CODENET COCCOLITHOPHORID TAXONOMY WORKSHOP
Amsterdam 15-16th October 1999
Convenors Patrizia Ziveri (VUA), Jeremy Young (NHM)
At the annual CODENET workshop in Blagnac, Sept. 1999, we decided to have a short CODENET workshop on coccolithophorid taxonomy to be held in Amsterdam on 15-16th October, 1999, since:
- Within the project there are several workers with a real expertise in and enthusiasm for the minutiae of coccolithophorid taxonomy.
- A great strength of coccolithophorid research is that there is a considerable consensus on taxonomy, but there are still many details in the standard taxonomy which need sorting out.
- The new work on holococcolith - heterococcolith associations creates obvious challenges.
- Critical analysis of the phylogenetic information implicit in morphology-based taxonomy is directly relevant to the CODENET project.
- There is a severe need for a better identification manual guide than the Winter & Siesser atlas, which most non-experts tend to use as their basic reference.
- Between us we have more than enough beautiful new SEMs and expertise to produce something rather nice - if we choose to.
- There are real possibilities of collaboration with workers in Japan, where there are may experts in coccolithophorid taxonomy; Ric Jordan (Yamagata University) visited many of us in September and a party of CODENET workers is going out to Japan in November (see page on Tsukuba workshop).
Joerg Bollmann (ETHZ), Sandra Broerse (VUA), Mara Cortes (ETHZ), Lluisa Cros (Barcelona), Jan van Hinte (VUA), Annelies Kleijne (VUA), Claudia Sprengel (Bremen), Ian Probert (Caen), Alexandra Zeltner (Tuebingen), Jeremy Young (NHM), and Patrizia Ziveri.
Essentially this comprised all the gurus on modern nanno taxonomy in the CODENET teams, plus Alexandra Zeltner who is not quite part of CODENET but a kindred spirit ands friend from previous Blagnac meetings.
Friday October 15th
This day was spent in discussions of the status of nannoplankton taxonomy and possible plans for syntheses, followed by a relatively informal discussion on particular topics. Conclusions from this were
- Ideally we would like to see a monograph of some form which included summary of the diverse information from the different means of studying nannoplankton, including:
- cross-polarized light and phase contrast microscopy of individual coccoliths
- cross-polarized light and phase contrast microscopy of complete coccospheres
- SEM studies of coccoliths and coccospheres
- TEM studies of cytology
- LM studies of live cells (especially DIC images)
- At present there is a severe need for detailed taxonomic revision on many groups, notably species-level taxonomy of Syracosphaera, and Alisphaera, and continued research on heterococcolith combinations (continuing the recent work of Lluisa Cros).
- Many participants are involved in producing taxonomic atlases of regional nannofloras, or other databases, or the ETI-CD ROM project (lead by Ric Jordan, Yamagata) .
- Consequently a major synthesis of all nannoplankton taxonomy is not appropriate now.
- However, an atlas of the CODENET species documenting intraspecific variation and the full range of imaging techniques should be worthwhile.
- The EMIDAS database as demonstrated by Joerg Bollmann and developed as part of ETHZ's CODENET work, provides a major improvement on previous WWW image databases and should be actively supported, especially by CODENET participants. [N.B. Dec. 1999, The EMIDAS system is now online at ETHZ]
Saturday October 16th
On this day the participants divided into two main groups.
A. Continuation of taxonomy workshop with detailed discussion of Syracosphaera spp.
Participants for this were Mara Cortes, Lluisa Cros, Annelies Kleijne, and Alexandra Zeltner. Intensive discussions were held throughout the day on the taxonomy of this problematic group and plans were laid for various publications.
B. Meeting on foundation of Gaia Research Centre for Geobiology
This meeting was organised by Peter Westbroek in the Dutch Academy of Sciences, it was attended by a mix of scientists (including coccolithophorid experts Luc Beaufort, Jan van Hinte, Gerard Muyzer, Jeremy Young and Patrizia Ziveri) and by managerial types. Strictly this is a separate initiative from CODENET but it stems from the same origins in the GEM initiative, and BESD meetings. The meeting was very positive and concluded with a definite decision to launch the centre. More on this later.
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