Researchers from the DFG Priority Programme “Tropical Climate Variability & Coral Reefs” (SPP 2299) met in Bremen over the week of the 30th of May to the 2nd of June. The topical meeting was focused on thermal stress signatures in the geochemistry of coral skeletons and the role of temperature variability in corals susceptibility to bleaching. The Bremen coordination team welcomed 50 colleagues from the 15 partner institutions participating in the programme, also welcoming several invited international guests. The topical meeting, as a programme with the DFG, was also joined by DFG Programme Officer Ismene Seeberg-Elverfeldt.
During the topical meeting, there were several featured keynote speakers including;
- Juan Pablo D’Olivo (Freie Universität Berlin) focusing in on ‘ thermal stress signatures in coral geochemical records’ and talked about some of his pioneering work in this field,
- Tom DeCarlo (Hawai’i Pacific University) on ‘Reading the histories recorded by long-lived corals: from climate information to physiological responses’,
- Christian Wild (University of Bremen) talking about the ‘functions of coral reefs under environmental change’ and the work that his lab at the University of Bremen is focused on,
- Iliana Baums (HIFMB, University of Oldenburg) talking about ‘how corals adapt to climate change’.
Another exciting feature of the first topical meeting was the international early career researchers who were invited to give talks at the meeting;
- Linda Van Garderen (Hereon, Geesthacht) talked about ‘attributing extreme weather events and mean climate change using dynamical and event storylines,
- Ana Samperiz (Cardiff University) talking about ‘overcoming growth effects in Fijian massive Porites spp. for the application of trace element paleothermometry’,
- Hedwig Krawczyk (University of Leicester) discussing ‘thermal stress indications in coral proxy records from northwest Australia’.
The meeting concluded with a workshop for the early career researchers within the programme focusing on unconscious bias within scientific workplaces, provided by Cassandra Ellerbe.
The Priority Programme (SPP 2299) has been running since last year, with the first phase of the programme coordinated by Thomas Felis from MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen. The second phase of the programme will be coordinated by Miriam Pfeiffer from Kiel University (CAU). The goal of the programme is to improve the understanding of tropical marine climate variability and its impact on coral reef ecosystems in a warming world. To develop this understanding, projects associated with the programme are focused on quantifying climate and environmental changes during both the current warming and during past warm periods on time scales relevant to society.