We would like to invite you to participate in a special Symposium to be held in Hobart, Tasmania on January 8, 2020. The Symposium is focused on global efforts to understand ecological changes in the world’s oceans that are associated with climate impacts. The Symposium is aimed at researchers, policy makers and managers using phytoplankton time-series to assess, model and understand climate impacts in the marine environment, and will highlight new and emerging technologies that compliment biological time-series.

The Symposium is part of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations’ Working Group on Climate Change and Global Trends of Phytoplankton in the Ocean, to be held in Hobart at CSIRO on January 8,9,10, 2020. There will be opportunities to interact with and hear from the Working Group during the Symposium, and as join selected sessions on Jan 9, 10th. We particularly encourage Early Career Scientists to take part in the Working Group open sessions.

Currently we expect the following key speakers of the IOC-UN Working Group to attend:

  • Hans Paerl: Kenan Professor of Marine and Environmental Sciences, UNC-CH Institute of Marine Sciences, USA
  • Kedong Yin: Professor, School of Marine Sciences, P.R. China
  • Jacob Carstensen: Professor, Department of Bioscience - Applied Marine Ecology and Modelling, Aarhus University’ Denmark
  • Todd O'Brien: US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USA

The Program will be updated as other speakers are confirmed. There will be opportunities for short oral presentations, and a poster session.

Key Dates

1st November 2019 Open for Registration Applications and Abstract Submissions

22nd November 2019 Abstracts Submissions close

8th December 2019 Oral and poster presentations confirmed

20th December 2019 Registration closes

Please note: Abstracts and Registration Applications will be reviewed by the committee and confirmed by email. Please register your interest and submit your 300 word abstract to peter.a.thompson@csiro.au.


The event is free, but registration is essential!

Support for Early Career Scientists (ECS)

We are able to provide some financial support for ECS to attend the Symposium and join selected sessions with the UN Working Group. Please contact us for details (Ruth.Eriksen@csiro or Anusuya.Willis@csiro.au).


  • Free


Peter Thompson

Event date: 08Jan 2020

Wednesday 8 Jan 2020

CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere

Hobart, TAS

More information

Our Cutting Edge Symposium will be held in Hobart at Battery Point, a historic waterfront and active commercial port. Hobart is home to the University of Tasmania, the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies, the Australian Antarctic Division and CSIRO Data61 is located nearby in Sandy Bay. The CSIRO Battery Point site is home to the Australian National Algal Culture Collection, and the home port of RV Investigator.

There will be a Symposium dinner on the evening of the 8th January, to conclude the Symposium. We have a special guest speaker, Professor Chris Bowler, CNRS who will speak about the voyages of the Tara Ocean Expeditions https://oceans.taraexpeditions.org/en/.

Four themes are proposed for the Symposium, please indicate in your abstract submission which theme your speed talk or poster will address:

  1. Trends. What are long term time series telling us about phytoplankton trends in our aquatic ecosystems?
  2. New tools. Improvements in methods applied to phytoplankton research including genomic, statistical, data processing, image recognition, machine learning and artificial intelligence, sampling, taxonomic advances, data bases, taxonomic guides, etc.
  3. Predicting future change. Insights into phytoplankton traits that determine ecological success. For example, physiological tolerances, niches, cell size, phenology, functional types, mixotrophy, adaptions.
  4. Managing impacts. Understanding and managing socioeconomic impacts of phytoplankton change in the global oceans.

The program will include two Panel Sessions to stimulate conversation and activities planned as part of the Working Group program on the 9th and 10th January, 2020

  1. What would a global monitoring program for phytoplankton look like?
    E.g. design, the decadal plan, new techniques, data sharing etc
  2. What are the challenges we need to overcome to implement such as program?
    E.g. capability building, adapting current monitoring programs, ocean observation systems etc


Coming soon!

Convening Committee

  • Peter Thompson (Ecosystem Characterisation & Dynamics, Oceans & Atmosphere)
  • Karlie McDonald (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies)
  • Anusuya Willis (Australian National Algae Culture Collection, National Collections & Marine Infrastructure)
  • Jess Melbourne-Thomas (Marine socio-ecological systems, Oceans & Atmosphere)
  • Ruth Eriksen (Long-term Ecosystem Dynamics, Oceans & Atmosphere)

Registrations will be confirmed by the organising committee in case of over-subscription.

This Symposium is supported by funding received from the CSIRO Research Office, Cutting Edge Science Symposium program.