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SIBER: Sustained Indian Ocean Biogeochemical and Ecosystem Research

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  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • Ecology


SIBER (Sustained Indian Ocean Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research) is an emerging international program that is aimed at advancing our understanding of biogeochemical cycles and ecosystem dynamics of the Indian Ocean. Although there have been significant advances in our ability to describe and model the oceanic environment, the Indian Ocean remains substantially under-sampled in both space and time, especially compared to the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The overarching goal of the SIBER program is to motivate and coordinate international interest in Indian Ocean research in order to fill in the gaps in our knowledge and address the major outstanding scientific questions. SIBER is structuring its research around six major scientific themes, each focusing on a specific set of scientific issues that need to be addressed. Theme 1 focuses on boundary current dynamics, interactions and impacts on biogeochemical cycles and ecosystem dynamics in the Indian Ocean. Theme 2 considers the unique dynamics of the equatorial zone, southern tropics and Indonesian Throughflow and their impacts on ecological processes and biogeochemical cycling. Theme 3 addresses the more thematic issue of controls and fates of phytoplankton and benthic production in the Indian Ocean. Theme 4 contrasts physical, biogeochemical and ecological processes between the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. Theme 5 addresses climate and anthropogenic impacts on the Indian Ocean and its marginal seas and theme 6 considers the role of higher trophic levels in ecological processes and biogeochemical cycles. All of these scientific themes are relevant to ongoing research programs in the coastal and offshore waters of Northern and Western Australia (e.g., IMOS, the Integrated Marine Observing System). In this presentation we provide an overview of SIBER with emphasis on the potential role that Australia will play in this emerging international program.

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