DMS professor George McManus chairs new SCOR working group

The Department of Marine Sciences is proud to announce that Prof. George McManus will co-chair a new SCOR working group titled

Mixotrophy in the Oceans – Novel Experimental designs and Tools for a new trophic paradigm (MixONET) [link to:]

The new working group has 4 broad objectives:

1. Biological oceanography databases and the mixoplankton paradigm: Advocate for the realignment of existing plankton-facing databases in light of the mixoplankton paradigm. Identify connections between mixoplankton communities and essential ocean variables.

2. Biological oceanography research methods under the mixoplankton paradigm: Re-evaluate extant standard biological oceanographic research methods and practices for application under the mixoplankton paradigm. For example, conventional fixatives often destroy the delicate mixoplankton, while more gentle ones obscure the presence of chloroplasts. Also, pico- and nano-planktonic organisms are routinely counted using flow cytometry or epifluorescence microscopy; while standard protocols can discriminate between pigmented and colourless plankton, they are not geared for identification and quantification of mixoplankton.

3. Development of new biological oceanography methods accounting for primary and secondary productions by mixoplankton: Evaluate development of (a) routine new methods and simple protocols that could be incorporated routinely in ongoing monitoring programmes to better quantify mixoplankton and interpret their activities; and (b) new experimental and observing methods (including autonomous technologies) for quantifying and monitoring mixoplanktonic abundance and activity.

4. Ocean literacy: Development of multi-lingual training material for Early Career Researchers (ECRs), ecosystem managers, teachers and students, to enhance ocean literacy. The mixoplankton paradigm needs to be brought to the attention of students through to policy makers. A Decision Support Tool (DST) will be developed to aid configuration of mixoplankton-centric experiments to determine contributions to primary versus secondary production by these organisms.

The other co-Chair is Dr. Aditee Mitra of Cardiff University in Wales.

SCOR (Scientific Committee on Ocean Research) is an international non-governmental non-profit organization. It’s activities focus on promoting international cooperation in planning and conducting oceanographic research, and solving methodological and conceptual problems that hinder research. SCOR covers all areas of ocean science and cooperates with other organizations with common interests to conduct many SCOR activities. SCOR also conducts several different activities to build the capacity for ocean science in developing countries and every SCOR activity includes members from developing countries. Scientists from thirty-three nations have formed national SCOR committees as a foundation for international SCOR. Approximately 550 scientists from 57 countries currently participate in SCOR activities.