The MiCO system: delivering and tracking the impact of usable knowledge on migratory connectivity in the ocean

Dr Daniel Dunn1, Dr. Autumn-Lynn Harrison2, Ms.  Corrie Curtice1, Ms. Ellie Heywood1, Ms. Connie Kot1, Ms. Sarah DeLand1, Ms. Sarah Poulin1, Mr. Ei Fujioka1, Mr. Ben Donnelly1, Mr. Guillermo Ortuno Crespo1, Ms. Meredith Whitten1, Mr. Alejandro Herrero Palacio1, Mr. Jesse Cleary1, Dr. Patrick Halpin1

1Duke University, Beaufort, United States, 2Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Washington, USA

Conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) is dependent on governance that can account for the nature of the systems therein. Pelagic open-ocean ecosystems in ABNJ are characterized by their dynamism and the connectivity it generates. Many marine predators have developed migratory life cycles to efficiently utilize these heterogeneous and ephemeral environments. With increasing impacts being felt from both resource extraction and climate change, synthesized knowledge on area-use and migratory connectivity is critical to support conservation and sustainable use of marine predators. The Migratory Connectivity in the Ocean system (MiCO; seeks to compile and synthesize telemetry, mark/recapture, stable isotope, genetic, and acoustic sampling data for species utilizing ABNJ via a systematic literature review and direct contributions of data or derived products.  Here we present the system prototype and case studies of how contributed data have informed international marine spatial planning processes.  We review the policy arenas that are interested in consuming this information and provide details on how the system incentivizes contributions by tracking and reporting their impact in those policy arenas.


Dr. Dunn is an Assistant Research Professor with the Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab at Duke University.  As an interdisciplinary marine conservation scientist, his research focuses on using spatial analytics to develop applied solutions to natural resource management and conservation problems through area-based management across a range of scales.  Dr. Dunn sits on the science board of the Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative and is co-chair of the Biology & Ecosystems Panel of the Global Ocean Observing System.

Species on the Move

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The conference brings together scientists and natural resource managers working in the disciplines of global change, biogeography and evolution, and relevant in contexts of natural resource management, biodiversity management and conservation, and theoretical ecology.

Species responses to climate change is a rapidly evolving research field, however, much of our progress is being made in independent research areas: e.g. understanding the process vs responding to the implications, terrestrial vs marine ecosystems, global meta-analyses vs in depth species-specific approaches. This interdisciplinary conference develops connections between these parallel streams, and across temporal and spatial scales.

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