Climate Futures

Climate Futures

3rd Polar Marine Diatom Taxonomy and Ecology Workshop

July 4-8th 2011

Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

The Polar Diatom Taxonomy and Ecology Workshop (PDTEW) will provide the international community of polar diatom specialists and students with an opportunity to interact and discuss topical issues and new results that bear on recent and future research activities in the Polar regions. Traditionally, this community has met biennially to exchange data, discuss taxonomic issues toward standardization of terminology and identifications, and provide a venue where students can interact and receive training and advice from leaders in the field.

This workshop is timely for the direct and hands-on transfer of results from the successful ANDRILL and IODP (Wilkes Land, Campbell Plateau, Bering Sea etc..) results to students and researchers in the field. This workshop will dedicate considerable time to microscope sessions and taxonomic problems to help guide the research and training of the next generation of polar diatomists; we anticipate that one half of the participants will be students. The workshop is an important educational element for the marine community particularly for IODP and ANDRILL.
Background and goals: Diatoms have been a key biotic element at the base of high-latitude communities throughout the late Paleogene and Neogene. Their fossil remains serve as a fundamental basis for age determination and paleoenvironmental reconstruction. It is imperative that the scientific community of diatomists interact in ongoing and future research projects, and engage and advise students in their research and training. During the 1980s and 1990s polar diatom scientists met every other year at a Polar Diatom Workshop to discuss the taxonomy of modern diatoms and to generate common terminology and concepts regarding the sea-ice biota from the Arctic and Antarctic. An international community of polar diatomists met in Yamagata, Japan in 2005, and in Nebraska in 2007 (see the references below outlining previous topics covered and the fun had). It is our intention to meet in Australia in 2011. The current proposal will expand this community’s focus into the geological realm of Neogene biostratigraphic, taxonomic, paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic issues. Diatoms are an important tool applied to stratigraphic studies and provide key information to the scientific teams of ANDRILL and IODP. Diatom results indicating marine paleotemperatures, presence/absence of sea-ice, advance and retreat of ice sheets are important geological data to feed into ice sheet and climate models through the SCAR initiative ACE (Antarctic Climate Evolution). Accurate assessment of ages provide a means to correlate paleoenvironmental changes and paleoclimate events within and beyond the Antarctic region. 
Published Reference material to the 2005 and 2007 meetings.

Armand, L.K., 2006. Report. Neogene Polar Marine Diatom Workshop, 1-6th August 2005, Yamagata, Japan. Diatom Research 21 (1), 227-228.

Asmmy, P., 2008. Report - 2nd Neogene Polar Marine Diatom Workshop, 4-10th August 2007, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA, or alternatively Mutual learning between a plankton ecologist and micropalaeontologists. Diatom Research 23 (1), 263-265.

Leventer, A., Armand, L., Harwood, D., Jordan, R. and Ligowski, R., 2007. New approaches and progress in the use of polar marine diatoms in reconstructing sea ice distribution. U.S. Geological Survey and The National Academies: USGS OF-2007-1047, Extended Abstract 005. []

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