Next Friday, Oct 17, I depart for a three week science-policy trip to Asia. Like my Japan trip in May, I’ve been planning this adventure for months. It started when I was invited by Sanae Chiba (JAMSTEC) and David Checkley (Scripps) to speak at the 2014 PICES (the North Pacific Marine Science Organization) Annual Meeting: Toward a better understanding of the North Pacific: Reflecting on the past and steering for the future. Sanae and David’s session, “Use of long time series of plankton to inform decisions in management and policy concerning climate, ecosystems and fisheries”, combines all my favourite aspects of my research (Plankton! Policy! Climate! Fisheries!). PICES 2014 is also in Yeosu, Korea, a place I’ve never visited, so, of course, I immediately accepted their invitation. I’ve met David once or twice, and I am getting to know Sanae increasingly well through her involvement in the Global Alliance of Continuous Plankton Recorder Surveys. She was my hostess in Japan in May, and is one of not very many senior female marine scientists in Japan, a challenging position to obtain, I’m sure. Speaking at PICES is particularly exciting to me as most of my work has concentrated on North Atlantic ecosystems and policy implementation in Europe and I am eager to learn about other management strategies and share Europe’s novel application of the ecosystem approach to managing marine ecosystems. This is also a great opportunity to further expand my network in the Pacific, and catch up with some of the ICES (International Council for Exploration of the Sea – the Atlantic version of PICES) crew who will also be there. I will be speaking about my favourite topic: “The role of plankton time-series in managing our seas in a climate of macroecological change”.
After Korea I will head to Hong Kong, another place I’ve never visited. I’ll be delivering a seminar about using plankton time-series for management to Prof Kenneth Leung’s Aquatic Ecology and Toxicology research group at Hong Kong University. I love seminars because the speakers have more time and we can really get into the topic. It’s always great to have a 40 minute slot, rather than only a 15! I’ve never met Kenny, but we have a mutual friend who put us in touch when he found out I had a few days in Hong Kong. I’d love to see a CPR towed from Hong Kong. Who knows?
After Hong Kong I will take the ferry to Zhuhai, China, for a SCOR 137 – Patterns of Phytoplankton Dynamics in Coastal Ecosystems working group meeting. SCOR is the Scientific Committee on Ocean Research, and I’m a full UK member of working group 137. I am so fortunate to be a part of SCOR and collaborate with the scientists who I referenced throughout my PhD. I have to admit I was a bit star struck at our first working group meeting! SCOR has opened many doors for me and I’ve met an incredible network of scientists through this organisation.
So that’s my plan – 3 countries in three weeks: 1 invited conference talk, 1 seminar, 1 working group meeting, and a lot of plankton and policy. It should be a great trip!