Prof. Robert Poulin
Zoology Dept, University of Otago, New Zealand
Originally from Canada, Robert obtained degrees from McGill University and Laval University, before joining the University of Otago in 1992. He has since established a research programme in parasite ecology and evolution with three main goals: (i) exploring large-scale patterns and processes in parasite biodiversity and biogeography; (ii) quantifying how parasites interact with climate change to affect diversity and food web stability in aquatic ecosystems; (iii) testing the role of parasite microbiomes in shaping host-parasite interactions. Robert was awarded Otago University’s Distinguished Research Medal (2013), the Hutton Medal from the Royal Society of New Zealand (2011), the Wardle Medal from the Canadian Society of Zoologists (2007), and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2001.
Professor Madeleine van Oppen
Professor Madeleine van Oppen is an ecological geneticist with an interest in microbial symbioses and climate change adaptation of reef corals. Her work has been published in >200 peer reviewed papers and book chapters. Her early career focused on evolutionary and population genetics of algae and fish, and subsequently corals. She obtained a PhD in the molecular ecology of macroalgae in 1995 (U Groningen, Netherlands) and is currently an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow with part positions at the University of Melbourne and the Australian Institute of Marine Science. Her team is using bioengineering approaches aimed at increasing coral climate resilience and the likelihood that coral reefs will survive this century. These interventions include coral host hybridisation and conditioning, bacterial probiotics and directed evolution of microalgal symbionts.
Moriaki Yasuhara is an associate professor of environmental science in the School of Biological Sciences and the Swire Institute of Marine Science at the University of Hong Kong. He has broad interests in integrating organismal biology (ecology and evolutionary biology), paleontology, and paleoceanography/paleoclimatology, especially by using highly resolved micropalaeontological records. His recent research has focused on the spatio-temporal dynamics of large-scale biodiversity patterns, the impact of climate on species diversity, and the controlling factor(s) of biodiversity pattern/change in deep-sea, shallow-marine and pelagic ecosystems. He is also interested in microfossil-based conservation palaeobiology and palaeontology of the Ostracoda in general.
Dean of the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California
Steve Gaines is Dean of the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a marine ecologist who seeks conservation solutions by linking innovations in ocean science to more effective marine policy and management. He has over 260 publications, including 4 books. His science explores the design of marine reserve networks, climate change impacts on ocean ecosystems, sustainable fisheries management using market based reforms, and the role of aquaculture in meeting the future demand for food. In each of these science endeavors, he has been a strong promotor of more effective communication of ocean science to enhance its impact, and he has championed the power of interdisciplinary teams to tackle environmental challenges in novel ways.
Steve holds a PhD from Oregon State University. He has been awarded a Pew Fellowship, the inaugural Marc Hirshman Award for excellence in student mentoring, a fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science, and the Peter Benchley Prize for Ocean Science. His collaborative work on sustainable fisheries was named a top scientific contribution of 2008 by the journal Nature.