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The world’s leading zooplankton experts gather for the 7th international symposium

19 March 2024

A team of PML researchers are heading to Hobart, Tasmania for the 7th International Zooplankton Symposium, with Prof. Angus Atkinson having the honour of being the Plenary Speaker.
Mixed zooplankton sample by Adriana Zingone, Domenico D'Alelio, Maria Grazia Mazzocchi, Marina Montresor, Diana Sarno, LTER-MC team, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

The symposium, supported by the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, is held every 6 or 7 years and is organised by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES).

The gathering of zooplankton experts from across the world offers a valuable forum to discuss zooplankton, their role in the global ecosystem, their sensitivity to change and the resultant effects on ecosystems.​

Prof. Angus AtkinsonProf. Angus Atkinson will launch the Symposium with his Plenary talk ‘New dawn fades – returning to dark data during a zooplankton technology revolution’. The talk will cover the amazing recent technical developments in plankton sampling whilst highlighting the value of traditional methods and emphasising the compilation of old in-situ observations, the meta-analysis of large datasets and networking of time series.

This will be followed by Prof. Pennie Lindeque and Dr Matt Cole convening a session called ‘Interactions between zooplankton and pollution in a changing ocean’, in which they will discuss how zooplankton are being affected by marine pollution such as microplastics.

Dr Elaine Fileman, Prof. Pennie Lindeque, Dr Rachel Coppock in HobartAs part of this pollution focused session, Dr Rachel Coppock is presenting work on the environmental impacts of microfibres from biodegradable textiles, whether they’re a better alternative to traditional synthetic textile fibres (polyester) and if the dying process poses an enhanced health risk to copepods, a key marine food source.

Dr Elaine Fileman is also convening the session In situ imaging and spatially detailed observations of zooplankton for ecosystem studies’, which will showcase PML’s latest plankton AI imaging equipment. Additionally Elaine is presenting data covering an 8-year span of copepod nauplii (larval stage) composition from the Western Channel Observatory (WCO) timeseries, in a session on the role of microzooplankton in biogeochemical cycling and food webs.

Prof. Angus Atkinson, Marine Ecologist at Plymouth Marine Laboratory and Plenary Speaker for the Symposium, said:

“It is an honour and a privilege to be invited to be the Plenary Speaker at this fantastic event, especially during a time of exceptional developments in zooplankton research. Not only are massive amounts of exciting data being bought together for the first time but we’re also seeing advances in how we can collect new data, which is vital in a time of environmental change. Myself and the rest of the PML team look forward to spending the week completely immersed in all things zooplankton”.


Related information

Follow the 7th International Zooplankton Symposium, running from 17th – 21st March 2024, on Twitter #ZPS7