2009 Update

WG update for 2009 Vent Ecology Chairs – Stéphane Hourdez (France) and Yoshihiro Fujiwara (Japan) The Vent Ecology WG (http://www.interridge.org/WG/VentEcology) took advantage of the 4th Chemosynthesis-Based Ecosystems (CBE) Symposium to meet on July 2, 2009. Topics of discussion during the WG meeting were: choice of a new WG co-chair, high throughput project list on the InterRidge website, a proposed new webpage on biological sample sharing, the future of the ChEss database after 2010, and discussions on the location of the 5th CBE Symposium (tentatively planned for summer 2013 in Victoria, Canada). New co-chair for the working group As announced at the 2008 Steering Committee meeting, Chuck Fisher stepped down as WG co-chair. At the 4th CBE Symposium, several WG members recommended Yoshihiro Fujiwara (Secretary of the Organizing Committee for the 4th CBE Symposium). Yoshi kindly accepted to serve the capacity. Chuck Fisher will continue to serve as a regular WG member. High-throughput list When the WG group was created, one of the goals was to encourage international collaboration, in particular for costly approaches such as transcriptomics (ESTs, microarray), genomics, and proteomics. Thanks to Stace Beaulieu (InterRidge Coordinator), an interactive list of these projects has been made available to all on the InterRidge website (http://www.interridge.org/highthroughput). The goals are to avoid duplicating efforts, encourage common projects, and facilitate communication between groups interested in such approaches. This is only starting and we encourage people to add their projects to the list (http://www.interridge.org/node/add/highthroughput). Biological sample sharing Another goal of the WG is to enhance the distribution and use of specimens collected at vents (one of the tenets of the InterRidge “Code of Conduct”) – basically, to link people with samples. The goal here is to minimize the impact of biological sampling by sharing the samples already collected. This would also enhance international collaboration and perhaps enable scientists in countries without deep submergence assets to gain access to such samples. The WG is looking into having a code of conduct or transfer agreement for sample sharing to try to alleviate possible concerns of some researchers about sharing their samples. Our ultimate goal is to also have an interactive webpage with list of samples available and sample requests. These listings and requests would be announced periodically in the IR biweekly e-news. Future of the ChEss database ChEss is part of the Census of Marine Life program that will end in 2010. Although the ChEss database “ChEssBase” is integrated to the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS), there are concerns as to whether ChEssBase will be kept updated. As we discover new vent sites, and describe new species, there will be a need for updates by our community. Various options are being considered and we should know more about this in a few months. Meetings 4th Chemosynthesis-Based Ecosystems Symposium (29 June - 3 July 2009, Okinawa, Japan) This Symposium is traditionally sponsored by InterRidge and the working group dealing with the biology of vent organisms. The 4th CBE Symposium gathered about 200 researchers studying vent and seep biology and demonstrated the very dynamic character of the community. Young researchers were noticeably active, with about 1/3 of all communications (posters and talks) by Ph.D. or Master's students. For more details, please see the article in the Workshops and Conferences section of this volume. CAREX workshop on model organisms (16-18 June 2009, Sasbachwalden, Germany) This was the last of a series of three workshops on Life in Extreme Environments (Model ecosystems, Technology and infrastructure, and Identification of model organisms), sponsored by the European Science Foundation. The goal of this series of workshops was to come up with a document for governments and funding agencies to depict a clear picture of the current research and future needs. As far as hydrothermal vent invertebrates are concerned, the chosen models were: Alvinellids, Bathymodiolus, and Rimicaris. ASLO meeting (25-30 January 2009, Nice, France) During this meeting, two special sessions were dedicated to hydrothermal vents. One session was co-organized by WG member C. Fisher and F. Lallier (Life in extreme environments: deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems), and the other by ex-officio WG member N. Le Bris (From molecules to organisms: Chemoautotrophic pathways and mechanisms of energy transfer in extreme marine environments).