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EUR-OCEANS Conference - Ocean deoxygenation and implications for marine biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems

EUR-OCEANS organisation / funding


>> NEW! Download brief conference report (November 2011)     
>> Download conference booklet (July 2011; includes abstracts and list of participants)     
>> Download flyer       >> Visit registration site

This conference aims to bring together biological, biogeochemical, and physical oceanographers to discuss the issue of deoxygenation in the world ocean and its implications for ocean productivity, nutrient cycling, carbon cycling, and marine habitats. A serious consequence of global warming that is increasingly gaining importance is the decrease of the dissolved oxygen content of the world ocean. Deoxygenation and extension of the Oxygen Minimum Zones (OMZs) are predicted because oxygen is less soluble in warmer waters and also because the changing oceanic stratification and circulation will reduce the supply of O2 to the ocean interior. However, the biogeochemical contribution due to the O2 consumed by the aerobic processes (e.g. remineralization, nitrification) remains to be quantified. This deoxygenation in subsurface waters will have widespread consequences due to the role O2 plays in the biogeochemical cycling of carbon, nitrogen and other important elements such as P, Fe, Mn, S, etc.. O2 is instrumental to all aerobic life and sublethal and lethal O2 thresholds vary greatly between marine organisms. OMZs are key regions in the climatic gases budgets: O2, CO2, N2O, CH4, halogenous compounds...

Some scientific related specific issues include: What is the complete influence of the OMZs on climate change, taking into account the impact of the greenhouse gases, cloud formation and control of O3 and O2? How sensitive the OMZs characteristics are to changes in oceanic circulation associated to global warming? What are the mechanisms associated with a bio-, photo-, or chemo-degradation of organic matter (including CDOM) for the production of greenhouse gases, e.g. the switch from an aerobic (O2-respiration) to an anaerobic (via NO3, SO4, methanogenesis, IO3, Fe) remineralization?

Developing new dedicated sensors for the ocean observing system, modelling tools and understanding the key relevant biogeochemical and physical processes to predict future O2 contents of the world ocean constitute an immense challenge. The goal of this conference is to provide a science arena where to discuss the state of the art of our knowledge on all these topics and in building a unified research agenda across the full range of oceanographic disciplines.

This EUR-OCEANS Consortium 2011 Conference takes a multi-disciplinary view of the problem. Oral sessions will consist of invited speakers, all very active leaders in their fields, and will mix scientists from different disciplines within the sessions. All other presentations will take place in poster sessions. Participants are very much encouraged to present their work in the form of posters. The structure of the conference will allow for formal discussion sessions in the mornings and afternoons and informal networking and discussions in the evenings. Number of participants is limited (around 70 persons). Some grants will be available for PhD and post-doc participants.

Conference group picture. (More pictures available as attachments below).

Steering Committee (confirmed members as of 8 Nov. 2010)

  • Véronique Garçon, Aurélien Paulmier, Boris Dewitte, LEGOS, Toulouse, France
  • Hervé Claustre, LOV, Villefranche sur Mer, France
  • Nicolas Gruber, IBP, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • Gaute Lavik, MPI Microbiology, Bremen, Germany
  • Lothar Stramma, IFM-GEOMAR, Kiel, Germany
  • Francisco Chavez, MBARI, USA
  • Michelle Graco, IMARPE, Peru
  • Carol Robinson, UEA, UK
  • S. W. A. Naqvi, NIO, Goa, India

Board (confirmed members as of 8 Nov. 2010)

  • Aurélien Paulmier, Boris Dewitte, Véronique Garçon, LEGOS, Toulouse, France
  • Hervé Claustre, LOV, Villefranche sur Mer, France
  • Carol Robinson, UEA, UK,
  • Francisco Chavez, MBARI, USA

List of speakers (final, 7 April 2011)

  • Arnaud BERTRAND, France
  • Laurent BOPP, France
  • Jose CARRIQUIRY, Mexico
  • Francisco CHAVEZ, USA
  • Hervé CLAUSTRE, France
  • Peter CROOT, UK
  • Minhai DAI, China
  • Vincent ECHEVIN, France
  • Jaime FARBER-LORDA, Mexico
  • Denis GILBERT, Canada
  • Michelle GRACO, Peru
  • Nicolas GRUBER, Switzerland
  • Dimitri GUTIERREZ, Peru
  • Samuel HORMAZABAL, Chile
  • Marcel KUYPERS, Germany
  • Louis LEGENDRE, France
  • Lisa LEVIN, USA
  • Helmut MASKE, Mexico
  • Pedro MONTEIRO, South Africa
  • Wajih NAQVI, India
  • Andreas OSCHLIES, Germany
  • Edward PELTZER, USA
  • Peter REVBESCH, Denmark
  • Carol ROBINSON, UK
  • Diana RUIZ-PINO, France
  • Brad SEIBEL, USA
  • Lothar STRAMMA, Germany
  • Ken TAKAHASHI, Peru
  • Karen WHISNER, USA

Scientific themes of the Conference

  • Oxygen distribution and physical and biogeochemical controls
  • Challenges of model parameterizations and predictions of O2 changes
  • The past ocean: what can we learn from episodic widespread anoxia throughout the Earth’s history?
  • The present ocean :
    • Increase of coastal hypoxia
    • Interplay between acidification and deoxygenation, implication on marine biogeochemical cycling of nitrogen, carbon, phosphorus, silicon, etc..
    • Oxygen Minimum Zones and greenhouse gases
    • Change in ocean circulation and mixing and its impact on O2 distribution, exchange between coastal and open ocean water mass properties
    • Getting into the realm of the microbial activity: a functional genomic approach
  • Towards new biogeochemical microsensors and networks (in situ and satellite observations; experimentations) for marine biogeochemical cycling

Each oral presentation should include a review of the state of the art, including the very recent published work and a perspective on future work to be carried out. 15 minutes should be allowed for questions and discussion.


>> Download conference booklet (July 2011; includes abstracts and list of participants)

Registration, abstract submission, timeline, practical information and contacts (revised 27/04)

Registration fees are 350 € per participant. These fees cover: 4 nights of hotel (breakfast included) for Sunday 23, Monday 24,Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26); lunches on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; Conference Dinner on Tuesday 25; bus transportation between hotel to Conference center, and conference facilities.

Registration.   Registration (at and abstract submission are now closed. If you pre-registered before the deadline you will receive an email asking you to confirm your registration, to proceed to payment. Contact person: Paule Dossi at : paule.dossi [at]

Abstract submission.   Abstract should be in plain text and contain less than 3000 characters (space included), and they should be transmitted as an attached file ( .doc or .pdf). Abstracts will be considered only when registration will be paid.

Abstract submission and registration closed on: 30 April 2011.

Venue: Mas des Cannelles, Toulouse, France - 24-26 October 2011.

Practical information: to follow soon.


  • Véronique Garçon: veronique.garcon [at]
  • Aurelien Paulmier: aurelien.paulmier [at]
  • Boris Dewitte: boris.dewitte [at]


Main sponsors:

  • IRD

Additional support:

  • Académie des Sciences
  • OMP
  • the French embassy in Washington DC (USA)
  • both international projects IMBER and SOLAS.

Note on EO funding: EUR-OCEANS funding (30 k€) for this conference is drawn on budget remnants of the former Network of Excellence, which the former NoE leaders kindly offered to use for a EUR-OCEANS Conference. This conference project was approved as a EUR-OCEANS Conference on 21 Sept. 2010 upon a decision of the EUR-OCEANS Executive Committee informed by an external review process.


Please refer to the attached conference report.

Planned outputs:

  • A special issue in the European journal Biogeosciences on the low O2 environment
  • ASLO e-Lecture on the conference topics are planned.


  • tight scientific exchanges, towards
  • an international coordination (objective, approach) for observations (e.g. O2), experiments (e.g. protocols) and modeling efforts (e.g. numerical tools) and inter-comparisons of the major OMZs systems.

Note: A EUR-OCEANS flagship on "Ocean deoxygenation in Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems"  prolongs the conference.


Activity leader(s): 
Véronique GARCON, Aurélien PAULMIER, Boris DEWITTE (LEGOS, Toulouse, France)
Mas des Cannelles, Toulouse, France
Financial support: 
This EUR-OCEANS conference is also funded by IRD and CNRS-INSU. Additional support was received from Académie des Sciences, LEGOS, OMP, the French embassy in Washington DC (USA), and both international projects IMBER and SOLAS.
Start date: 
End date: 
Registration deadline: 

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