This was a very large meeting and a big occasion for the organization - even the president wished ESA a happy birthday!
“Happy 100th birthday to the Ecological Society of America… I want you to know that I’m grateful that ESA has been by our side, helping us bring science to the table to address climate change, preserve our oceans, and combat droughts and wildfires. Your mission and message couldn’t be more urgent. Today like one hundred years ago, you remind us that the health of our nation depends on the health of our environment and I know that you will be at the forefront of this national mission for your next hundred years. So thank you, and congratulations.” – President Barak Obama (Transcript provided by ESA.)
During the meeting, ZEN partner Randall Hughes discussed the use of common garden experiments to test responses of marine populations to temperature change, and her postdoc Torrie Hanley showed legacy effects of eelgrass genotypic diversity on productivity. Mary O’Connor synthesized trends in marine biodiversity losses (and gains), and Joel Fodrie demonstrated the role of landscape context on oyster reef ecosystem services. ZENtern Kendra Chan presented a poster on her undergraduate honors thesis project on the role of eelgrass genotypic diversity and grazer richness on eelgrass decomposition. Pamela Reynolds discussed emerging results from recent ZEN research activities, and Emmett Duffy explained the promise of networks like ZEN for tackling large-scale ecological questions. Pamela live-tweeted while at the meeting - check out her feed @PLNReynolds.
Typically when we attend conferences there is very little time to explore the surrounding city. Most of our time is spent sitting in conference rooms listening to talks, discussing ideas with colleagues in the hallway or over lunch, or hiding in a deserted corner to make some final edits to a presentation.
After the close of the ESA meeting several ZEN participants made a special trip to visit the nearby National Aquarium before traveling home. Here are a few highlights from that visit.
by Pamela Reynolds (ZEN coordinator)
The biennial Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) conference is coming up next month in San Diego, CA. The ZEN research ties closely to this year’s conference theme – Toward Resilient Coasts and Estuaries, Science for Sustainable Solutions. I’ll be presenting the latest with ZEN, and other ZEN partners and grad students will be there talking about their research. This is my first time attending a CERF meeting and I’m excited to see what it has in store. Expect a recap post later in November, and I hope to see you there!