AMEMR III, Plymouth, a set on Flickr.
Spent much of this last week down in Plymouth at the third AMEMR meeting. For once I took the time to get out and about around Plymouth and managed to see, and photograph, much of its centre and harbour.
As for AMEMR, well, it was much as usual: a handful of excellent talks, many good ones, and a few that were wildly impenetrable or obscure. And it's still the case that there's nothing else really like it for giving an overview of marine modelling. The conference's focus on modelling means that people are able to talk at more length about techniques, and don't have to worry about being pummelled by disinterested observational scientists. Of course, some talks were nothing but technique, but you have to take the rough with the smooth.
The main emergent theme this time was trade-offs in plankton ecophysiology. On this note, things got off to a rousing start with a tour-de-force on this subject by the DEB modeller Jorn Bruggeman. He talked on the same subject at AMEMR II, but seems to have made vast leaps forwards since then. I don't think we're quite ready to give up on mainstream models like MEDUSA just yet, but it certainly felt like a Mene, Mene, Tekel u-Pharsin moment. We'll see.
Aside from the science, the conference was a very pleasant opportunity to catch up with near- and far-flung colleagues. Usually over alcohol and food. While we didn't get the chance to make an extended night of it, I was able grab several beers with fellow EAMG survivor SME. And BS and I had an opportunity to "fight" it out over free will (yet again). Most excellent.
The upshot of all of which is that, should there be an AMEMR IV, I'll be there.