by Helen Hill for CBIOMES
A meeting held at the Simons Foundation in New York City May 21 through 23 provided a first opportunity for collaborators to meet face-to-face, and provided a forum for investigators to educate one another about each others expertise and areas of activity, share initial progress, and coordinate collaborative efforts.
Discussions centered around how to determine the biogeography of marine microbes from empirical date, the role of statistical models in determining the relationships in space and time between organisms, traits, and environments, the complimentary role of mechanistic models and how to simulate the systems that are observed, and, in the context of model-date synthesis, how to best utilize empirical data to test theory and improve simulation skill.
“While the central question `What is the functional biogeography of a group of organisms in the oceans?’ is relatively focused, the techniques being used are extremely varied focusing a lot on computational tools, but uniquely, hand in hand with data collection and data compilation,” says Follows. “I am particularly excited by everyone’s enthusiasm, the number of cross-connections and collaborations already underway, and the rapid progress that is happening on many fronts.”
Exerpted from a longer story published at MIT News