Biodiversity, Ecology, and the Biological Carbon Pump in the Ocean Twilight Zone

A sustainable future in the face of human exploitation and climate change.

September 13-20, 2023

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will be hosting this international mesopelagic conference in collaboration with JETZON. Please note, these sessions will run from 9:00-5:00, including the last day Wednesday the 20th.

WHOI Guest Wifi PW: science7997


There will be two main plenary sessions

Session 1 will focus on how we determine biomass in the mesopelagic, looking at the architecture of mesopelagic food webs, and understanding diel vertical migration.

  1. What is the biomass and distribution of the mesopelagic: how do we know? Who are the major contributors to biomass? How is biomass distributed?
  2. Diel vertical migration and biodiversity: who's migrating, how often, how does this change seasonally, annually?
  3. Food web architecture: what fuels the mesopelagic biomass, how are the epipelagic and mesopelagic connected, what are the predator prey relationships?

Session 2 will focus on the biological carbon pump, seeking to establish a benchmark figure for its magnitude now and to understand how it may change in the future.

  1. How large are the fluxes due to gravitational sinking and how well do we understand its drivers to predict their future magnitude?
  2. How significant is the transport of organic carbon to depth due to the physical circulation and how will anticipated changes in properties such as stratification affect this?
  3. How significant are the carbon fluxes associated with the vertical migration of organisms and how will these respond to changes in temperature and oxygen?
  4. What biogeochemical constraints are there on the magnitude of the biological carbon pump and what do they tell us about its future strength?

Symposium Sponsors

This conference is possible with generous support from WHOI’s Ocean Twilight Zone project, the NERC CUSTARD project, and the Grantham Foundation.

Plenary sessions of the conference will be streamed live for those not able to attend in person. Please register with the links above.

Conference details

COVID Protocols

While COVID restrictions have been lifted, we are keeping everyone's safety concerns and comfort levels in mind. Please feel free to bring and wear masks. All meals will be outside under the tent. Please be in touch if you have health and safety concerns.