BioGeoSCAPES Newsletter - January 2023

Dear BioGeoSCAPES community,

Our last newsletter was about nine months ago, but we have continued to communicate ongoing BioGeoSCAPES activities in our website (https://www.biogeoscapes.org/). In the last year, there were various efforts to acquire funding to coordinate the upcoming BioGeoSCAPES program at an international level. We are excited to tell you that BioGeoSCAPES was recently awarded a US National Science Foundation Accel-Net award to contribute to the development and launch of the international BioGeoSCAPES program. We are hoping to launch the program in 2025/2026.

The Accel-Net program focuses on the acceleration of international networks to “tackle grand research challenges that require significant coordinated international efforts”. The 5-year project will support four international workshops: 1) science planning, 2) intercalibration review and assessment, 3) informatics and data management, and 4) integration with modeling, to help with BioGeoSCAPES program development. Extensive educational activities are also planned, including BioGeoSCAPES summer schools and inter-laboratory exchanges for early career researchers.

The Accel-Net program does not directly fund scientific research activities, but instead focuses on these critical international networking efforts. Improvements to the BioGeoSCAPES website and newsletter communications are also planned. Webinars will begin at the end of January 2023 as pre-work preparation for the workshops. Among other activities, we are also planning the 1st International Science Plan Meeting workshop in the fall of 2023 in Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Falmouth, Massachusetts, US). In preparation for this, we are asking all nations that would like to be involved to complete their National Planning Workshops. National Planning Workshops have occurred in Japan, the UK, Canada, China, the US and France.

Upcoming activities and events:

  • WEBINAR Series - Organizing Intercalibration Efforts for BioGeoSCAPES: a Panel Discussion January 25 @ 11am-1pm EST
    Overview: Producing data that can be effectively compared across space and time is a critical aspect to developing an international microbial biogeochemistry collaborative program. Intercalibration activities, involving validation of precision and accuracy and the development of intercomparison standards, are foundational to the production of interoperable data. With BioGeoSCAPES aiming to launch mid-decade further progress must be made to ensure high quality data collection. This virtual panel will hear perspectives from a variety of communities (nucleic acids, metabolomics, proteomics, rates) and encourage brainstorming through small group discussions. This panel discussion initiates the pre-work effort building towards an eventual in person BioGeoSCAPES workshop in the coming years. Here is registration link.

  • The Netherlands National workshop is occurring at the end of February, organized by Rob Middag and Susanne Wilken.
  • 2nd Canada National Workshop: May 1-2, Halifax, organized by and Erin Bertrand and Maite Maldonado.

Ongoing Intercalibration and standardization efforts

  • An OCB Ocean Nucleic Acids ‘omics Intercalibration and Standardization Workshop occurred in January of 2020. The workshop report provides an overview of the current status of nucleic acid ‘omics approaches and proposes future activities towards community intercalibration and standardization efforts.
  • An Ocean Metaproteomic Intercomparison Workshop occurred in September of 2021, sponsored by the US Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry office. The workshop examined the results of the first ocean metaproteomic intercomparison, using samples from the North Atlantic. A total of 16 laboratories participated in the study: 9 in the wet-lab component and 9 in the informatic component, with some labs participating in both activities. The results demonstrated reproducible protein identifications and quantitation, and a manuscript of the results is being prepared for publication. Future metaproteomic intercalibration efforts will be planned as a follow-up.

Past Events:

Meetings

  • The US National BioGeoSCAPES Workshop report was released in January of 2023
  • The international Royal Society Marine Microbes in a Changing Climate meeting occurred Sept 12-13 2022, organized by A. Tagliabue, T. Mock, J.Robidart, P. Sanchez-Baracaldo.
  • 6-8 Sept 2022, Challenger 150: The Challenger Society Conference 2022 in London included several BioGeoSCAPES presentations.
  • A Pan-European workshop, EU 2022 Euromarine, to further foster BioGeoSCAPES collaborations, occurred in June of 2022 in Zagreb, Croatia. Organized by Martha Gledhill (GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research) and Sandi Orlic (Institut Ruđer Bošković, Zagreb, Croatia). For further details contact Martha Gledhill (mgledhill@geomar.de)
  • BioGeoSCAPES had a major presence at the 2022 Ocean Sciences Meeting Virtual Meeting, February 24 - March 4, 2022, with 44 submissions distributed into 5 sessions and 80-100 participants attending each session. The session was titled: “Towards BioGeoSCAPES: Linking cellular metabolism with ocean biogeochemistry” under the topic Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry.

Cruises with a BioGeoSCAPES-like mission, aiming to elucidate the coupling between microbial ecology and functionality with nutrient cycles:

Completed cruises:

  • INDIA: CSIR-NIO, lndian Ocean, Mapping the Genomes, 90 days, March-May 2021; ~ 30 scientists, RV Sindhu Sadhana; (Sunil Kumar Singh)
  • INTERNATIONAL: Tara Oceans mission microbiomes was completed. For nearly two years the laboratory-ship Tara travelled along the coasts of S. America, into the Weddell Sea and up the coast of west Africa. Overseen by the European AtlantECO program alongside the Foundation Tara Ocean, with scientific partners including the CNRS, CEA and EMBL, this mission involves 42 research structures across the world in studying the benefits of the ocean microbiome and its interactions with the climate and pollution.
  • FRANCE: Swings cruise completed: collected samples for abundance of heterotrophic and autotrophic prokaryotes and pico- and nano-eukaryotes (flow cytometry), prokaryotic diversity, metatranscriptomics and metaproteomics

Planned cruises:

  • JAPAN: June 2023, part of GEOTRACES GP22, PI: Hajime Obata in the NW Pacific (Leg 1 and 2 completed, Leg 3, June 2023)
  • TAIWAN: August 2023 (lead PI: Haojia Ren, National Taiwan University). Tung-Yuan and Chuan Ku: temporal variation on community structure of phytoplankton and interactions with microbes-phytoplankton
  • AUSTRALIA: Jan-Feb 2024: Multidisciplinary Investigations of the Southern Ocean (MISO): Linking physics, biogeochemistry, plankton, aerosols, clouds, and climate” proposal for shiptime on the RV Investigator (Phil Boyd)
  • SOUTH AFRICA: SAPRI, submitted to the South African Research Infrastructure program, Dept. Science and Innovation (Daniel Adams)

Science workshops

We are planning to have the 1st International Science Plan Meeting workshop this Fall (2023) in Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Falmouth, Massachusetts, US). In preparation for this, we are asking all nations, that would like to be involved, to complete their National Planning Workshops. In these national workshops, we encourage you to discuss the following questions:

1) Thoughts on preliminary BioGeoSCAPES Mission statement this? How could this be improved? “To improve our understanding of the functioning and regulation of ocean metabolism and its interaction with nutrient cycling within the context of a hierarchical seascape perspective”.

2) How would your nation best contribute to BioGeoSCAPES efforts? – e.g. fieldwork, laboratory work, modelling, intercalibration efforts, project coordination, data management, bioinformatics

3) What science questions are most important to your nation within the broad scope of BioGeoSCAPES on a 10-year timeframe?

4) Are there any impediments that the international community could seek to mitigate via training or collaboration?

After your workshop, we would like to request a 2-page summary report answering the questions above. If you have any questions, please contact Maite Maldonado (mmaldonado@eoas.ubc.ca) In addition to the website (www.biogeoscapes.org), BioGeoSCAPES related science is being promoted on social media through the Twitter account “@BioGeoSCAPES”. If you have any highlights for the Twitter feed, please share them with us. If you would like to get involved in BioGeoSCAPES activities, please contact your country’s ambassador listed at the link above, or one of us. If your country is not listed and you wish to be added as a representative, please contact us (Mak, Alessandro or Maite).

Thanks for showing interest in BioGeoSCAPES!

On behalf of BioGeoSCAPES consortium and Accel-Net

biogeoscapes