During the last week of October, Professor Allison and Graduate Student Hannah Bassett joined SMEA Director Terrie Klinger and Post-doctoral Researcher Nina Bednaršek, in attending the IMBIZO IV conference in Trieste, Italy.

Named after the Zulu word for 'gathering', the IMBIZO conference series has been put on by IMBER every two years since 2008. This year, conference-goers convened at the International Center for Theoretical Physics, where they were hosted by scientists from the Italian National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics (OGS)

The theme of IMBIZO IV was Marine and Human Systems: Addressing multiple scales and multiple stressors. Bassett participated in Workshop 1: "Marine ecosystem-based governance - from rhetoric to reality" and presented a talk entitled "A Framework of Frameworks: Assessing existing tools for implementation of Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management (EBFM)". Fellow Workshop 1 participant, Dr. Julie Hall, is Challenge Director of New Zealand's Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge (NSC) for which Professor Allison sits on the Science Panel.

As co-conveners of Workshop 2: "Coastal upwelling ecosystems as models for interdisciplinary studies of climate and global change," Allison and Bednaršek presented talks on societal response to long-term changes in highly variable systems and use of pteropods (microscopic zooplankton) as indicators for ocean acidification across different upwelling regimes, respectively. 

Klinger participated in Workshop 3: "Integrated modelling to support assessment and management of marine social-ecological systems in the face of global change" and presented a talk that looked at social-ecological dynamics in the Gulf of Alaska after the oil spill and into the future. The only workshop without SMEA representation was Workshop 4: "From regime shifts to novel systems – evaluating the social-ecological implications of lasting ecosystem changes for resource management".

Workshops aimed "to showcase the current state of knowledge in marine and human systems and their governance" and were interspersed with plenary discussions for the larger group to "synthesize current knowledge and identify key questions to be addressed by the IMBER research community". IMBIZO IV brought scientists from a range of disciplines together to address the pressing issue of integrating marine and human systems science and governance.

Allison, Klinger, Bassett, and Bednaršek (left to right) at IMBIZO IV.

Allison, Klinger, Bassett, and Bednaršek (left to right) at IMBIZO IV.