SCOR/IGBP Working Group 138
Modern Planktic Foraminifera and Ocean Changes

Co-chairs: Gerald Ganssen (The Netherlands) and Michal Kucera (Germany)

Other Full Members: Jelle Bijma (Germany), Jonathan Erez (Israel), Elena Ivanova (Russia), Margarita Marchant (Chile), Divakar Naidu (India), Daniela Schmidt (UK), Howard Spero (USA), Richard Zeebe (USA)

Associate Members: Caroline Cleroux (USA/France), Kate Darling (UK), Lennart de Nooijer (The Netherlands), Steve Eggins (Australia), Baerbel Hoenisch (USA), Sangmin Hyun (Korea), Zhimin Jian (China-Beijing), Thorsten Kiefer (Switzerland). Dirk Kroon (UK), Stefan Mulitza (Germany), Frank Peeters (The Netherlands), Michael Schulz (Germany), Kazuyo Tachikawa (France). Rashieda Toefy (South Africa), and Jaroslaw Tyszka (Poland)

Terms of Reference

  1. Synthesize the state of the science of modern planktic foraminifera, from pioneering to ongoing research including
  • their spatial and temporal distribution in the world ocean
  • their calcification mechanisms and shell chemistry
  • and their eco-phenotypical and genotypical variability

        as a peer-reviewed publication in an open-access journal (deliverable 1).

  1. Provide guidelines (cookbooks) in terms of species identification, experimental setup for culture studies, laboratory treatment prior to geochemical analysis (deliverable 2) by identifying existing gaps in the available knowledge in order to direct future research.

  2. Establish an active Web-based network in cooperation with ongoing (inter)national research programmes and projects to guarantee an open-access world-wide dissemination of results, data and research plans (deliverable 3).

  3. Document the work of the group in a special issue of  an open-access journal (deliverable 5) in connection with a specialized symposium with special emphasis on modern ocean change i.e. thermohaline circulation and ocean acidification, during one of the AGU or EGU conferences, ideally held at the joint EGU/AGU meeting (envisaged for 2013 or 2014) and/or at the FORAMS 2014 meeting in Chile (deliverable 4).

Approved: September 2010

Financial Sponsors: NSF, SCOR, IGBP


#1: 29 August- 2 September 2011 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
#2: 19-22 June 2013 in Prague, Czech Republic
#3: 26 June 2014 in Texel, The Netherlands
#4: 30 August-4 Sept. 2015 on Catalina Island, California, USA

Videos: A Foram's Tale and

Group Web site


  • Morard, R., K.F. Darling, F. Mahe, S. Audic, Y. Ujiie, A.K.M Weiner, A. Andre, H.A. Seears, C.M. Wade, F. Quillevere, C.J. Douady, G. Escarguel, T. de Garidel-Thoron, M. Siccha, M. Kucera, and C. de Vargas. 2015. PFR2: a curated database of planktonic foraminifera 18S ribosomal DNA as a resource for studies of plankton ecology, biogeography and evolution. Molecular Ecology Resources 15(6):1472-1485.
  • Morard, R., G Escarguel, A.K.M. Weiner, A. Andre, C.J. Douady, C.M. Wade, K.F. Darling, Y. Ujiie, H.A. Seears, F. Quillevere, T. de Garidel-Thoron, C. de Vargas, and M. Kucera. 2016. Nomenclature for the Nameless: A Proposal for an Integrative Molecular Taxonomy of Cryptic Diversity Exemplified by Planktonic Foraminifera. Systematic Biology 65(5):925-940.
  • Spezzaferri, S., M. Kucera, P.N. Pearson, B.S. Wade, S. Rappo, C.R. Poole, R. Morard, and C. Stalder. 2015. Fossil and Genetic Evidence for the Polyphyletic Nature of the Planktonic Foraminifera "Globigerinoides", and Description of the New Genus Trilobatus. PLOS One 10(5):e0128108.