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Meeting round-up; #CCFFR 2016

Jerome Marty, SCL President
Twitter: @JmartyMarty

About 240 scientists attended the 69th SCL-CCFFR January 7-9, held in St John's NF this year. The 2 day conference started with 3 great plenary lectures. Julia Baum from U. of Victoria gave the Stevenson lectures on the current state of marine conservation in Canada compared to other countries; in it, she indicated how we clearly have some work to do to better protect our oceans. This message was well-received by Nick Whalen, newly-elected MP from St John's East who registered for and attended the entire conference. The Rigler Award, our society's highest honour, was presented to Bill Taylor from U. Waterloo, who then presented a the Rigler lecture. The lecture gave an overview of methods and limitations of phosphorous measurements in lakes. His lecture helped to remind us that in many lakes, over 70% of phosphorus is contained in fish!


Left to Right- Matt Bogard (Rob Peters Award winner, 2016); SCL President Jerome Marty; Bill Taylor (Frank Rigler Award winner, 2016)

For the first time, we were able to include a lecture from the student receiving the Peters award in our plenary session (a tradition we very much hope to continue). We have a great generation of up-and-coming aquatic scientists, and this gives them an excellent opportunity to help highlight the research that was selected as the focus of their award. Congratulation Matt Bogart for a great talk on methane production in lakes (even under oxic conditions!). This is now giving pause to all of us deciphering carbon sources to consumers using carbon isotopes...

The usual business meeting of the society was the opportunity to communicate positive and encouraging numbers for the SCL. Our membership is growing, providing a financial stability to allow us to think about new projects and opportunities. Among these discussed was a vote in favor of a student travel award to support participation to the next SIL conference, this summer in Torino, Italy (members can expect an e-mail about this shortly). We are moving forward with the incorporation of the society to more actively allow us to seek funding from a broader range of sources, and also to finally, officially "exist" as a society. Thank you to Alain Patoine (our VP) for collecting information on how to incorporate and to Norm Yan for helping prepare the new wording required for our by Laws as this initiative moves forward.


The view into St. John's Harbour during CCFFR 2016 this January.

An excellent Science Communication session was also held, and in keeping with the theme, Michelle Lavery (student at UNB Fredericton) created a storify page around the tweets from that session: You can follow Michelle on twitter at @JMichelleLavery.

Next year the conference will be a big one, led by limnologists : we are heading back to Montreal. Look forward to seeing you there!

(Note: a version of this blog post will appear in our upcoming issue of our newsletter, The Current. Watch for it soon!)

2016 Water resources and wetlands meeting

The Romanian Limnogeographical Association (RLA) in collaboration with the German Limnological Society (GLS), Polish Limnological Society (PLS), Danube Delta National Institute Tulcea (DDNI) and the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Authority (DDBRA) would like to invite you to take part in the 3rd International Conference “Water resources and wetlands” set to take place between 8-10 September, 2016 in the “Delta” Hotel in Tulcea, Romania.

Deadline for Registration and Abstract Submission - 30 January 2016.

Conference website:

Announcing our 2016 Award winners!

The Frank Rigler Award is SCL's highest honour, recognizing major achievements in limnology. At the 2016 SCL/CCFFR meeting in St John’s, Dr. Bill Taylor from the University of Waterloo will be recognized for his leadership and influential contributions to Canadian limnology.


Bill Taylor, 2016 Recipient of the Frank Rigler Award, recognizing significant achievement in the field of Limnology

Bill’s focus on microbial ecology, and on nutrient dynamics, a passion of Rigler, makes this award particularly fitting. Bill’s work has informed our understanding of nutrient dynamics, and associated eutrophication concerns on 4 continents. More broadly, his work has included both the fundamental and applied, on topics ranging from microbes to zooplankton, plants, fish, invasive species and watersheds. Bill has published more than 100 papers, and is noted for his extensive contribution to university service, and student training. He has also served as a member of the International Joint Commission, addressing issues of eutrophication, invasive species, and ecosystem health.
Some of Bill’s most influential work demonstrated that our most commonly used spectrophotometric methods for measuring phosphate concentrations yield vast overestimates of phosphate concentration, and that planktonic phosphorus regeneration is a key to planktonic supplies. We look forward to Bill’s plenary lecture in St John’s.

Matt Bogard, recipient of the Rob Peters Award recognizing the best student paper in Limnology published in the past year.

Matt Bogard, recipient of the Rob Peters Award recognizing the best student paper in Limnology published in the past year.

We are also pleased to recognize Matt Bogard as this year’s Peters Award winner. A PhD candidate at Université du Québec à Montréal will be awarded the Robert Peters Award for best student paper.   Matt’s 2014 paper “Oxic water column methanogenesis as a major component of aquatic CH4 fluxes”, published in Nature Communications (5: 5350 DOI 10.1038/ncomms6350) demonstrates that oxic lake waters can produce methane at high rates, and indeed, oxic production can be a large proportion of lake emissions.  This runs contrary to the classical understanding of methanogenesis as an anaerobic process.  Matt’s work shows that methane production is related to algal productivity, and as such, methane emissions are increased as a result of eutrophication.  His paper integrated large scale mesocosm experiments, whole lake budgets, stable isotopes, and a metaanalysis. Matt will also present his work based on this paper at the meeting in St. John's.

Congratulations to both our award winners!

Wetzel Memorial Fund: SIL Congress Travel Award for students and early-career professionals

The Wetzel Memorial Fund was created in 2004 through a request from Robert G. Wetzel. Following one of Robert Wetzel’s highest priorities, this fund will be used to pay SIL-related expenses of young limnologists throughout the world that might otherwise be unable to participate in SIL activities. In particular, the Wetzel Memorial Fund will be used for travel support of those SIL members who are presenting a paper (orally or by poster) at SIL congress meetings.

Awards from the Wetzel Memorial Fund will range USD 100 - 1000 per individual, depending on the number of successful applicants and the distance to be travelled to the meeting.

The Application form is available at the SIL website at

Candidates must be SIL members that will make a presentation at the congress. Previous award recipients are not eligible to apply again.

Applications are to be no more than 2 - 4 pages, to include a summary of the applicant’s career, with a list of publications and an abstract of the proposed presentation. It should explain how the awardee will raise the rest of the sum needed, and a short justification for asking for an award. Two letters of recommendation should accompany the application.

Recipients will be chosen from acceptable entries by the SIL awards committee.

The award recipient must file a brief report within 1 month after the congress on experiences gained from participating in the congress. As those reports or parts of them may be posted on the SIL website and Facebook page, photographs included will be welcome.

Application for the 2016 SIL Congress
The application form for the 2016 SIL congress is available also on the Congress website at
Send applications by email attachment to by 1 November 2015.

Frank Rigler award nominations now open!


Dave Schindler rocking the v-neck at the Experimental Lakes Area, circa 1979, our first Rigler award winner (1984). Photo credit D.F. Brakke via ASLO website.

Who's your favourite Canadian Limnologist? Someone that's made a lasting contribution to limnology in Canada and around the world. It's a well represented list so far, and we're looking to add another for 2016. You can find all the details on what's required for your nomination here, as well as information about our current recipient and Frank Rigler, whom the award honours.

Thanks to NRC research press for sponsoring this award and helping us honour our very best!

Diving into science in Ontario

Throughout Canada, if an academic institution is interested in scientific research diving, the Canadian Association for Underwater Science (CAUS) defines the training standards that need to be followed to carry out the work involved. However, in Ontario, the Ontario Ministry of Labour requires by law (Occupational Health and Safety Act, Ontario Regulation 629/94 Diving Operations) that scientific divers be trained to the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Z275.4 Diving Competency. These CSA standards are designed for traditional commercial diving (e.g., underwater construction, dam or pipe inspection, welding, explosives, vessel recovery). This commercial dive training is a full, one-year program ($13 500 minimally), and constitutes a level of training that is well outside the time and financial constraints of Masters or Ph.D research programs. As a consequence, academic-based research diving in Ontario has either been driven underground or has stopped completely.

To overcome these above constraints, faculty from Carleton University, Guelph University and Queen’s University collaborated to design and run a 2 1⁄2 week practical Restricted Occupational Diving course recently approved by the Ontario Ministry of Labour (July 2013) and accredited by the Diving Certification Board of Canada (January 2014). This new course trains the academic research community (i.e., fourth-year undergraduate students, Master or Ph.D. students, and Lab Technicians and Faculty) to conduct scientific dives in compliance with Ontario regulations. Upon successful completion of the course, including all formative and summative activities, students will be able to design, develop, and illustrate a comprehensive research dive program in accordance to their stated research objectives, and the Occupational Health and Safety Act Ontario Regulation 629/94 Diving Operations.

Specific learning outcomes include:

●  Describe safe diving practices as a (a) diver, (b) safety diver, and (c) dive tender in accordance to the Occupational Health and Safety Act Ontario Regulation 629/94 Diving Operations.

●  Explain diving physics, physiology, equipment, diving hazards, communication and rigging as these relate to the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Z275.5.

●  Design safe non-decompression multi-day research dive-plans using Canadian DCIEM dive tables.

●  Compare the advantages and disadvantages of various sampling methodologies used by research divers (e.g., transects, quadrats, benthic sampling, habitat profiling, sediment coring, behavioural observations, photo stratification, video transects) to address different research goals.

●  Choose appropriate statistical models to analyze complex data sets typically obtained from scientific research diving activities.

Course Details:

  • Schedule: July 10th - July 26th, 2015. The daily routine comprises morning and afternoon dives (min. 25 required) with evening classes.
  • Location: Queens University Biological Research Station (QUBS) 280 Queen's University Rd., RR #1, Elgin,ON
  • Accommodations: Registration fee includes accommodation and daily meals at QUBS, and airfills for the duration of the course.
  • Registration fee: $2200/participant (estimated)
  • Equipment: Participants are required to provide personal dive gear including: a cold water wetsuit or drysuit, dive knife, weight belt & weights (sufficient for drysuit diving), mask, snorkel, fins, dive flashlight, bottom timer (e.g., dive watch or dive computer), dive compass, 2 tanks, and regulator and BCD (serviced within 6 months of course beginning). A sleeping bag and pillow is also recommended. A laptop is also required.

To register for this course, participants must have:

  • Received medical clearance to dive through completion of an occupational diving medical.
  • Achieved at minimum, an open-water sport diving certification from a recognized sport diving organization.
  • Minimum of 20 dives and 10 hours bottom time logged.
  • Current First Aid and CPR.
  • Current Oxygen Provider certification.

For more information on the course and to register, contact Dr. Nigel Waltho, Carleton University, tel: 613-520-2600 x8764, email:, or Dr. Geof Hall, Queen’s University, tel 613-533-3412, email:

On-line membership is now open!

SCL is pleased to announce that members can now join through the website. It's as simple as visiting our registration page, choosing the membership option that's right for you, and voila, you are in. Registering also allows you to create a member profile, which you can edit any time, and provides a means of connecting with other members through the website.

We will keep our discounted 1-year membership rates active until February 14th, 2015. Our 2-year subscriptions remain our best value.

While you're registering, please don't forget to make a donation in support of our Rob Peters Award- this award recognizes the best student paper in the field each year, and is made possible by the generous donations of our members.

Welcome to our new members in 2015!

Great meeting in Ottawa!

Another year, another fantastic meeting with CCFFR in Ottawa!

The meeting kicked off early for some with a workshop on the IISD-Experimental Lakes Area, discussing progress in the first year as an independent entity, as well as upcoming field courses and proposed experiments.

"The Smoker", which is the annual mixer that officially kicks off the meeting, was fantastic. Lots of great conversation as friends and colleagues come together and meet again.

This year had a strong set of presentations, and started off in fine form with plenary lectures by Martin Krkhosek (Stevenson Lecturer, U of T), Daniel Schindler (Rigler Awardee, University of Washington), our very own Alison Derry (UQAM), Anne Phelps (DFO) and a delightfully insightful and provocative talk by Jake Rice (DFO senior scientist). The regular sessions then went into full swing, with SCL-led sessions on Multiple Stressors, Dynamics of Aquatic Nutrients and Algal Blooms, and the Experimental Lakes Area. In all, 213 contributed talks and 72 posters were presented over three days.

Last, the organizing committee held a "student success workshop" with panel discussions on a range of topics, from getting published, science communication and outreach, scoring that job or next grad position, and working at the interface of science and policy. Judging by the reviews on twitter, this was one of the most talked about sessions at the conference, and was very well received.

Finally, a big THANK YOU to the Local Organizing Committee this year (John Lark, Steve Cooke), and the army of volunteers who made it all happen, as well as the generous sponsors and donors (listed in the program), bot those who exhibited and those who supported the conference in so many other ways.

Looking forward to next year in St. John's! Until then...