Year 1

The proposed working group will focus on Terms of Reference 1/2 to develop the point of departure for this working group (i.e. assessment of the status of emerging research themes), and to build a research community (better alignment and integration of research themes).

Specifically we will use the IPCC AR5 2014 marine chapters as a platform to assemble this Review (Term of Reference 1). To ‘kick-start’ this working group, the Chair will initiate this Review so that a draft can be circulated to stimulate discussion at our inaugural meeting.

Efforts to initiate better alignment and integration of research efforts will commence early in year 1 by surveying different research communities (outlined in Figure 1) through customized questionnaires such as SurveyMonkey ( that have been used previously by Boyd/Hutchins. Surveys will enable the working group to identify which meetings different researchers attend (e.g., experimental evolutionary biologists), that will help to assess the suitability of conferences (GRC, EGU, AGU) to bring together many different marine scientists.

At our first working group meeting, the design of customized questionnaires (akin to those used for the IPCC ocean acidification special report, Gattuso et al., 2013) will be discussed so they can be circulated (via the Web) at the end of year 1 to identify experts from other fields (e.g. marine ecotoxicology) to learn from their approaches to multiple drivers (Term of Reference 2/3).


Year 2

We will build on our initial activities, in particular to co-ordinate thematic transdisciplinary sessions (Term of Reference 3) and to develop a Best-Practice Guide (BPG, and/or other tools) for COBS. These discussions will commence at the 2nd working group meeting (end of year 1). We will target transdisciplinary workshops such as GRC/GRS (Gordon Research Symposia for early career researchers) which regularly attract a diverse range of speakers from paleoceanography to ecotoxicology (Term of Reference 2).

Based on the experiences of Riebesell/Gattuso in preparing and updating the Ocean Acidification BPG (Riebesell et al., 2010), this working group proposes to proceed in a more innovative and flexible way – via wiki books ( This approach can involve many contributors, leading to a better product that could be launched initially with a few chapters and expanded later. Furthermore, updates would be relatively straightforward to implement.

The synthesis of these findings will help guide us as to the timeline for developing BGP wiki books that will commence towards the end of year 2.


Year 3

The main goals (in addition to adding further value to earlier Terms of Reference that will be fulfilled, partially or wholly in years 1/2) will be to run a ‘hands-on’ training workshop that targets primarily early career scientists (Term of Reference 5) and to build the interactive website (Term of Reference 6). This will be done in conjunction with the capacity building activity of the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Center which organizes several training courses worldwide annually.

The workshop will train researchers, and in particular early career researchers (ECRs), in the design of complex multiple driver manipulation experiments. It will also familiarize them with BPG, and assist with development of skills needed for analysis of their experimental findings. The working group will bring together a diverse range of skillsets (physiology, -omics, bio- statistics, evolution, food webs, ecosystems, mesocosm ‘engineering’, chemistry, remote- sensing and modellers) to build a workshop programme. To make the most of the assembled interdisciplinary talents, the working group will seek co-funding from national and foundation science funding agencies to expand the scope of this workshop and maximise the participation of ECRs. We will align this workshop with a working group meeting to further enhance the interactions between the working group, other experts and the workshop participants. Our ability to raise additional funding will also determine whether we run this workshop once or twice during the working group’s four-year tenure.

The interactive website (Term of Reference 6) will ensure the long-term future and inter-connectedness of this international research community, and provide educational information from school-leavers to postgraduate. It will also provide live links to prior Terms of Reference’s such as 1 (the state-of- the-art review) by updating bibliographies of new research, emerging policy documentation, and be a repository for topical popular articles.

In addition, the website will list international contacts and national programmes that are aligned with this research network, publicise up and coming events, workshops and conferences, and ensure that these activities and the capacity build during the lifetime of the working group continues to thrive beyond this working group.


Year 4 and Beyond

The final Term of Reference’s will be fulfilled in year 4, and together with some of the prior Terms of Reference’s will

provide a range of flexible tools and approaches that up-and-coming ECRs (from Term of Reference 5 workshops) as well as established scientists can build upon, ensuring the longevity of this research theme, that will be required for at least a decade (Riebesell and Gattuso, 2015).

We will publish articles (research and popular) in both the scientific media and with scientific journalists to disseminate the issues surrounding multiple drivers and marine ecosystems. Articles will include a thematic section in an open-access journal such as Marine Ecology Progress Series. Popular articles will be contributions to the media, as well as the product of discussions/advocacy with journalists at magazines including Scientific American. The website will integrate these approaches and make further links to a new generation of scientists and environmentalists who increasingly use social media to disseminate their research and scientific opinions.

The website will help to build strong relationships with policy-makers and science communicators to produce a glossary of terms and a practical implementation guide for policy-makers (similar to the IOC/UNESO ocean fertilization guide) to better understand the role of multiple drivers in altering marine ecosystem services. Term of Reference 8 will link to IPCC AR6 (due 2020) individual chapters, and assist with Executive Summaries and other IPCC products.