contribute to the passive carbon flux by ingesting and modifying sinking particles, or by producing fast-sinking faecal pellets and carcasses. In addition, through their daily and seasonal migrations, zooplankton actively inject particulate and dissolved carbon into the ocean’s interior, away from the atmosphere. Consequently, they contribute to climate regulation and to nutrient recycling in the water column.

Changes in zooplankton community composition, physiology, and behaviour in response to environmental conditions have a significant effect on BCP efficiency. Yet, calculating carbon budgets has proven difficult due to insufficient parameterisation of water column processes, such as carbon recycling and export/sequestration. Knowledge gaps remain, including uncertainties in global zooplankton biomass estimates, physiological rates, zooplankton-mediated processes in the mesopelagic zone, and responses of the zooplankton-focused BCP to climate change.

As part of the Joint Exploration of the Twilight Zone Ocean Network (JETZON), we invite presentations on the way zooplankton shape the passive and active carbon flux. Presentations can include observational, experimental, and modelling studies on a broad range of zooplankton taxa, in particular tunicates and fish larvae, and their impact on the BCP. We especially encourage talks on the use of new technologies, e.g., gliders or floats, that can be integrated with traditional methods to close knowledge gaps in zooplankton-mediated carbon flux.

Email S3 Corresponding Convenor

S4: Shedding new light on zooplankton: Unveiling communities, ecology, and evolution through integrated approaches

Astrid Cornils (Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Germany) (corresponding)
Silke Laakmann (Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity at the University of Oldenburg (HIFMB) and Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Germany)
Sanna Majaneva (Akvaplan niva & Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway)
Julian Uribe-Palomino (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation - Environment (CSIRO))


Katja Peijnenburg
(Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Netherlands)

Anthropogenic activities have altered the biodiversity and geographic ranges of zooplankton as well as many of the pelagic habitats they occupy. These changes have impacts on ecosystem function and their food webs, thus, knowledge on zooplankton species diversity, distributions, ecology and evolution will continue to be essential for understanding and predicting the complex changes in marine ecosystems. Molecular, optical, and acoustic methods have been rapidly improved in the last decades to explore and monitor different aspects of zooplankton. Each of these methods, however, has different strengths and weaknesses and can independently only detect certain aspects of the impact from environmental change on zooplankton communities. The combination and integration of diverse methods provides the opportunity of a new perspective on the biodiversity, biogeography, ecology, and evolution of zooplankton. Integrated approaches offer unprecedented insights into the intricate dynamics of zooplankton communities, their ecological interactions, and evolutionary trajectories. This symposium invites contributions that validate, calibrate, and optimize methodologies as well as research on zooplankton diversity, ecology, and evolution, showcasing how integrated approaches provide a deeper understanding of these organisms within the context of global change.

Email S4 Corresponding Convenor
Email S4 Invited Speaker

S5: Zooplankton diets: Advancements in methods, models, and applications

Andreas Novotny (University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada) (corresponding)
Brian P.V. Hunt (University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada)
Catherine J. Stevens (University of Victoria (UVic), Canada)
Monika Winder (Stockholm University, Sweden)



Zooplankton play a key role in carbon and nutritional transfer from primary producers to fish and in biogeochemical cycling. Essential to resolving these roles is data on zooplankton diets. A variety of methodologies are available for dietary analyses, each with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Biochemical analyses (fatty acids and stable isotopes) of zooplankton tissues provide integrated information on prey types assimilated (e.g., primary producer types, detritus, trophic group) and can also be used to assign trophic level. Traditional microscopic gut content analysis can quantity and identify taxonomic prey individual, however, it is feasible only for large individuals and biased toward hard-bodied dietary items. DNA metabarcoding of zooplankton gut contents is a highly promising technique that can provide species-specific dietary information, including frequently-overlooked gelatinous and soft-bodied microzooplankton prey. Despite their potential, DNA gut sequence data can be difficult to interpret due to primer biases, contamination with host material, the prevalence of parasitic sequences, and gene copy number. Questions remain as to the comparability of data generated using different analytical approaches, how data from different analysis types can be combined to enhance food web interpretation, and the wider applications of these approaches to support food web model parameterization. In this session, we welcome submissions for zooplankton dietary studies utilizing all available methods, emphasizing novel approaches, including molecular techniques, compound specific isotopes, integration of multiple approaches, modelling and wider ecological applications of zooplankton dietary information.

Email S5 Corresponding Convenor

S6: Applications of time series to track changes in zooplankton communities and impacts on ecosystem structure and function

Todd O'Brien (NOAA Fisheries, USA, COPEPOD Project Leader) (corresponding)
Catherine Johnson (DFO, Canada)
Jasmin Renz (Senckenberg Research Institute, Germany)


Catherine Johnson
(DFO, Canada)
Todd O'Brien
(NOAA Fisheries, USA, COPEPOD Project Leader)

Zooplankton are sensitive indicators of change in aquatic ecosystems, and their abundance and composition are vulnerable to the rapidly changing conditions observed in many marine and freshwater systems worldwide. As major primary consumers and predators, zooplankton play a significant role in the transfer of energy and material across aquatic food webs, and changes in their abundance and composition can impact ecosystem structure and function. Changes can be characterized and tracked from a variety of different perspectives, including species relative abundance and trait composition, diversity metrics and other indices, phenology shifts, etc. This session will focus on using time series to identify and understand zooplankton population and community changes, relationships to environmental and ecological changes, and potential effects on higher trophic levels. This theme session welcomes contributions using a broad variety of approaches related to the development, integration and application of methods for pelagic habitat assessment, with particular focus on the following topics: 1) Empirical analyses of time series and the development of indicators and indices to track changes in the ecosystem; 2) Assessment of the pelagic habitat status using indicators of the plankton community or its components; 3) Numerical and statistical modeling studies, genetic methods and other new methodologies for the assessment of the ecosystem status; 4) Incorporation or discrimination of climate-driven and anthropogenic responses for the assessment of ecosystem state.

Email S6 Corresponding Convenor
Email S6 Invited Speakers

S7: The role of microzooplankton in biogeochemical cycling and food webs

Ruth Eriksen (CSIRO, Australia) (corresponding)
Hongbin Liu (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
Ju Sun (College of Marine Science and Technology, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), China)
Wuchang Zhang (Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China)


Michael Landry
(Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, USA)
Hongbin Liu
(Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

Marine microzooplankton (<200 µm) are important grazers in the microbial food web, as well as a source of food for the mesozooplankton. There is a high level of morphological and functional diversity in the microzooplankton including ciliates, flagellates, radiolarian, foraminifera, and small metazoans, with a range of strategies for energy production. Microzooplankton play a critical role in biogeochemical cycling in marine systems, and environmental stressors such as ocean warming and acidification may have enormous influence on these fast-growing protists.

  • Taxonomy, systematics and biogeography of microzooplanton
  • Biodiversity of microzooplankton and their role in estuarine, coastal and oceanic systems
  • Advances in understanding microzooplankton influence on biogeochemical cycling
  • Microzooplankton in a changing ocean of warming, acidification and deoxygenation
  • New methods for studying the ecological role of the microzooplankton

Email S7 Corresponding Convenor
Email S7 Invited Speakers

S8: Get it from the image: In situ imaging and spatially detailed observations of zooplankton for ecosystem studies

Klas Ove Möller (Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon, Germany) (corresponding)
Mark C. Benfield (Louisiana State University, USA)
Hongsheng Bi (University of Maryland, USA)
Rob Campbell (Prince William Sound Science Cente, USA)
Elaine Fileman (Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK)
Adam Greer (Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, University of Georgia, USA)
Russell Hopcroft (University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA)
Jules Jaffe (University of California, San Diego, USA)
Julie Keister (University of Washington, NOAA Fisheries, USA)
David Kimmel (NOAA, USA)
Jianping Li (Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, CAS, China)
Dhugal Lindsay (JAMSTEC, Japan)
Jens Nejstgaard (Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland, Germany)
Sophie Pitois (Cefas)


Lars Stemmann
(Sorbonne University, France)

Zooplankton serve as critical links in aquatic food webs and influence biogeochemical cycling. Because of this key trophic role, their spatial and temporal distribution, abundance, and behavior are used as indicators of ecosystem structure and function. Traditional net sampling of zooplankton, along with data processing, is labor intensive and requires significant taxonomic expertise. While imaging has a long history of application in zooplankton ecology, recent developments in in-situ optical imaging technologies and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) are poised to revolutionize zooplankton ecology. New imaging systems are becoming more energy efficient and versatile, allowing for deployments on various observation platforms such as AUVs, Argo floats, and moorings. The rapid rise of AI/ML and significant advances in computing have led to an increased taxonomic resolution and specificity in zooplankton image processing. Furthermore, in situ observation of zooplankton allows distribution and abundance to be combined with information on organism traits, such as lipid reserves, egg clutch size, and body size, and datasets can be integrated with complementary high-resolution data streams, such as acoustics and eDNA, to reveal drivers of zooplankton population changes. In addition to this tremendous potential, technological developments also bring significant new challenges, such as ensuring quality control of massive image datasets, data storage and sharing, intercalibration of instruments, developing processing and classification algorithms, and extending observations through time by comparing with traditional sampling. We welcome contributions on all aspects of zooplankton imaging, including imaging system development, AI/ML data processing, comparisons to traditional net sampling, as well as efforts to integrate imaging with other high-resolution observational technologies. Presentations focusing on new emerging technologies should extend beyond the purely technical and aim to provide insights into ecological and biogeochemical processes. We aim to foster discussion on the advantages, shortcomings, and future needs that must be considered in order to apply imaging technology to zooplankton ecology.

Email S8 Corresponding Convenor
Email S8 Invited Speaker

S9: Impacts of zooplankton production on fisheries recruitment in the ocean

Lidia Yebra (Instituto Español de Oceanografía, CSIC, Spain) (corresponding)
Hui Liu (Texas A&M University at Galveston, USA)
Johanna Medellín (Universidad de Valparaíso, Chile)
Karyn Suchy (University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada)



Sustainability of fisheries requires a better understanding of stock dynamics and resilience to climate and anthropogenic forcing. Zooplankton play a key role integrating variations at the base of the food web and transferring them toward higher level consumers including fishes. Thereby, zooplankton production and its variability in response to global change are highly relevant to fisheries production and ecosystem functioning. Understanding the impact of zooplankton production on fisheries recruitment is a crucial step needed to forecast stock response and resilience to environmental variability. Advancement on this topic will enhance efficient incorporation of zooplankton production into the ecosystem-based management of marine resources. This session will share and review the new information for understanding functional and structural roles of zooplankton production on fisheries dynamics and production. In particular, we encourage presentations and discussions using experimental, observational and modeling approaches linking zooplankton productivity to growth and survival of forage fish larvae and juveniles in their nursery grounds. We hope this session will bring out key questions about how zooplankton production variability may impact fisheries recruitment and productivity and stimulate debate and foster international collaborations.

Email S9 Corresponding Convenor

S10: Zooplankton in changing polar oceans

Guang Yang (Institute of Oceanology, CAS, China) (corresponding)
Hauke Flores (Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven (AWI), Germany)
Kohei Matsuno (Hokkaido University, Japan)



Zooplankton, mainly krill and copepods, play great roles in polar ocean ecosystems. They serve as trophic links that transfer carbon and energy from microalgae to higher trophic levels. Meanwhile, they also contribute in determining the efficiency of the biological carbon pump of polar oceans via passive sinking of moults, carcasses, feacal pellets and via activities such as grazing, diel vertical migration and respiration. The polar ocean is undergoing rapid climate change (e.g. warming, changes in extent of sea ice) with contrasting rates and directions among different sectors of Arctic Ocean and Southern Ocean. These changes have had and would have profound impacts on the distribution, phenology, community of zooplankton and their role played in structure, function and service of polar ocean ecosystems. In this session we welcome submissions on all polar zooplankton related topics, including but not limited to comparison of key species or functional groups and the maintenance of biodiversity and ecological processes (e.g. trophodynamics, biogeochemical cycle) in the regional and circumpolar scale of both Arctic Ocean and Southern Ocean, examining the short-term or time-series response and resilience of zooplankton to climate and environmental change using traditional and new methods, discussing new monitoring technology (mooring, molecular approaches) which can be used in future polar zooplankton research. We encourage bipolar comparisons of zooplankton communities with respect to e.g., ecosystem functions and services, biodiversity, vulnerability/resilience to change.

Email S10 Corresponding Convenor

S11: Advancements in zooplankton censusing and monitoring technologies

Kim Davies (University of New Brunswick, Canada) (corresponding)
Anais Lacoursiere (DFO, Canada)



Novel zooplankton sampling techniques are beginning to increase space-time coverage by zooplankton population censuses, causing a shift in research attention toward collecting and processing zooplankton "big data". Use of autonomous platforms, remote sensing, bioinformatics and computer science is proliferating to both improve estimates of zooplankton population sizes and assess morphological traits more rapidly and at larger spatio-temporal scale. Key areas of research development include performance testing, validation, and use case studies and implementation of monitoring programs.  This session invites presentations on the applications of new technology and techniques that advance our ability to measure the distribution, abundance and taxonomic composition of free swimming zooplankton in the ocean. Presentations are invited on use of autonomous ocean vehicles, acoustics, eDNA, satellites, imaging, machine learning, big data, bioinformatics or any other related topic.  Comparative studies that address the pros and cons of different technologies are encouraged.  The scope of presentations should address how these approaches are advancing our ability to census free-swimming zooplankton in situ. 

Email S11 Corresponding Convenor

S12: Trophic web interactions and contributions to the early life of marine fishes – Innovative methods, applications and findings

Su Sponaugl (Oregon State University, USA) (corresponding)
Robert K. Cowen (Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon State University, USA)
Moritz Schmid (Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon State University, USA)



Trophic web constituents are influenced by oceanographic conditions spanning a wide range of spatial scales from microscale turbulence and predator-prey interactions, to mesoscale eddies, upwelling fronts, and basin scale phenomena such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Definitions of the constituents of the marine food web are being continuously refined, with more recent advancements including the foundational role of mixotrophic organisms in the marine trophic web. Ultimately, the foundation of marine food webs, and subsequent trophic transfers, are essential for supporting higher trophic levels such as larval and adult fishes. The realized and predicted impacts of climate change on global fisheries are of high interest to the international community, and thus research aimed at understanding how climate change impacts different levels of the marine food web (e.g., microbial community, crustaceans, gelatinous grazers and predators, larval fishes) is of high importance. To that effect, being able to distinguish the effects of natural and anthropogenic variability in oceanographic conditions on trophic web constituents and their interactions can be accomplished by incorporating novel technologies (e.g., remote sensing, in-situ imaging, -omics, acoustics, machine learning) with new as well as proven approaches (e.g., individual-based-, and ecosystem models, seascapes, size spectra, and traits). We invite papers that investigate trophic web constituents, and how they are affected by the breadth of oceanographic conditions, as well as use of novel technologies and approaches, with the goal of understanding the distributions, growth, and survival of young fishes.

Email S12 Corresponding Convenor

S13: Dynamics and role of diapausing copepods in marine ecosystems

Jeffrey Runge (School of Marine Sciences, University of Maine, USA) (corresponding)
Johanna Aarflot (Institute of Marine Research (IMR), Norway)
Carin Ashjian (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), USA)
Rubao Ji (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), USA)


Ann Tarrant
(Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), USA)

Diapausing calanoid copepods (especially in the genus Calanus and Neocalanus) are supremely adapted to the seasonality of polar and subpolar ocean habitats. They play a key role in the functioning of marine ecosystems, including biogeochemical cycling and trophic dynamics. Lipid storage is necessary for survival of diapausing copepods and also supports higher trophic levels in higher-latitude food webs. This session invites contributions from modeling, observational and experimental studies about this functional group. Subjects may include but are not limited to: 1) trends in abundance and body size, 2) how environmental factors influence population dynamics, 3) the role of predation in determining copepod dynamics, distribution, phenology and life history, 4) developmental, physiological and genetic mechanisms underlying the diapause and life history strategies; 5) patterns and consequences of phenological variability and biogeographic boundary shifts, 6) theoretical, statistical and dynamic modeling analyses and future projections of diapausing copepod abundance and 7) impact of change in abundance of diapausing copepods on higher trophic levels.

Email S13 Corresponding Convenor
Email S13 Invited Speaker

S14: The role of zooplankton (including Antarctic krill) in Southern Ocean ecosystems in a changing world: Integrating across scales, disciplines, and methods

Alexis Bahl (University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada) (corresponding)
Dominik Bahlburg (Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven (AWI), Germany)
Stuart Corney (University of Tasmania, Australia)
Nadine Johnston (British Antarctic Survey (BAS), UK)



Southern Ocean ecosystem dynamics play a critical role in global processes and are thus crucial to implementing regional and global climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. However, research challenges in understanding these ecosystems remain, including quantification of ecosystem variability, coordination of sampling and modelling methods, and robust projections of future ecosystem change at multiple scales - all of which are needed to support conservation and sustainable management decisions. This joint session, coordinated by the Integrated Marine Biosphere Research (IMBeR) regional programme, Integrating Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics in the Southern Ocean (ICED), and the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research Krill Expert Group (SKEG), aims to address these research challenges, focusing on Antarctic krill-centered systems in the Southern Ocean. This session will build on the strong modelling research network already developed between these initiatives over the past few years, bringing together new and innovative approaches in Southern Ocean research to develop ecosystem models that represent species dynamics across various spatial, temporal, and organizational scales in support of sustainable governance. The scope of the session will include i. Modelling Southern Ocean ecosystems and species in present and future environments: ii. Empirical ecological studies investigating zooplankton from individuals to populations; iii. Projections of ecosystem change; iv. Policy implications and decision-making, and v. Integrated understanding of natural and human systems interactions. Additionally, efforts that promote collaboration across scientific disciplines and generate links between scientists and fishery managers for the purpose of improving management are highly encouraged.

s15: This session is supported by established researchers from ICED and SKEG and run by early careers researchers with an impetus to involve the next generation of early career researchers and support community-driven input. Our main objective is to develop concrete actions and mobilize research efforts to support the 5th International Polar Year and the United National Decade of Ocean Science Collaborative Centre for the Southern Ocean Region (DCC-SOR). Finally, we strongly encourage interested participants to also explore the related session, “Recent Advances in Global Euphausiid Ecology.”

Email S14 Corresponding Convenor

S15: Recent advances in global euphausiid ecology

Kim Bernard (Oregon State University, USA) (corresponding)
Padmini Dalpadado (Institute of Marine Research, Norway)
Macarena Díaz-Astudillo (Universidad del Bío-Bío, Chile)
Geraint Tarling (British Antarctic Survey, UK)


Teresa Sofia Giesta da Silva
(Marine and Freshwater Research Institute of Iceland)

Euphausiids (krill) are a critical component of global zooplankton communities. They play a key role in pelagic food webs as consumers of lower trophic-level organisms and as prey to numerous top predators, including commercially important fishes, marine mammals, and seabirds. Euphausiids also contribute to the biogeochemistry of the global oceans through the cycling of elements including carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous. Furthermore, they can act as a major conduit for carbon export and sequestration to the deep ocean. Although euphausiids share traits that make them extremely successful, recent studies have shown clear impacts of climate change and other anthropogenic stressors (including warming, ocean acidification, deoxygenation, and pollution) on euphausiids, globally. In this session, we invite researchers to present their recent work advancing our understanding of euphausiids in any of the world’s oceans. This work can focus on, but not necessarily be limited to, (1) universal traits of euphausiids that contribute to their success (e.g., swarming, reproductive strategy, continuous molting, DVM), (2) niche separation and overlap between euphausiid species, (3) biogeographic patterns and environmental drivers thereof, (4) parasites and pathogens, (5) evidence of climate change impacts, (6) impacts of anthropogenic stressors, (7) trophic ecology and food web dynamics, (8) role in biogeochemical cycles and carbon sequestration, and (9) advances in technology for studying euphausiids (from molecular to remote and autonomous sensing). While we also invite research on Antarctic krill, we note that there is a session on “The role of zooplankton (including Antarctic krill) in Southern Ocean ecosystems in a changing world: integrating across scales, disciplines, and methods”. Thus, we encourage interested participants to explore both sessions.

Email S15 Corresponding Convenor
Email S15 Invited Speaker

S16: Improving zooplankton representation in models

Jason Everett (The University of Queensland, Australia) (corresponding)
Maria Grigoratou (Mercator Ocean International)
Ryan F. Heneghan (Queensland University of Technology, Australia)
Daniel J. Mayor (University of Exeter, UK)


Wendy Gentleman
(Dalhousie University, Canada)
Tyler Rohr
(Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies, UTAS, Australia)

Numerical models are crucial tools used to overcome some of the inherent limitations of field and laboratory experiments, disentangle the roles of various ecosystem drivers, test hypotheses and improve our understanding of marine ecosystems under a changing climate. Despite significant improvements in their representation over recent years – such as more functional groups, feeding strategies, or behaviours – zooplankton are still poorly represented in most numerical models. They are often limited to being used as a closure term for phytoplankton (top-down) or as a background resource grouped with primary production for fish (bottom-up control). Ultimately, this misrepresentation reduces our confidence in model projections of pelagic community structure, carbon flow from the surface to the ocean’s interior and energy flow from plankton to higher trophic predators under modern and future climate conditions. To change this paradigm quickly will require genuine and increased interactions between observational, experimental, theoretical, and modelling disciplines.

The session invites contributions from everyone interested in improving the representation of zooplankton in models at all scales of space, time and complexity – including (but not limited to) field biologists, physiologists, ecologists, theoreticians, statisticians and modellers. Topics may include model parameterisation; approaches that aim to better represent the diversity of zooplankton traits and functions; case-studies or overviews of specifics model types (IBMs, biogeochemical, size-spectrum, ecosystem, empirical, mechanistic); models focussed on individual functional groups (e.g. gelatinous zooplankton, copepods); studies that highlight the importance of zooplankton in operational and/or stakeholder-oriented forecasting frameworks used for policy advice (e.g., climate scenarios, fisheries, habitat suitability, Marine Protected Areas, Digital Twin of the Ocean). We also welcome studies that emphasise the use of new types of observations (e.g., metagenomics, acoustics, imaging), identify data gaps and data meta-analysis efforts needed for improving model design, model-data comparison, and data assimilation.

Email S16 Corresponding Convenor
Email S16 Invited Speakers

S17: The forgotten plankton - Neuston

Mark Gibbons (University of the Western Cape, South Africa) (corresponding)
Rebecca Helm (Georgetown University, USA)



Microplastics at the sea-surface make news headlines around the world, and many of us have heard of the North Pacific Garbage Patch. Those that live near the coast are being regularly reminded to control or manage the release of plastics into the marine environment, while the ambitious plans to mop them up gets some in a froth. But few studies have been, and are being, conducted that examine the assemblages of organisms that co-exist with the rubbish at the sea-surface. These organisms, the neuston, comprise a mix of interphase specialists such as Janthina, Halobates, and pontellid copepods, as well as facultative members that move up into this stressful layer of the ocean at night time to feed. A wide variety of nekton also use this space as a nursery ground for their eggs and larvae. This session will focus on the biology and ecology of neuston assemblages around the world, the links between assemblages and environmental drivers and on new insights into their interactions with the Anthropocene.

Email S17 Corresponding Convenor

S18: General Session: Zooplankton production in the Anthropocene

David Green (University of Tasmania, Australia) (corresponding)
Cornelia Jaspers (DTU Aqua, the Technical University of Denmark) (mentor)



This session is envisioned to accommodate papers that contribute to the overall scope of the Symposium, but which do not fit within a specific Theme session listed above. We encourage all studies, especially those dealing with new horizons in zooplankton productivity, ecology or life history, as well as studies explicitly focusing on adaptation to climate change pressures, effects of extreme events or ecosystem indicators in order to better understand the challenges facing our marine ecosystems in the future. Oral and poster contributions are welcome. This session will be co-convened by Early Career Ocean Professionals, supported by the organizing committees.

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W1: Reference sequence databases for global zooplankton biodiversity: Optimization, applications and user guidelines

Silke Laakmann (Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity at the University of Oldenburg (HIFMB) and Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Germany) (Corresponding)
Jenny Huggett (Oceans and Coasts, Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, South Africa)
Todd O´Brien (NOAA Fisheries, USA, COPEPOD Project Leader)
Leonie Suter (Australian Antarctic Division, Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water)

Iole Dicapua
(Research Infrastructures for Marine Biological Resources Department (RIMAR), Italy)
Junya Hirai
(Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan)
Jennifer Questel
(College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks AK, USA)
Julian Uribe-Palomino
(Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Brisbane, Australia)

Molecular genetic approaches are used with increasing frequency to detect, discriminate, and identify species of marine zooplankton, and to characterize diversity of marine ecosystems. We have progressed rapidly from using DNA barcodes to identify single specimens, to DNA metabarcoding to characterize the diversity of environmental samples and communities. In both cases, the assignment of a sequence to a species, or classification to a taxonomic group, requires an accurate and complete reference database of DNA sequences based upon morphologically identified specimens. Currently, zooplankton sequence data can be found in several databases, which differ in their submission process, associated metadata, availability of sequence data (local vs. open access) and taxonomic groups represented. In addition, there is a variety of available algorithms to assign the sequences to diverse taxonomic ranks.

This workshop covers topics such as: overviews on sequence data for diverse ocean regions and taxonomic groups; improving coverage and completeness of local, regional, and global sequence databases; priorities for continuing efforts toward both geographical and taxonomic coverage and reliable assignment of species and taxonomic groups; and, a topic of increasing importance, how to handle zooplankton and environmental DNA metabarcoding data in databases and analyses to reliably identify zooplankton communities.

The aim of this workshop is to engage researchers working on taxonomic groups across pelagic communities in diverse marine ecosystems to exchange information and advice, share their experiences, and discuss next steps toward the ultimate goal of reliable identification of species, analysis of biodiversity, and patterns of connectivity among ecosystems based on sequence data.

The workshop will include presentations on the design, maintenance, and use of DNA reference databases for zooplankton. Discussion sessions and breakout groups will focus on the selection of genes and gene regions, sequencing technologies and platforms, bioinformatics pipelines, and inter-comparison and inter-calibration of the results for local-to-global characterization of marine zooplankton diversity.

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W2: Today I Learned: Useful tools and data resources that every researcher should know

Todd O´Brien (NOAA Fisheries, USA, COPEPOD Project Leader) (Corresponding)
Claire Davies (CSIRO Environment, Hobart, Australia)


Today I learned (“TIL”) is a reference to the Reddit online thread where people share newly discovered ideas and information with the broader community. At symposiums like ZPS7, people also learn about new tools and data resources (as well as the science) during the various presentations. Imagine discovering a new tool or data resource that can literally save you weeks or months of work?! Then imagine missing that talk because you were in a different concurrent session! This interactive workshop is an opportunity for the community to introduce and share their favorite tools and data, from GitHub to R libraries, from new databases and data compilations to online tools and visualization resources. In addition to hosting traditional presentations and posters, this half day workshop will also feature speed talks and an online discovery board with summaries and links to a variety of tools and data resources (provided by the ZPS7 community) that can make a researcher’s life easier. At a minimum, this workshop will include new products from multiple ICES zooplankton-focused working groups (a biometric/traits database, a molecular database) and COPEPOD’s spatio-temporal expansion to its time series toolkit.

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W3: Global plankton time series synthesis and comparisons

Julie Keister (University of Washington, NOAA Fisheries, USA) (Corresponding)
Jennifer Fisher (NOAA Fisheries, USA)
Priscilla Licandro (Integrative Marine Ecology Department, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Italy)
Anthony Richardson (SCIRO, Australia)
Samantha Zeman (Oregon State University, USA)


Plankton time series offer invaluable lower trophic ecosystem information on local or regional scales that cumulatively can inform us of global ecosystem response to climate change. Comparisons and contrasts across regions can amplify our understanding of climate impacts beyond that gleaned from individual datasets, particularly where local time series are relatively short. We propose a workshop that assembles scientists and data from international plankton time series to elucidate unifying intra- and inter-annual patterns, with a strong focus on the response of plankton species composition and abundance to climate perturbations, such as heatwaves. We aim to bring together varied phyto- zoo- and ichthyoplankton datasets to 1) discuss common and novel statistical methods for elucidating trends, 2) share and disseminate existing analytical methods (and code if applicable), and 3) compare and contrast disparate datasets to evaluate responses to global climate change. To meet these goals, we propose a mix of short scientific talks focused on plankton patterns, trends, and time series analysis techniques; large group discussions centered on time series goals and expectations; and small breakout groups focused on data analysis and comparisons. Bringing together international plankton programs will raise awareness of global monitoring efforts and could offer novel global perspectives to address unifying questions. The objective of this the workshop would be global synchrony, but with tangible goals of initiating regional comparisons. We envision participants would be involved in, or have interest in, ocean monitoring programs and ideally would come to the workshop with datasets and overarching questions in mind. The ultimate goal of the workshop would be to outline major questions that our combined datasets could address, and to conduct initial analyses that demonstrate proof of concept to address them.

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W4: Zooplankton morphological identification. Is it still necessary?

Antonina dos Santos (Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera, Portugal, IPMA) (Corresponding)
Lidia Yebra (Instituto Español de Oceanografía, CSIC, Spain)


Plankton is at the base of the marine food web and it supports important fisheries worldwide. The taxonomic identification of plankton (morphological and/or integrative) is key and the starting point for any subsequent field and experimental ecological research. The range distribution of species is changing due to introduction by ballast waters and poleward expansions driven by global warming because of climate change. A correct identification of plankton species, including non-allochthonous ones, is very relevant for Integrative Ecosystem Approaches and in relation to the assessment of the marine environmental status. On the other hand, integration of molecular information into the species identification process is significantly enhancing the tools available for species determination. Given the relevance of the taxonomic assignment of species, ICES launched a new series of the ICES Identification Plankton Leaflets which provides up-to-date and correct information for the identification of zooplankton species for ecological and biodiversity studies. Struggling with the availability of taxonomic experts in several key zooplankton groups our intention with this workshop is to bring attention and discuss the importance of taxonomy and morphology of plankton for the science that it is been done today. In this forum, we aim to gather insights from a wide range of zooplankton taxa, and to foster an international network of experts.

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W5: Approaches towards findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR) zooplankton trait data as stepping stones to improved functional ecology  

Kieran Murphy (ARC Australian Centre for Excellence in Antarctic Science,University of Tasmania, Australia) (Corresponding)
Brian Hunt (University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada)
Patrick Pata (University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada)
Jessica Titocci (National Research Council (CNR), Research Institute for Terrestrial Ecosystems (IRET), Lecce, Italy, Lecce, Italy)

Jason Everett
((1) School of the Environment, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia; (2) Centre for Marine Science and Innovation, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; (3) CSIRO Environment, St Lucia, Australia)
Ilaria Rosati
(National Research Council (CNR), Research Institute on Terrestrial Ecosystems (IRET), Lecce, Italy)

Zooplankton organisms are a fundamental component of marine ecosystems where they play a wide array of ecological roles, reflected by their diverse functional traits. In the attempt to capture and deeply understand these ecological roles, trait-based approaches and trait datasets have increased globally. Nonetheless, the lack of common standards and guidelines for acquiring, organizing and describing zooplankton trait data largely limits their findability, accessibility, interoperability and reusability (FAIR). The application of FAIR principles will unite trait-based research through the use of common standards and practices and advance trait-based approaches in zooplankton research by promoting further innovation, especially in mechanistically linking organismal-level traits to ecosystem-level functioning.

The objectives of the workshop are to review the current status and future perspectives of zooplankton trait-based research and its ecological applications, and discuss the challenges of applying FAIR principles and analyzing zooplankton trait data, through a series of talks and open discussions. We therefore welcome submissions for presentations related to: (1) zooplankton functional ecology, (2) trait data collection and management, and (3) novel frameworks and analytical methods in trait-based studies. Presentations will be followed by hands-on sessions that will introduce digital services and semantic resources developed to improve zooplankton functional trait-data harmonization and interoperability (e.g., Zooplankton Trait Thesaurus), and present an example of a global zooplankton trait database and assemble a species-traits matrix from it. The participants are invited to collaborate in a discussion regarding the strategies and challenges in advancing zooplankton trait-based research and outline a road map for zooplankton trait data sharing, data management, and ecological applications.

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Important Dates
Oct 2, 2023
Closes - midnight Vancouver, BC Canada, FIRM date!
  1. Discounted Registration Fee
  2. Abstract submission
  3. CV and Financial support application
September 30, 2023
Exhibition Deadline
Abstract Notification Deadline
  1. Abstract acceptance notification
  1. Financial support grant notification
Confirmation Deadlines
  1. Confirm your presentations and attendance
June 30, 2024
Deadline for the Manuscript sumbission.
March 31, 2023
Past Deadline
  1. Session/Workshop Theme Proposal submission