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Benguela Symposium 2016

Scientific Programme & Sessions

Programme and Symposium Guide Available Here.

Pre-Symposium Workshop Programme Available Here.

This is a single session symposium. The simplicity of having no parallel sessions opens opportunities to engage with all presentations. Stretch your disciplinary and interdisciplinary boundaries.

The Benguela has potential to be one of the first places where future changes may be visible (warming, expansions of hypoxic and anoxic water masses and movement patterns and/or changes in trophic relationships etc.).


Selected papers from the symposium will be published in a special issue of the Journal of Marine Systems. Submission deadline for these papers is 18 November 2016.

If your contribution has been accepted as an oral or poster for presentation at the Benguela Symposium, you are invited to submit the work as a paper for consideration in the special issue. A collection of 20-30 papers will be selected that address the Symposium topic: Benguela: Opportunity, Challenge and Change, for publication as a special issue in the Journal of Marine Systems.

The online submission system is not quite ready to accept manuscripts for our "Special Issue: Benguela Symposium 2016" until next week. We have thus extended the submission deadline to Friday 6 January 2017 (given we are now entering summer holidays for many Southern Africans).

Keynote Speakers:

Prof. Shin-ichi Ito

A/Prof. John Compton

Dr William Seydeman

Dr Yunne Shin

Dr Serge Raemaekers

Session 1 – Upwelling systems as natural laboratories for global change: Environmental conditions

Upwelling systems could serve as natural laboratories for studies on the effects of these stressors. The current or natural environmental conditions in the Benguela system (and other coastal upwelling systems) with regard to ocean acidification, ocean deoxygenation (hypoxia), and eutrophication already now exceed most of the future scenarios predicted for other parts of the world ocean under global change. What we learn from events in the Benguela and how remotely-driven environmental changes affect organisms and interactions between them, can provide insight into links between biotic and abiotic elements.

Session 2 – Upwelling systems as natural laboratories for global change: Biological implications – Ecology and life histories in changing environments

This session focusses on ecology and life histories in changing Benguela environments. Contributions are invited on exploited and non-exploited marine species and how they are coping with / adapting to change. The session will include marine invasives which are changing (and/or taking advantage of) changed marine ecosystems in the Benguela.

Session 3 – Modelling the full food web of the Benguela and other upwelling systems

This session focusses on multidisciplinary approaches (data collection, data analyses, and modelling) in the region, from primary production to fisheries and top predators. Contributions are encouraged that include coupling of pelagic, epipelagic , mesopelagic and benthic organisms to understand food web dynamics in eastern boundary upwelling ecosystems, particularly in the Benguela. The session encompasses modelling studies examining biological drivers of Benguela ecosystem change, as well as studies on cycling of carbon and nutrients, functioning of the biological pump, and the role of the Benguela upwelling system in global biogeochemical cycles.

Session 4 – Challenges of living in the Benguela upwelling region

This session focusses on the challenges posed by the dynamic and changing environments (physical, chemical, habitat) in the Benguela, including physical forcing under climate change.Topics include shelf circulation dynamics and connection with the open ocean, inner-shelf dynamics, harmful algal blooms, hypoxia, etc., extending to implications of these potential changes in physical forcing for primary production.  Contributions on basin scale and local atmospheric forcing are welcome.

Session 5 – Managing human activities in the Benguela: learning to appreciate conflicting objectives

How can conservation, and human social and economic needs be balanced in the Benguela and comparable systems, including under changing environments?

This session will include novel approaches/frameworks for balancing conflicting objectives. Contributions are encouraged that provide working examples (specific case studies). For example, predator responses to fisheries may underpin tradeoffs between conservation and fisheries management approaches.    Another case study could be management of exploitation of non-living marine resources under an ecosystem approach.

Session 6 – Understanding change, socio-ecological vulnerability and adaptation in coastal fishing communities

This session covers different types of vulnerability assessments, studies on local knowledge and perceptions of change, drivers of adaptation, as well as historic, current and future adaptation strategies. Presentations that cover local ecological knowledge, participatory research and adaptation planning with coastal communities, as well as lessons learned from adaptation projects are also invited.