SCOR Working Group 149
Changing Ocean Biological Systems (COBS): How will biota respond to a changing ocean?

Chair: Philip Boyd (Australia)

Other Full Members: Aurea Ciotti (Brazil), Sinead Collins (UK), Kunshan Gao (China-Beijing), Jean-Pierre Gattuso (France), Marion Gehlen (France), David Hutchins (USA), Christina McGraw (Australia), Jorge Navarro (Chile), and Ulf Riebesell (Germany)

Associate Members: Haimanti Biswas (India), Sam Dupont (Sweden), Katharina Fabricius (Australia), Jonathan Havenhand (Sweden), Catriona Hurd (Australia), Haruko Kurihara (Japan), Gorann Nilsson (Norway), Uta Passow (USA), Hans-Otto Pörtner (Germany), and Marcello Vichi (South Africa)

Terms of Reference

  1. Assess the current status of emerging research themes 1-3 by reviewing the literature to assess the dominant research foci, their relative coverage, and identify any major gaps and/or limitations. Publish this review in an open-access peer-reviewed journal.
  2. Raise awareness across different scientific communities (evolutionary experimental biologists, ecologists, physiologists, chemists, modelers) to initiate better alignment and integration of research efforts.
  3. Co-ordinate thematic transdisciplinary sessions to attract and assemble experts from other fields such as paleoceanography and marine ecotoxicology to learn from the successful approaches their fields have developed to address multiple drivers.
  4. Develop a multi-driver Best-Practice Guide (BPG, or other tools) as one potentially valuable way to help this research field move forward in a cohesive manner.
  5. Mentor early career scientists in the design process for complex multiple driver manipulation experiments, familiarize them with BPG, and teach them practical methodologies for the analysis of their experimental findings.
  6. Publish a series of short articles in both the scientific media and with scientific journalists to disseminate the challenges and opportunities surrounding multiple drivers and ecosystems.
  7. Engage with policy-makers and science communication experts to produce a glossary of terms and an implementation guide for policy-makers to better understand the role of multiple drivers in altering marine living resources and ecosystem services.

Approved: December 2015

Financial Sponsors: SCOR, NSF, PICES


#1: 15-17 July 2016 in Waterville, New Hampshire, USA
#2:15-16 June 2017 in Villefranche, France
#3:13-15 July 2018 in Waterville, New Hampshire

2017 IAEA-sponsored multi-driver meeting: 12-14 June 2017 in Monaco

IAEA-sponsored early-career training workshop: mid-October 2018 in Monaco


Boyd, P.W., S. Collins, S. Dupont, K. Fabricius, J.-P. Gattuso, J. Havenhand, D.A. Hutchins, U. Riebesell, M.S. Rintoul, M. Vichi, H. Biswas, A. Ciotti, K. Gao, M. Gehlen, C.L. Hurd, H. Kurihara, C.M. McGraw, J.M. Navarro, G.E. Nilsson, U. Passow, and H.-O. Pörtner. 2018. Experimental strategies to assess the biological ramifications of multiple drivers of global ocean change—A review. Global Change Biology DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14102

Group Web site: