Nancy Baron, Thomas Bianchi, Simon Trush and Katja Fennel are plenary speakers at the Baltic Sea Science Congress in August.

We are pleased to announce that Nancy Baron (USA), Outreach Director of COMPASS (Communications Partnership for Science and the Sea) will open the Congress. Baron is author of the prized book “Escape from the Ivory Tower” in which she teaches scientists to communicate. She began her career as a biologist and spent six years as Director of Education at the Vancouver Aquarium before changing her focus to journalism.

“Having Nancy Baron open the Congress is a big honour for us. Her way of combining science and communication goes hand-in-hand with the mission of the Baltic Sea Center and BONUS. I think her introduction will be an eye-opener for everyone”, says Christoph Humborg, Scientific leader of the Local Organisational Group at Stockholm University’s Baltic Sea Center.

Together with international journalists, from among others, the New York Times, Nancy Baron will hold a kick-off press conference on science outreach.

“This will be very useful for all scientists who ever need to communicate with anyone – and that includes everyone,” says Christoph Humborg.

Experts in biodiversity and chemical oceanography

There will be more to the BSSC than just Nancy Baron. Professor Simon Trush will come all the way from University Auckland, New Zeeland. Thrush is the Director of the Institute of Marine Science and focuses on biodiversity and ecosystem services. His current research specializes in ecology of coastal ecosystems and how they respond to change and how we value the services they provide.

”These are important topics as we try and move marine resource management into a more ecosystem-based framework” says Trush on the University webpage.

Thomas Bianchi, University of Florida, and Katja Fennel, Dalhousie University, Canada, will travel from North America. Thomas Bianchi is a full professor and holder of the Jon and Beverly Thompson Endowed Chair in Geological Science and also Editor-in-Chief of the journal Marine Chemistry. His areas of expertise are organic geochemistry, chemical oceanography, and global carbon cycling in aquatic ecosystems and his research group has worked in estuarine and large river systems around the world.

”If we are to successfully balance and model global carbon fluxes, it is important to understand the dynamics of carbon cycling in the most productive environments” says Bianchi.

Climate change urges understanding of the oceans

Professor Katja Fennel at the Department of Oceanography leads the Marine Environmental Modelling Group and is an expert in the development of coupled physical-biochemical models. These are powerful tools that can be used to predict changes in marine environments in response to climate variability and human influences.

”Given the prospect of global climate change, its anticipated impact on the global economy and our quality of life, and the important role of the ocean in the climate system an improved predictive understanding is urgently needed” says Fennel.

“All together, our four keynote speakers cover a broad range of fascinating marine issues that are of great importance for the Baltic Sea. I look forward to the Baltic Sea Science Congress and I hope that many scientists will take the opportunity to participate”, concludes Christoph Humborg.