Coccolithus pelagicus short workshop
Bremen 1-2 March 1999, host Karl-Heinz Baumann
At the First Annual CODENET Workshop, Blagnac September 21998,
several of us realised that we had parallel sets of observations on
Coccolithus pelagicus. We decided that it would be useful to hold
a small informal workshop to share these results, explore the
possibilities for joint publication of the results and co-ordinate future
research. It was agreed that we should meet in Bremen, since this would
enable the workshop to be combined with a visit to AWI Bremerhaven and to
the culture facilities of the Bremen Calcareous dinoflagellate research
group. Owing to teaching and other commitments the earliest practicable
date proved to early March 1999.
Bremen University - Karl-Heinz Baumann, Claudia Sprengel,
Lisbon - Mario Cãchao
VU Amsterdam - Patrizia Ziveri
NHM, London - Jeremy Young
Monday 1st March
Morning - visit to AWI Bremerhaven (by K-HB, MC, JRY,
Visit to molecular biology research group of Linda Medlin.
Discussion of molecular genetic research work in the CODENET project.
Visit to the laboratory facilities. As biochemically naive geologists we
benefited greatly from patient explanation and demonstration of the
practicalities of research in an unfamiliar field. Discussions focussed
on the key problems which could be addressed by combined morphological
and molecular genetic research within the CODENET project, especially on
micro-evolutionary analysis and molecular-clock calibration.
Visit to Ulf Riebesel; discussion of research opportunities for UR
in the CODENET project, and possibilities for future research projects.
Afternoon - Round Table on C.pelagicus at Bremen
University (K-HB, MC, JRY, PZ, CS, BB)
Exchange of data including;
Mario Cãchao - summary of
research on occurrence of C. pelagicus in the Portuguese shelf
area relative to ecological parameters. Presentation of preliminary data
on Pliocene size variation.
Karl-Heinz Baumann - presentation
of data on morphometric variability of C. pelagicus and its
distribution in the sub-polar N. Atlantic.
Jeremy Young - summary of salient
features of the Neogene to Recent record of C. pelagicus, based
mainly on data from the Indian Ocean and N. Atlantic, including broad
trends in morphological variation and biogeography.
Conclusions: We agreed that between us we had a very
convincing set of data evidencing the existence of two distinct
morphotypes within the extant C. pelagicus population. We decided
that (a) we should publish this as soon as was practically possible, (b)
priority should be given to carrying out culture experiments to
investigate size variation in culture conditions and to test the
hypothesis that the observed variation might be ecophenotypic. (c) These
results should be presented at the Texel meeting and discussions started
there to urge isolation of the different morphotypes as a priority and to
identify ways of achieving this.
Tuesday 2nd March
Morning - continuation of Round Table on C.pelagicus, at
Bremen University (K-HB, MC, JRY, PZ, CS, BB)
Patrizia Ziveri - presentation of
preliminary syntheses of the biogeographic distribution of C.
pelagicus in surface sediments and the plankton, and of comparative
data on other species. Agreement was reached on various data exchanges to
develop this analysis.
Jeremy Young - presentation of
sketch outline of manuscript on discrimination of morphotypes within
extant C. pelagicus. Agreement reached that this should be worked
up into a fuller outline for the Texel meeting and specific datasets
would be produced for this.
Afternoon - separate activities including:
Discussion between K-HB, MC and PZ on biogeographic datasets.
Visit by JRY to Helmut Willems (calcareous dinoflagellate research
group) -discussion of possibilities for combined research on
coccolithophores and dinoflagellates. Also of arrangements for the Bremen INA8
Conference in September 2000, and likely CODENET workshop at this
Visit to calcareous dinoflagellate culture facilities, particularly
Britta Karwath's temperature gradient block. Discussion of possibilities
of using this facility for coccolithophorid growth experiments.
Agreement that CS and BB would apply to the NHM Bioresource Large
Scale Facility for funding for a visit to learn image analysis
This was a short but intensive workshop which proved rather
successful. The most concrete outcome was an agreement to produce a joint
manuscript on the discrimination of two morphotypes within the extant
C. pelagicus. More broadly we exchanged ideas on a range of topics
and developed a very amicable understanding for co-ordination of future
research. It was further agreed to continue joint discussions at the
upcoming Texel workshop, and subsequently the Blagnac Annual
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