The 15th Deep-Sea Biology Symposium
The Symposium is the main event for the Deep-Sea Biology Society, and takes place every three years. It brings together leaders from the fields of research, exploration, marine operations, conservation, and management for the deep ocean environment, including benthic, vents and seeps, and water-column biology and oceanography.
Returning to the United States for the first time since 2003, the 15th Deep-Sea Biology Symposium will be held September 9-14, 2018 in Monterey, California. This 5-day conference will feature plenary speakers and two daily concurrent sessions. There will be an opening reception, a poster session on Tuesday night, and a concluding symposium dinner on Friday night at the world renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium. Meeting registration includes a membership in the Deep-Sea Biology Society and all are invited to the Society meeting held during the week (time and location to be determined).
The 15th Deep-Sea Biology Symposium is supported by the Deep-Sea Biology Society and co-hosted by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Early registration closes
Deadline for abstracts (talks)
Deadline for travel award applications
Regular registration closes
Deadline for abstracts (posters)
29-June: Travel awards announced
24-August: Last day to register
Sessions for the 15th Deep-Sea Biology Symposium
Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning
This session welcomes any papers that examine any aspect of biodiversity and/or function of deep-sea ecosystems.
Topics of food webs and community ecology (but see also the special Pelagic Food Webs session below)
Midwater and water-column organisms and ecosystems, including planktonic, gelatinous, and nektonic fauna. (See also the Pelagic Food Webs special session below)
Topics related to the deepest ocean ecosystems
Water-column and sediment-related microbial research
Seamounts and canyons
Habitat-based studies including seamounts, ridges, canyons
Ecosystems in and around vents, seeps, and organic falls, and the symbioses therein
Deep-ocean observing systems
This session welcomes any papers that explore innovative techniques and novel approaches to observing biology and ecosystem variables in the deep ocean. Of particular interest are cross-cutting technologies that combine scientific and engineering approaches to provide a synoptic view of a given biological process taking into account the physicochemical variables affecting it. This session will provide a showcase for studies advancing scientific techniques, technological development, and data processing and sharing, contributing to observations in the deep sea across all levels of biological organization (genes, species, populations, communities…).
Advances in taxonomy and phylogeny
This session welcomes any papers that look at aspects that cut across habitat/ecological
boundaries in the realm of evolutionary biology, systematic biology, phylogeography,
biogeography as well as new methodologies or approaches on alpha-taxonomy.
This session welcomes any papers that examine the biology and ecology (in its widest sense) of
individual species from any deep-sea environment. The presentation does not have to be limited
to one species but can look in detail at any species of interest.
Connectivity and biogeography
This session welcomes any papers that focus on recent advances on the understanding of
population connectivity and species distribution in the deep sea, including the processes that
control connectivity and modulate biogeography, empirical estimates, and modeling efforts.
Natural and anthropogenic disturbance
This session welcomes any papers that discuss results from studies examining the vulnerability,
resilience, and response of organisms to the impact of natural disturbance (e.g. cascading and
turbidity events along slopes and volcanic eruptions), climate change, or human activities.
Deep-ocean stewardship challenges, opportunities, and solutions
This session welcomes any papers that discuss current or proposed stewardship issues in our
deep oceans raised by activities such as mining (SMS, nodules, cobalt crusts, phosporites, etc),
fisheries, oil and gas, deep-sea tailings placement, and marine genetic resources.
Deep-sea ‘omics: concepts and applications –Omics
This session welcomes any papers that focus on current and future research trends in deep-sea
-omics aimed at: (i) advancing knowledge of organismal biology, environmental diversity, and
ecosystem functioning and evolution, (ii) complementing results of traditional taxonomy and
community structure analyses, and (iii) developing systematic sampling and structured
frameworks for large-scale studies. This session is open to any research involving –omic
approaches, as well as topical perspectives, ideas, and initiatives.
Ecosystem function = Σ[biogeochemistry + microbial ecology + animal systems]
This session welcomes any papers that look at cross-discipline advances that have improved
our understanding overall ecosystem function in deep-sea habitats. Topics range from nutrient
and trophic dynamics to how microbial ecology influences biogeochemical cycles. We would
especially like submissions with emphasis on how an advance(s) in one field has(have) spilled
over into adjacent fields, improving the overall understanding of a habitat. Cross-ecosystem
studies (vent, seep, whale, wood, bentho-pelagic processes, etc) are welcome, especially those
that cross traditional divides in research.
Deep pelagic food web linkages and trophic flows in the deep-sea
This session welcomes any papers that are focused on ecosystem-level views of food webs in
the deep pelagic. Research topics can also include trophic connectivity between deep sea
habitats, e.g. pelagic-benthic, surface waters-mesopelagic. We seek submissions that utilize an
array of approaches, including but not limited to ROVs, AUVs, gut contents, biochemical tracers,
and molecular tools.
Interdisciplinary functional biology of deep-sea organisms: a tribute to James J. Childress
This session welcomes any contributions that are inspired or influenced by Jim Childress’ work, that reveal unique adaptations, behaviors and interactions of deep-sea organisms. The
pioneering studies of biologist James Childress integrated ecology, evolution, oceanography,
biochemistry, physiology and engineering for over fifty years to generate novel insights into
elusive deep-sea organisms and the pelagic, benthic, and hydrothermal vent ecosystems in
which they live. Childress worked relentlessly to overcome real and perceived barriers to
exploration so that the deep sea may be put into proper perspective and treated with
Science communication/education and social engagement
This session welcomes any papers that discusses how scientists and institutions effectively
communicate scientific ideas and results to broader audiences. The passion scientists have for
their research is key to sparking public attention as to why ocean science—and the deep sea—
matters, but many scientists struggle with the time consuming undertaking of regularly engaging audiences to build a following and influence the masses. In the ever-changing digital world, with many competing stories, what are the most successful ways in which the scientific community can increase engagement with the public?
Deep carbon flux: sources, processes, and associated communities
This session welcomes any papers that address the downward propagation of signals from the
surface ocean, their modification by bathypelagic processes connected to, e.g., particleassociated communities and life histories of deep pelagic organisms, and their links to benthic communities and processes. Studies involving new approaches, such as sequencing and omics techniques, in-situ imaging, and novel analytical methods to describe carbon pathways are highly welcome as well as ideas for integration in deep-ocean time-series observations.
Sharks and elasmobranchs
This session welcomes any papers that include current work on genetics, feeding ecology,
nurseries, natural history, interactions with human activities, methods (including advances in
deep-sea biotelemetry), etc.
Biodiversity observations in the deep ocean (MBON, DOOS, and OBIS)
This session invites contributions regarding observations and models of changing life in the deep portions of the sea, including benthic, vents and seeps, and deep water-column habitats. Presentations on strategies for observing biodiversity and biological processes over small and large scales, advanced methods for biological observing, methods to characterize and monitor biodiversity, successful integration of biodiversity measures into observing systems, sustaining observations over the long term to detect change, and relevance to conservation science and uses of deep ocean resources are welcome. This session also welcomes papers that promote the collection and widespread use of biological diversity and production data concurrent with other types of ocean observations in partnership with the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON), the Deep Ocean Observing Strategy of GOOS, and the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS).
A climate-sensitive region under watch: the subarctic fauna between Greenland and Norway
This session welcomes any papers that center around subarctic invertebrates between
Greenland and Norway along the Greenland-Iceland-Scotland Ridge. The North Atlantic and
especially the subarctic region have been in focus of several projects during the last decades,
due to its distinct features in hydrography and geology of the seafloor separating the North
Atlantic from the Arctic Ocean being the potential gateway to the arctic. Due to the complex
hydrography of the region the biotic communities are prone to climate change. This session puts the focus on the sensitive area around Icelandic and adjacent waters beyond the Icelandic
Fishes as agents of oceanic ecosystem connectivity
This session welcomes any papers that highlight aspects of connectivity of deep-sea fishes,
from populations to ecosystems, and from prey to consumers. As multi-mode exploration
methods give us new insights into the biology, behavior, distribution, and population dynamics
of deep-sea fishes and invertebrates, we can now begin to address such topics as deep-sea
fish evolution, spatiotemporal variability of assemblages, trophic dynamics, and carbon
Ocean exploration programs
This session welcomes any papers that consist of presentations of discoveries, natural-history
observations and syntheses of the biological, geological, physical, and chemical results from
ocean exploration. A major goal of exploration is to gain a better understanding of the deep
ocean, with the hope that the information gleaned would be used to effectively motivate more
research and to help manage ocean resources worldwide. With anthropogenic impacts
anticipated to accelerate in the future, gaining a basic understanding of the deep-sea habitats
and associated communities worldwide needs to be a priority.
This session welcomes any papers that discuss principles, concepts, guidelines, and tools for
ecological restoration of the deep-sea ecosystems. We welcome talks and posters on all
different aspects of deep-sea restoration including evaluating key concepts, discussing available tools and techniques, presenting existing pilot projects, or social, economic or policy aspect of deep-sea restoration.
Ocean acidification implications on organisms and ecosystems
This session welcomes any papers that emphasize interactive influences of temperature,
decreased dissolved oxygen, and increased pCO2 at the molecular, organismal, and ecosystem
levels. Submissions that throw light on emerging issues (like new evidence of carbonate
chemistry changes or synergistic effects of OA and temperature) are encouraged as are
submissions that deal with the effects of low carbonate saturation states on benthic calcifiers
(corals, molluscs, and echinoderms). Any new data on species inhabiting low oxygen or low
carbonate environments on seamounts and in continental shelf break habitats are also
Mining impacts in the deep sea
This session welcomes any contributions from research on mining impacts in the deep sea with
a focus on the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ), but research from other regions would be
welcome. The CCZ in the central Pacific Ocean is currently the most active frontier for deep-sea
mineral exploration in international waters. Recent contractor-led, European Union, NOAA, and private-foundation funded projects in the CCZ have started to make available considerable new data on the taxonomy, ecology, population connectivity, and potential resilience of the fauna to mining activity. In this session, we invite colleagues with new data from any of these programs and/or other areas to share their new findings and discuss the results.