Western Boundary Current-Subtropical Continental Shelf Interactions Workshop
18-20 May 2020 | Savannah, USA

In the major ocean basins, energetic western boundary currents (WBC) adjacent to subtropical continental shelves (STCS) interact strongly with bathymetry, resulting in first order consequences to shelf biochemistry and ecosystem response. Comparative analysis of the physical forcing and biochemical/ecological ramifications between the different ocean/shelf settings has the potential to reveal common and contrasting underlying properties and their sensitivity to climatic perturbations in ways that fragmented attention to individual system idiosyncrasies cannot. We believe the time is right to consider these systems as parallel global marine ecosystems and to develop a coherent international strategy to assess their function and contributions to global carbon cycles.

Scope and goals

The overall goal of this workshop is to convene a globally diverse group of researchers to discuss the state of knowledge of WBC-STCS ecosystems and to identify strategies for coordinating observational and research objectives to advance understanding of these dynamic regions.
In order to maximize the Workshop’s outreach to a global research community, interested participants will have the option of attending the meeting in person, or virtually via a live interactive web broadcast of the meeting’s proceedings. In-person participation is limited to <100.


The precise themes to be explored within the workshop will depend upon the final mix of participants, but there are numerous overarching research themes that connect the various regions.

  • Identifying common STCS ecosystem characteristics, drivers and responses,
  • Developing research approaches that can be applied successfully across systems,
  • Quantifying production, cross-shelf transport, and export in STCS ecosystems,
  • Responding to observational and modeling challenges posed by WBCs,
  • Predicting ecosystem responses to changes in climate and boundary current transport.

Additional information about the meeting format and goals - as well as applications to attend the Workshop in person or as a virtual participant - can be found here.