The conference’s special theme sessions are listed below. Several keynote speakers will set the tone for some of these theme sessions. These will be delivered at a level appropriate for all participants. Contributed papers and posters will follow invited lectures. Presentations from fresh water and marine environments are welcome.
If you feel that your talk should be associated with one of these theme sessions, indicate as much on your abstract form.
Larval ecology linked to physical processes
Organized by Rudi Voss, Hans-Harald Hinrichsen, Myron Peck
Keynote speaker: Elizabeth North
Analysis of the temporal and spatial variability of biological processes and identification of the main variables that drive the dynamic regime of marine ecosystems is complex. Correlations between physical variables and long-term changes in ecosystems have routinely been identified, but the specific mechanisms involved remain often unclear. Reasons for this could be various: the ecosystem can be very sensitive to the seasonal timing of the anomalous physical forcing; the ecosystem can be contemporaneously influenced by many physical variables and the ecosystem can generate intrinsic variability on climate time scales. Marine ecosystems are influenced by a variety of physical factors, e.g. light, temperature, transport, turbulence. The impact of physical forcing variations on biological processes can be studied through long-term observations, process studies, laboratory experiments, retrospective analysis of existing data sets, and modelling. The theme session aims at inviting presentations on the diversity of physical influences on biological processes, marine organisms and ecosystems and their variety of responses to physical forcing with special emphasis on the dynamics of zooplankton and fish stocks.
Aquaculture and Stock enhancement of early life stages
Organized by Josianne Stottrup and Ed Trippel
Keynote speaker: Harald Rosenthal
Early life history remains a critical period for the success of programs endeavouring to rear fish for either aquaculture or stock enhancement. This theme session will bring together early life science that endeavours to improve our ability to achieve goals for these programs that augment food production and population recovery in both marine and freshwater systems. Factors that influence early life history in these settings are widespread and significant improvement in culture techniques for a number of species has evolved. Key biological and system constraints, however, remain that have attracted scientific attention. This theme session addresses a broad area which includes advanced early life culture techniques, larval food sources and technologies, early feeding and nutrition, broodstock/parental effects, mass rearing for artifical propagation, genetic concerns and applications and design and evaluation of stock recovery/enhancement programs.
Early life history strategies of fish and cephalopods
Organized by: Uwe Piatkowski & Audrey Geffen
Keynote speakers: Arild Folkvord & Erica Vidal
In order to optimize sustainable fishery exploitation as well as aquaculture development, it is necessary to incorporate a sound knowledge of biology and ecology of the relevant species into management policies. Since early life stages are a bottleneck for recruitment success, detailed knowledge of these early life history stages and their strategies is essential. This theme session will highlight research into the strategies fish and cephalopods use to survive and how they counter biological constraints and harsh environmental conditions which can cause high mortality during the early life phase. We encourage contributions from field and experimental studies on early life history strategies of fish and cephalopods, covering topics such as growth, condition, biochemical indicators (enzymes, hormones, stable isotopes), behaviour, the influence of physical and biological factors and new methods to map otolith and statolith micostructure and microchemistry. Studies on the reaction of larval fish and cephalopods to climate change and effects of ocean acidification are also welcome.
Larval Fish and Cephalopod Taxonomy
Keynote speaker: Mike Fahay
Ontogenetic data serve to clarify the evolutionary relationships of fish and cephalopods, but its use is dependent on sound taxonomy, anatomy and descriptions of eggs and larvae. Furthermore, knowledge of early life stages of fishes is fundamental to studies of population maintenance, essential habitat and patterns of biodiversity. But a large number of early life history stages of fishes and cephalopods are still unknown. With the development of new techniques, especially the advances in DNA barcoding, the allocation of so far unidentified larval stages or even eggs to their adult counterparts can be facilitated. Nevertheless, classical morphological and anatomical investigations on developmental series are valuable sources for the understanding of life history strategies and ecological necessities of fish and cephalopods. The session aims at inviting presentations on both classical investigations on larval fish development as well as the interface of molecular genetics and taxonomy. Results from the 30 years of Polish American Ichthyoplankton cooperation are most welcome.
Developmental Fish Physiology: Exploring New Frontiers in Larval Biology
Organized by Ione Hunt von Herbing
Keynote speaker: Warren Burggren
Developmental Fish Physiology, defined here as the study of physiological ontogeny at molecular through to organismal levels, is the convergence of development, physiology and evolution in a taxa that is almost 30,000 species strong. Remarkably, given the enormous diversity of fishes, over 97% of all species have a free-swimming larval stage with extremely high mortality rates. Yet, despite 100 years of dedicated research we are still far from understanding the factors that selectively drive survival in larval fishes. The contributions of developmental physiology may be particularly important as physiologists work together with other investigators in diverse fields such as; functional genomics, bioengineering, oceanography and global systems biology to expand our understanding from the molecular through to whole animal and ecosystem function. Contributors to this symposium will consider how developing physiological systems are directed by genes yet respond to environmental change and how these characteristics both constrain and enable evolution of physiological traits important to survival in the early life history of fish. Experimental approaches and methodologies of developmental physiology include, describing the initiation and progression of physiological function and regulation under stress, exploiting new advances in imaging fluorescence microscopy and miniaturization technologies to monitor communication within cells and among systems, using epigenetic approaches to understand interactions between regulatory factors in developing systems and the environment, and capitalizing on global observing technology to follow changes in pH, temperature, and oxygen levels of the oceans and determining their effects on developing organisms. A confluence of these approaches is likely to expand our thinking outside the realm of larval fish biology and move forward our understanding of how selective forces act on physiological systems in developing fishes to shape survival.
Databases and tools on early life stages
Organized by Bernd Ueberschaer and Rainer Froese
The information base for aquatic sciences and fisheries is growing at a staggering rate. This is also true for the scientific information on the early life stages of fishes. However, accessing this widely scattered information is often time consuming and difficult; moreover, many relevant datasets never find their way into peer-reviewed literature. In this situation, well-focused freely accessible online databases can help, as has been shown by FishBase (www.fishbase.org). The information system LarvalBase was one of the first attempts in the last millennium to present, in conjunction with FishBase, reliable and complete information on early life stages of finfish "at a user’s fingertips". LarvalBase (www.larvalbase.org) demonstrated, for example, how information from traditional literature can be successfully employed to build efficient computer-based identification keys. Today a number of additional databases and information systems on early life stages of fishes are available online. Contributors to this theme session are invited to present such databases and tools to the scientific community. The expected results of this theme session are as follows: i) An overview of tools and databases for early life stages of fishes; ii) Based on i), a gap analysis of remaining needs; iii) Initiation of collaboration; and iv) Examples of scientific results based on synoptic analyses of databases or application of new tools. The organizers are keen to hear about latest developments of established information systems and about new tools and initiatives.
Contributed paper session
(Everything can go here session)