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Scientists gather in New Zealand to share oceans' secrets

Two hundred of the worlds leading marine biologists will gather in Auckland from 14-16 November to share the latest insights on marine life from the poles to the tropics. This major meeting of a global marine biology research programme, the Census of Marine Life, is being jointly hosted by the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA) and the University of Auckland.

The Census of Marine Life is a ten-year initiative to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of marine life in the oceans past, present, and future. Ending in 2010, the Census involves a growing global network of nearly 2000 researchers in more than 80 nations, making it the largest ever global scale marine biology research programme.

The Census of Marine Life has discovered more than 5,300 new, undescribed marine animals since 2003. Of these 5,300+, 110 have gone through the rigorous scientific review process required for designation as a new speciesa process that can often take years. Collectively, the Census is discovering new species at a much faster rate than the capacity to describe them.

Leaders from all 17 Census projects will present the latest discoveries on marine ecosystems, ranging from hydrothermal vents to ice oceans, and organisms ranging from viruses to great white sharks. Such a gathering happens only once every two years.

The meeting will be launched with a public symposium on Wednesday 14 November. This will focus on Census projects relating to Australasia, the Pacific, and Antarctica. Scientists will be available for interviews on the 14th and on other days by arrangement.


Contact: Emma Timewell
Census of Marine Life

Page: 1

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