Annual Science Meeting held in York
Published: 16 February 2017
MERP held its Annual Science Meeting (ASM) in York on 4-6 October 2016. As the programme is approximately at its half-way point, there was a clear shift in emphasis compared to previous ASMs, from discussions of work to be done and how to do it to presentations of results and plans for work to be delivered by the end of the programme. This was also reflected in the overarching theme of the meeting, which was to promote thoughts within the consortium about how to enhance and promote the overall impact of our work. The meeting including members of the Programme and Stakeholder Advisory Groups to provide feedback and advice on enhancing impact and delivery of the programme.
The ASM also included an important integrating session between MERP and another NERC programme, Biodiversity Ecosystem Service Sustainability (BESS). The aim was to compare approaches to ecosystem services science in marine (MERP), terrestrial and aquatic (BESS) systems, and the session was led by Prof. Raffaelli, the co-ordinator of BESS, with lively discussions based around presentations from PIs within the BESS programme. Phil Williamson (science co-ordinator of other NERC programmes SSB and OA) was also in attendance.
The second day began with a session on maximising MERP impact, which included feedback from stakeholders. This led to widespread and sometimes passionate discussion, and set the scene for the science presentations taking up the rest of the day. The covered highlights and results from across the programme ranged from the decomposition of seaweed to predation pressure of seabirds, from sizes of worms to distributions of whales, and from analyses of data to ensembles of models.
Thanks to everyone in the consortium and external stakeholders who attended for making this another dynamic and successful MERP ASM.