What are the oceanographic characteristics of marine systems and what are their influences on population, food web and ecosystem dynamics? How do we measure, understand, report, and forecast the dynamics of populations, food webs, or ecosystems?
ICES Ecosystem Processes and Dynamics Steering Group (EPDSG) provides insights into the drivers and consequences of ecosystem processes and dynamics that are required to understand and project the responses of ecosystems to human and environmental pressures.
ICES currently has six steering groups, each addressing a broad area of science and advice and "parenting" a number of expert groups. Collectively, these steering groups oversee a significant proportion of the activity of ICES expert groups, as described in our Science Plan and Advisory Plan.
The Ecosystem Processes and Dynamics Steering Group guides and supports expert groups that study the state and resilience of marine ecosystems and food webs, as well as the life histories, diversity,
interactions, and dynamics of marine species and ecosystems. .
The term of the current Chair is coming to an end and nominations are currently being accepted for the position - a three-year term beginning in 2021. As Chair, you will have the opportunity to influence the direction and impact of ICES science in this area,develop an international science network, and contribute to the work of ICES Science Committee.
Interested? To provide more information for those interested in the role, we spoke to the outgoing EPDSG Chair, Silvana Birchenough, Cefas. Birchenough's first experience with ICES was in 2003 at a workshop to discuss sensitive and opportunistic species. “It was my first trip to ICES HQ and Copenhagen was an awesome place to be at the time discussing science! I enjoyed the discussions and science overviews with my new ICES colleagues. Since then, being involved with ICES has helped me shape my science to respond to the needs of applied policy, to produce papers, and address technical discussions about current and new science needs. It has been a good path to learn several ways to make a tangible science contribution."
Birchenough has always been active in the organization. Along with being a contributor to the Working Group on Marine Benthal and Renewable Energy Developments (WGMBRED) and Working Group on Cumulative Effects Assessment Approaches in Management (WGCEAM), she has chaired the Benthos Ecology Working Group (BEWG) for six years, the Study Group on Climate related Benthic processes in the North Sea for three years, and a workshop on seabed integrity to support EU MSFD Descriptor 6 requirements. “I have participated in several workshops to support advisory requests, I have convened several theme sessions at ICES ASCs and also representing ICES at the Mediterranean Science Commission (CIESM) and the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES)."
After such dedicated involvement, it was logical for Birchenough to take on the role of a steering group chair. “I have a very strong interest in the development of the current and future science agenda. Particularly, under ecosystem processes and functions. I wanted to help shape the science and outputs from this area of the organization in support of the new Science Plan."
The role of steering group chair is interesting, she notes, “You have the opportunity to do cool science and produce great papers but science is much more fun when you work with your colleagues – who after a while become your close network of collaborators and friends! And you will develop and foster amazing ideas, which often tend to materialize into funded projects."
“On a personal level, I've seen colleagues grow into roles, develop, and achieve great outcomes – and it is great when you have been able to effectively support and assist these products along the way! Yes, on some occasions, you have to chase unresponsive colleagues - this is often tricky as everyone is busy - so effective communication and perseverance is key under this role!"
For those interested in taking over the position of EPDSG Chair, Birchenough says that you can look forward to working with a vibrant and friendly ICES community. “Good people with great ideas and a brilliant platform to do 'cutting-edge' science. If this appeals to you, then you should definitely consider becoming the next EPDSG chair, I recommend the experience and the challenges that comes with the role!"
The term for the EPDSG Chair is three years which begins on January 1 2021. If you have any questions regarding the role of EPDSG Chair, please contact Silvana Birchenough.
The deadline for nominations is Friday 21 August 2020.
Silvana Birchenough is the outgoing Chair of ICES Ecosystem Processes and Dynamics Steering Group.