WIOMSA/ORI workshop on Ocean Acidification monitoring and experimentation in the Western Indian Ocean

By: Dr Dave Pearton
ORI Senior Scientist

In May 2019, ORI hosted a workshop on practical aspects of monitoring and testing the effects of Ocean Acidification (OA) as part of the WIOMSA (Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association) funded Ocean Acidification network. Organised by ORI Senior Scientist, Dr David Pearton, the workshop was facilitated by Dr Sam Dupont from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, world renowned expert on the biological effects of OA on marine organisms, and attended by colleagues and collaborators from the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) in Maputo, Mozambique, and the South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON) in Port Elizabeth.

During the workshop participants got hands-on experience in several crucial aspects of OA research, including how to measure critical chemical parameters of the carbonate system such as Total Alkalinity and accurate pH.  Participants also learned how to design and conduct experiments to measure the effects of OA on marine organisms and a successful experiment to measure the effects of pH on the fertilization success of two local sea urchin species (Tripneustes gratilla and Stomopneustes variolaris) were carried out. This was a very successful kick-off to the Southern African component of the WIO Ocean Acidification project and will lead to increased understanding of this understudied aspect of climate change in the region and enhanced regional collaboration.