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CERF 2019 Workshop:

Concepts and Controversies in Tidal Marsh Ecology Revisited - SOLD OUT!

Ron Baker and Matt Taylor

Sponsored by: Georgia Sea Grant

Dates: Saturday, 2 November – Sunday, 3 November
Regular, Two-Night Lodging: $200
Regular, One-Night Lodging: $175
Regular, No Lodging: $150
Student, Two-Night Lodging: $150
Student, One-Night Lodging: $125
Student, No Lodging: $100

About this Workshop:

Concepts and Controversies in Tidal Marsh Ecology (Weinstein and Kreeger 2000) is a seminal synthesis which arose from a symposium held in 1998, which itself built on the foundation of a similar symposium some 40 years earlier. Both these meetings were key events for the subset of coastal ecologists with an active interest in tidal salt marshes, and the latter in particular facilitated networking between the “older” and “newer” guard in this field. The 1998 symposium laid a solid foundation for the two decades of research that followed, but the 21st century has provided a new set of challenges for coastal ecologists. The role of healthy estuaries in providing ecosystem services in support of productive ecosystems and sustainable fisheries maintains an impetus for science-based conservation and repair of tidal wetlands. However, a new paradigm needs to achieve this alongside the challenges posed by increasing urbanization and climate variability to ecosystem function, and the viability of exploited and other populations that utilize tidal wetlands. In addition, increasing attention to the triple-bottom-line (environmental-economic-social outcomes) brings a need for valuation of ecosystem services and economic/social justification for habitat conservation, and the involvement of highly motivated NGOs to drive on-ground activities contributes to the contemporary paradigm. 

These changes in the field are occurring alongside a changing-of-the-guard where scientists that led the field over the last 30 years are in the final stages of their career. Thus, the time is ripe for a dedicated workshop to advance the next phase of tidal marsh ecology and the management tools that rely on this science. Topics for discussion include habitat-fishery linkages, connectivity, seascapes, economic and social valuation, restoration, and climate change.

The workshop will include a combination of presentations, panel discussions, panel Q&A, and group discussions. Confirmed panel presenters include Michael Weinstein, Si Simenstad, Rod Connolly, and Lawrence Rozas, and the keynote speaker is Ken Able. A particular focus of this meeting will be to attract retired or near-retired ecologists to network and form lasting and ongoing relationships with newer members of the field, engage their perspectives and ideas on contemporary problems, identify new and exciting topics/frontiers, and devise the tools to tackle such new territory.  

The meeting will include a small number of selected presentations to set the scene, and the option to submit papers arising from the meeting or relevant papers from the general CERF meeting to a special issue of Estuaries and Coasts. Participants should indicate to the workshop organizers their intention to submit an abstract and/or paper for the meeting or special issue. Participants are encouraged to discuss presentation and paper ideas with the meeting organizers before submitting abstracts.

This is a two-day workshop to be held offsite at the Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory (DISL). The registration fee includes two-nights accommodation (dorm rooms, Friday and Saturday night), breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday, a social event on Saturday night (dinner), and full attendance to the meeting. Transportation from the Mobile Airport to DISL and from DISL to the Mobile Convention Center on Sunday afternoon will be included in the registration fee. Contact Ron Baker for additional information.

About the Presenters:


Ron Baker is an Assistant Professor in Marine Sciences with the University of South Alabama, based at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. His research examines the role of coastal systems in supporting fisheries, particularly their role as nurseries. His research has spanned coastal and estuarine systems of Australia, Papua New Guinea, Belize, as well as the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the US during time with NOAA Fisheries and the Smithsonian.


Professor Matt Taylor is a Principal Research Scientist with the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries – Fisheries (DPI-Fisheries) and a Conjoint Professor with University of Newcastle, Australia. His research is focused on the scientific development and subsequent application of innovative approaches to improve both fisheries productivity and sustainability, and he has authored 110 peer-reviewed contributions to international journals. His research vision is realized through several internationally significant, collaborative research programs, most notably in the study of fish habitat, recruitment and population processes, and with a focus on exploited crustaceans. Through his role with DPI-Fisheries, he applies this research in the development and implementation of approaches that address recruitment and habitat bottlenecks