Alongside our usual topics for contributed talks sessions, we will include several new Special Topics for the 2016 Annual Meeting in Monterey. When submitting an abstract for an oral presentation, consider whether your work might be a good match for one of these organized sessions of contributed talks.  All are welcome to submit abstracts for consideration in any of these special topic sessions.



Seascape Genetics: Seascape genetics uses spatial data from remote sensing and oceanographic models as predictors of population genetic patterns.  Can this approach, when coupled with an exponential increase in genomic data, allow us new insights into the ecology and evolution of marine species?  This session will include talks that look for ways to advance the use of seascape genetic methods to illuminate marine population structure and local adaptation, including efforts to meet the goals of ecosystem-based management.  (Chair: Dr. Eric Crandall, CSU Monterey Bay)

Conservation Technologies: While technologies transform evermore facets of our society, field science has remained relatively untouched by such innovation until very recently. This is somewhat surprising as drones, machine vision and learning, distributed sensor networks for species detection and quantification, and other technologies offer the potential to transform the quantity, cost, and/or sophistication of coastal and marine data collection and assessment. This session will explore methodologies that augment our traditional approaches to and understanding of natural history, improve our ability to manage resources, or transform the speed with which we can respond to rapidly-unfolding events. (Chair: Dr. Sean Anderson, CSU Channel Islands)

Evaluating Marine Protected Areas: Marine Protected Areas cover more than 40% of US waters along the West Coast. Established to meet broad ocean protection, habitat restoration, fisheries, and water quality goals, these areas are a backbone of conservation and management efforts. But are they working? Research and monitoring activities inside and outside protected areas along the coast are shedding light on the performance of individual and networks of protected areas. This session will include talks on diverse topics ranging from field surveys of habitats and ecosystems, to new methods of measuring ecosystem health, to modeling and lab experiments that evaluate network performance. (Chair: TBA)

Variability in the Strength of Top-Down Control: With the death of Bob Paine in June 2016, an icon of marine ecology passed corporeally, but not in influence. This session honors Bob’s contribution to understanding how predators shape the structure and function of ecological communities, whether in the rocky intertidal zone or not. At the same time, it calls for the construction of new ideas about the factors that govern the strength of top-down control. (Why) does top-down control vary spatiotemporally, by functional group, or by trait- and density-mediated pathways? How is top-down control changing in the Anthropocene? How have Bob’s ideas been inspirational? (Chairs: Dr. Jennifer Ruesink, University of Washington, and Dr. Chris Harley, University of British Columbia)

Coralline Algae in the NE Pacific: Coralline red algae are one of the most understudied groups of macromarine organisms worldwide despite being major space occupiers of intertidal and subtidal habitats.  Recent studies in the NE Pacific have revolutionized our thinking about corallines worldwide.  Talks in this session will focus on the biodiversity, biogeography, and ecology of coralline algae, including their value as model organisms for studies of ocean acidification and biomechanics. (Chairs: Patrick Martone, University of British Columbia; Paul Gabrielson, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)


Comparative/Biogeographic Ecology: This session will focus on population and community ecology at biogeographic scales including the use of experiments that examine geographic variation in ecological processes, studies of range limits, or other large-scale questions. (Chair: Emmett Duffy, Smithsonian Institute)

Climate Change and Phenology: This session will include talks that include the theme of using natural history information, including (but not limited to) phenology (the timing of seasonal events) to understand responses of communities and ecosystems to a changing environment.  (Chair: Mary O’Connor, University of British Columbia).

Genetic and Genomic Approaches to Ecology: This session will focus on the use of molecular data as a new form of natural history. We expect that this session will include talks that employ genetic or genomic tools to examine questions about organismal biology, ecology, physiology, evolution, etc. (Chair: Rick Grosberg, UC Davis).

Microbial and Disease Ecology in a Changing Ocean: Advances in molecular techniques are revealing the true diversity of microbes and give ecologists the tools to better consider their role in familiar ecological systems.  This session will include talks on the role of microorganisms in the ecology of plants and animals, including the ecology of disease and host-pathogen interactions. (Chair: Drew Harvell, Cornell University).