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Symposium 2010: Fish and Climate Change, Queen's University, Belfast, UK 26-30 July

Fish are of interest to both scientists and the public. Fish are the dominant extant vertebrate group, and feed a large proportion of the global human population. Fish inhabit, and often dominate a staggering range of aquatic ecosystems e.g. from high-altitude lakes, desert springs to deep oceanic trenches, and display an extraordinary diversity of physiological, morphological, behavioural and life history adaptations to the conditions they encounter. Increasingly, researchers are recognising associations between climatic and biological variation in a range of fishes. Climatic fluctuations influence the physiology and ecology of individual fish, and this in turn can shape intra- and interspecific interactions, subsequently affecting population dynamics, community stability and, ultimately, the biogeography of fishes. Although environmental change is a characteristic feature of life on Earth and has strongly influenced the evolution and global distribution of biodiversity, predicted future rates of climatic change are such that they will exceed any that have occurred over recent geological time. Changes in climate are predicted to affect fish at all levels of biological organisation: cellular, individual, population, species, community and ecosystem, influencing physiological and ecological processes in a number of direct, indirect and complex ways. However, there is a general lack of detailed information on such processes that may be limiting our ability to predict the consequences of climate change for fishes.

Reflecting this problem, and the clear requirement for a discussion of the likely impacts of climate change on the biology, management and exploitation of fish, the Fisheries Society of the British Isles (in conjunction with the American Fisheries Society & the Japanese Society of Fisheries Science) invite you to the first international symposium to examine Fish and Climate Change.


We are interested in maximising interactions between fish biologists of all disciplines and backgrounds, including those working in fresh and saline waters. As such, the meeting will examine the influence of climate change on fish at different levels of biological organisation. Sessions will be organised to examine the role of climate change on the biology of fish at the genetic, cellular, individual, population, community and ecosystem levels. As such, we envisage this to be a meeting where a wide variety of fish biologists (e.g. ecologists, fisheries biologists, physiologists and geneticists) can meet to present and discuss the issues of climate change effects on fish so as to develop a synthesis across scales and levels of biological organisation. We also hope it will help foster new collaborations that further progress the field of Fish and Climate Change.

Invited speakers:

Jack Jones Memorial Lecture:

John Magnuson, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Keynote speakers:

Keith Brander (Danish Institute of Aquatic Resources)
Malcolm Elliott (Freshwater Biological Association)
Hans Pörtner (Alfred Wegner Institute)
Nils Christian Stenseth (University of Oslo)



Chris Harrod (Queen’s University, Belfast)
David Sims (Marine Biological Association, Plymouth)

Local Organising Committee

Colin Bean (Scottish Natural Heritage)
Douglas Beard (US Geological Survey & American Fisheries Society)
Joe Carey (Central Fisheries Board)
David Righton (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science)
Shugo Watabe (University of Tokyo & Japanese Society of Fisheriesv Scientists)