The Madingley model and questions of abstraction and scale

Madingley is a global computational model. To a broad approximation, the Madingley model represents all (most) forms of life. It achieves this by using what’s called a functional-type representation. Species are aggregated in to broad categories that describe a select number of their properties, rather than everything about them. For some, this conceptual leap is too much. Why take a step towards representing all life, but miss the explicit inclusion of species? The answer lies in making the best of human knowledge, and balancing computational expense.

International Conference on Scenarios and Models of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Support of Decision Making

Nereus Director of Science William Cheung was a plenary speaker at the ‘International Conference on Scenarios and Models of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Support of Decision-Making’. He discussed the linking of models and scenarios for marine biodiversity and ecosystems to support policies at regional to global scales. Nereus Fellow at UBC Muhammed Oyinlola presented a poster on his project on developing models and scenarios for the future of global mariculture under global change.

Sustainable management of the high seas could recoup fish stock losses due to climate change

Closing the high seas to fishing could increase fish catches in coastal waters by 10%, compensating for expected losses due to climate change, finds a new Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program study published in Fish and Fisheries.

The high seas are those areas of the ocean outside the jurisdiction of countries; the high seas cover nearly two thirds of the ocean’s surface. These results could be seen by 2050 relative to 2000 and cooperatively managing the high seas fisheries would have similar effects.

Biomass modeling and transfer efficiency: Mathieu Colléter completes fellowship

Biomass is the mass of organisms in an ecosystem or community; it is thought of in terms of energy for the next trophic level – the higher chain in the food web. For example, the biomass of plankton, which may be eaten by herring, which may be eaten by tuna. Mathieu Colléter recently completed his Nereus Program fellowship at UBC. The focus of his study was on ecosystem modeling and, more particularly, work on biomass estimates for the world ocean using ecosystem models.

Sources of uncertainties in 21st century projections of potential ocean ecosystem stressors

The ocean has provided incredible services for us — taking up 28% of carbon emissions since preindustrial levels and absorbing 93% of the Earth’s excess heat since the 1970s — but because of this, it is undergoing changes. In order to manage ocean ecosystems and resources in the future, we must begin to understand what those changes may look like using climate change impact projections.

Improving Species Distribution Models: Laurens Geffert completes PhD

“I wanted to look at contemporary species distributions, arguing that we have so little data and know so little about the distribution of a lot of species that the logical first step is to look at the contemporary distribution,” says Laurens Geffert, Nereus Fellow at Cambridge/UNEP-WCMC. “Obviously all the distributions that I’ve introduced could be used now in predicting the future under different climate scenarios.”

Friends of Madingley Symposium

Nereus Fellow Phil Underwood (Cambridge/UNEP-WCMC) gave a presentation at the Friends of Madingley Symposium on May 6th at the David Attenborough Building at the University of Cambridge, which aimed to bring together the community of researchers working on the Madingley Model and to discuss the latest advancements.

Ryan Rykaczewski participates in The School on Ocean Climate Modelling

Ryan Rykaczewski, Nereus Program alumnus and assistant professor at the University of South Carolina, recently participated in the “School on Ocean Climate Modeling: Physical and Biogeochemical Dynamics of Semi-Enclosed Seas” in Ankara, Turkey, from September 28 to October 1, as an invited expert on upwelling ecosystems. Additionally, Ryan participated in a CLIVAR workshop on upwelling from October 2 to 3 in Ankara.

Nereus members published on the Ecopath with Ecosim modeling approach

“Global overview of the applications of the Ecopath with Ecosim modeling approach using the EcoBase models repository” has been published in Ecological Modelling by Mathieu Colléter, Nereus Fellow (UBC), Audrey Valls, 2011-2014 Junior Research Fellow (UBC), and Daniel Pauly, Chair of the Nereus Steering Committee and a member of the Advisory Board.