Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) working group 149

An international marine science research collaboration

About us

We are the SCOR working group 149, focussing on Changing Ocean Biological Systems (COBS) and particularly on How will biota respond to a changing ocean?

From left to right: Ulf Riebesell, Sinead Collins, Jonathan Havenhand, David Hutchins, Jorge Navarro, Jean-Pierre Gattuso, Philip Boyd, Kunshan Gao 

From left to right: Ulf Riebesell, Sinead Collins, Jonathan Havenhand, David Hutchins, Jorge Navarro, Jean-Pierre Gattuso, Philip Boyd, Kunshan Gao 

It all started when...

Climate models all project concurrent alterations to multiple oceanic properties, due to the effects of anthropogenic climate change. These projections are supported by a growing body of ocean observatory evidence demonstrating simultaneous shifts in life-sustaining properties such as temperature, CO2, O2, and nutrients. Hence, a major challenge for marine sciences is to determine the cumulative effects of such interactive and widespread alterations of oceanic conditions on organisms, communities and ecosystems. This challenge is multi- faceted, and research must advance in parallel to tackle three major themes: effects of multiple environmental drivers on the performance of individual organisms; community and foodweb responses to complex ocean change; and timescales of biological responses to climate change.

Consequently, we urgently need to develop a new generation of studies based on methodology that will allow us to progress from: 

Single to Multiple  drivers

Organisms to ecosystems

Acclimation to Adaptation 

This proposed SCOR working group will build strong transdisciplinary linkages to facilitate the design and development of a framework of experiments, observations, and conceptual/mathematical models to evolve each of these themes. This multi-thematic approach will provide a platform for the next generation of scientists to conduct rigorous inter-related research and to further refine this approach as new technologies emerge. The working group will also target how to develop powerful tools to convey the major research findings of this complex topic as directly and simply as possible for decision-makers in the marine realm. 




Philip Boyd (Australia). Philip Boyd is a Professor in Marine Biogeochemistry whose research focusses on the influence of multiple drivers on pelagic ecosystems. He was a lead author on the Ocean systems chapter of the IPCC AR5 report and will chair the 2016 Gordon Research Conference on Ocean Global Change Biology.


David Hutchins (USA). Prof. Hutchins has expertise in how global change affects marine biology and carbon, nutrient and trace metal biogeochemistry. His most recent work has examined evolutionary responses of phytoplankton to ocean acidification and warming, and he served as chair of the first Ocean Global Change Biology Gordon Conference in 2014.

Jean-Pierre Gattuso (France). Is a field leader in the study of multiple drivers and their effects on coastal marine communities using innovative experimental systems. He led the seminal European Project on OCean Acidification (EPOCA) for four years. 

Ulf Riebesell (Germany). Prof. Riebesells research aims to address physiological, ecological, biogeochemical and, in recent years, evolutionary responses to ocean change. He combines approaches ranging from single species lab experiments to large-scale mesocosm studies on natural plankton communities. 

Christina McGraw (Australia). Dr. McGraw is a chemical engineer who is a field-leading innovator in the design of experimental manipulations uystems (ocean acidification under trace metal clean conditions. She is currently working on the design of novel sensors for multiple driver research. 

Sinead Collins (UK). Dr. Collins is one of the pioneers of experimental evolutionary global change biology. Her expertise thus crosses disciplinary boundaries from evolutionary biology to marine science. 

Aurea Ciotti (Brazil). Dr. Ciotti is a field-leading optical oceanographer who studies the remote sensing of phytoplankton communities in order to better assess how changing ocean conditions are altering community structure. She is a member of the International Ocean- Colour Coordinating Group. 

Marion Gehlen (France). Dr. Gehlen is a renowned modeler focusing on global ocean biogeochemical processes in a changing climate. She is currently co-chair (along with Katja Fennel (Canada) of the Marine Ecosystem and Prediction Task Team. 

Jorge Navarro (Chile). Prof. Navarro is a leading researcher on the impact of ocean changes on commercial bivalves such as mussels. His multi-driver research has targeted larval to adult bivalves to assess which part of the life cycle is most susceptible to changing ocean conditions. 

Kunshan Gao (China). Prof. Gao is recognized as the leading authority in China on ocean acidification and primary producers, including both microplankton and macrophytes. His recent work has focused on understanding the responses of phytoplankton to multi-variate climate change processes. 



Sam Dupont is a researcher in marine ecophysiology. His main research topic is on the impact of increased carbon dioxide and related changes on marine species and ecosystems. His work aims at revealing the mechanisms behind species and ecosystem responses and at developing the needed unifying theory for large scale predictions.

Haimanti Biswas is a recognized marine ecologist. Her recent research has been focusing on understanding the response of phytoplankton communities to variable carbon dioxide levels. She is also interested in light adaptation and pigment synthesis in marine phytoplankton.

Katharina Fabricius is a coral reef ecologist. Her research aims to better understand how ecological processes in coral reefs are altered by chronic and acute disturbances, especially from ocean acidification and terrestrial runoff of sediments and nutrients.

Jonathan Havenhand researches the evolutionary ecology of reproduction in marine invertebrates, focussing on intra-specific variation in fertilization and larval viability and the role of ocean acidification.

Catriona Hurd is a recognized seaweed ecologist. She is particularly interested in the physiological responses of seaweeds to their abiotic and biotic environment.

Haruko Kurihara investigates the human impacts, including climate changes (Ocean acidification and Global warming) and local scale impacts (sedimentation and eutrophication) on coral reefs marine organisms and ecosystems.

Göran Erik Nilsson is a biologist interested in the adaptations of organisms to extreme environments. Part of his research focuses the effects of elevated carbon dioxide and temperature on the physiology of marine fishes, from coral reef fishes to salmon. He tries to find out how they will cope with the predicted increases in ocean temperature and acidity.

Uta Passow is an oceanographer focussing on understanding how does the response of organisms and ecosystems change the functioning of the biological pump in a changing world.

Hans-Otto Poertner research interests include the effects of climate warming, ocean acidification, and hypoxia on marine animals and ecosystems with a focus on the links between ecological, physiological, biochemical and molecular mechanisms limiting tolerance and shaping biogeography and ecosystem functioning.

Marcello Vichi is a marine biogeochemist. His research interests embrace numerical modelling of coupled physical/biogeochemical processes in the global ocean, climate change impacts on marine ecosystems and process studies of biogeochemical interactions in coastal and shelf seas.