Microscale Ocean BiophysicsInternal

Small scale processes with global implications

Activity Overview

Type: Foresight Workshop
Start Date: May 23, 2021
End Date: May 28, 2021
Host: CSIC
Venue: Museum of the Sea, Port de Soller, Majorca, Spain
Contact: Idan Tuval
E-mail: ituval [at] imedea.uib-csic.es
Funding Call: EuroMarine 2020 call for FWS and WG proposals
Decision Body: EuroMarine Steering Committee

This interdisciplinary foresight workshop will focus on the biophysics of microscale marine processes, i.e., how small-scale interactions between marine microorganisms and their physico-chemical environment overwhelmingly govern global ocean processes. If we are to advance our understanding of aquatic ecosystems, we need to replace current statistical and heuristic descriptions with a mechanistic understanding of the component processes. Ecosystem structure and function ultimately depend on interactions at the level of individual organism. Small organisms that live in a non-intuitive physical world dominate the biological processes in the ocean. This world and the organisms inhabiting it cannot be understood without a strong appeal to small-scale fluid physics, mass transport, active suspensions, turbulence, and mechanics in general.

Key Objectives

The Microscale Ocean Biophysics FWS will serve as a catalyst for the formation of a European network dedicated to consolidating the activities of the pending Marie-Curie network proposal INT: PHYMOT. In order to encourage the achievement of this objective, the workshop will be structured as a series of Gordon Conferences, where formal discussions are delivered within a greater atmosphere of free-form discussions and conversations. The organisers also expect multiple co-authored scientific publications will emerge from this event.

Expected Outcomes

  • Press release covering an overview of the workshop
  • Concrete plans to conduct in the near-future:
    • Short-term scientific visits (with a focus on early career researchers)
    • Joint training events
  • Proposals for joint projects
  • A position paper to be published in a relevant journal

Expected Impacts

This FWS will tackle the emerging topic of biophysical approaches to microbial ecology and contribute to the development of robust scenarios covering the consequences of significant disturbances to life in the global oceans.