Gordon Research Conferences
Conference Details

Ocean Global Change Biology
Gordon Research Conference

Conference Information



Initial Year





Meeting Cycle

24 Months

Conference Description

There is a growing awareness within the oceanographic and global environmental change communities that the various effects of a changing climate on oceanic properties will be both multi-faceted, and occur simultaneously. Furthermore, there is a growing body of evidence that our ability to predict the biological responses to these dramatic alterations of the oceanic environment is contingent on understanding the interactive effects between distinct ocean properties. In the last decade our research community has primarily focused on the biological effects of changes to individual ocean properties, such as pH (ocean acidification) or temperature (sea surface warming). This GRC brings these distinct but related research threads together by adopting a holistic approach to two pressing research questions - "How will ocean biota respond to fundamental and concurrent alterations of their environment?", and "How will their cumulative responses affect ocean productivity, biodiversity, and biogeochemistry?". The aim of this Gordon Research Conference is to bring together disparate research communities, from experimentalists to modelers, who are all tackling aspects of biological responses to ocean global change. This GRC brings together these diverse research communities who are addressing this common question, in order to devise a range of approaches to tackle this issue systematically.

The geographical distributions, biodiversity, physiological performance, and reproductive success of marine organisms are largely determined by a matrix of environmental conditions. For example, phytoplankton, which fuel half of the planet’s productivity, are influenced by irradiance, nutrient and trace element supply, turbulence, temperature, pH, and carbon dioxide concentrations. A similar cluster of environmental conditions plays a key role in determining the dynamics of ocean biota ranging from bacteria to the highest marine trophic levels. Thus, both the input of energy into ecosystems and the resulting structure and function of such ecosystems are strongly influenced by the underlying oceanic conditions. Anthropogenic alteration of this matrix of conditions at a rate without precedent in the last 300 million years threatens both the health of ocean biota, and the basic structure and function of marine food webs. A better understanding of how a changing climate will impact ocean biological communities is needed in the near future, if we are to ascertain how all aspects of ocean ecosystems will be altered in the coming decades. We envisage that this new GRC will bring together for the first time a sufficiently wide range of perspectives and skills to tackle the complex and pressing issue of how many concurrent changes in ocean chemistry and climate will impact marine organisms. Given the rate of change in our marine environment, a GRC is needed to fast-track the development of a multidisciplinary research community to tackle this major global environmental science challenge.

What is a GRC? Gordon Research Conferences (GRC) are 5-day meetings that bring scientists together from around the world to present and discuss unpublished research with other leaders in their field.

Related Conference

This Gordon Research Conference (GRC) series is related to the "Ocean Global Change Biology" Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) series. Although a related GRS will typically be scheduled in conjunction with its parent GRC each time it meets, that may not always be the case. Refer to the individual meetings in the Meeting History section below for more details. For more information about the associated Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) series, click here.

What is a GRS? Gordon Research Seminars (GRS) are 2-day meetings that bring graduate students and post-docs together to discuss their cutting edge research among peers and mentors. Each GRS immediately precedes an associated Gordon Research Conference (GRC), and topics addressed at the GRS relate closely to the GRC.

Meeting History

YearMeeting NameDatesConference SiteChair(s)
2018 Ocean Global Change Biology
Integrative Research Addressing Responses, Refuges and Rescue in Marine Ecosystems
Jul 15-20 Waterville Valley Gretchen E. Hofmann
2016 Ocean Global Change Biology
Classifying Biotic Responses to a Rapidly Changing Ocean: From Genes to Ecosystems
Jul 17-22 Waterville Valley Philip Boyd
2014 Ocean Global Change Biology
Interactive Effects of Multiple Global Change Variables
Jul 6-11 Waterville Valley David A. Hutchins
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