International Conference on Mixoplankton

19 and 20 January 2021

Marine plankton are organisms that, effectively, drift in the oceans. Photosynthetic microbial plankton, traditionally termed “phytoplankton”, are responsible for 50% of global CO2 fixation. Some 60% that biomass is then grazed by single-celled “protozooplankton”. However, the last 10 years have seen a paradigm shift in our understanding of this food-web. The dichotomy between “plant-like phytoplankton” and “animal-like protozooplankton” is now recognised as, at best, a gross simplification. Many “phytoplankton” and “protozooplankton” actually combine photosynthesis (primary production) and feeding (secondary production) in the one cell. These organisms are termed the mixoplankton and, as a functional group, they have a global distribution. Through neglecting to recognise the commonality of mixoplanktonic activity, marine science has literally only been studying half of the physiology and ecology of a major life form on Earth and water quality management and fisheries policies are similarly conflicted. To understand how plankton ecology will react to climate change we need to understand how mixoplankton will respond. The aim of the conference is to review recent developments in mixoplankton research.

The conference is enabled through the EU-funded H2020-MSCA-ITN MixITiN programme. MixITiN, led by Cardiff University, brings together world-class European research and training centres from nine different countries, with skillsets from molecular biology, physiology and computer modelling, to marine and coastal zone management, public and media engagement. MixITiN funds 11 Early Stage Researchers.

Registration in now closed. Thank you to everyone who have registered; you will be receiving joining instructions within the next couple of days. We look forward to welcoming you to the first ever conference dedicated to Mixoplankton!