SCOR WG 126 on Role of Viruses in Marine Ecosystems

Co-Chairs: Markus G. Weinbauer (France) and Steven W. Wilhelm (USA)

Core Members
Gunnar Bratbak (Norway)
Corina Brussaard (Netherlands)
Dolores Mehnert (Brazil)
Mathias Middelboe (Denmark)
Keizo Nagasaki (Japan)
Curtis Suttle (Canada)
Willie Wilson (UK)
Eric Wommack (USA)

Associate Members 
Feng Chen (USA)
Roberto Danovaro (Italy)
Yoanna Eissler (Chile)
Jed Fuhrman (USA)
Sonia Gianesella (Brazil)
Gerhard Herndl (Netherlands)
Nianzhi Jiao (China-Beijing)
Nicholas Mann (UK)
Télesphore Sime-Ngando (France)
John Paul (USA)
Declan Schroeder (UK)
Grieg Steward (USA)
Dolors Vaqué (Spain)


Major thematic goals for the SCOR Marine Virus working group (SCOR WG126)

  • Summarize past results on virus-meditated mortality of algae and prokaryotes and the impact on oceanic carbon and nutrient cycling.
  • Coordinate data collection to assess the role of viruses in different water masses.
  • Assess the methodological limitations of the techniques available for quantifying the virus-mediated mortality of microorganisms (eukaryotes and prokaryotes) and their impact on carbon and nutrient cycling, and make recommendations for the best available approaches to study viruses and viral processes in the sea.
  • Establish and maintain a Web site as forum that can be used by the "viral community" for exchange of data and ideas and future plans.
    Convene an International Symposium that could include a published proceeding such as a special issue of Limnology and Oceanography or Deep-Sea Research.
  • Write a "definitive" textbook on Methods in Marine Virology.

Meetings and Events:

JUNE 2005. A preliminary meeting of WG members as well as interested marine virus researchers was held in Santiago de Compostela , Spain, on Monday June 20, 2005. As this meeting was announced with short notice, not all members were able to attend. Chairs discussed the goals of the working group and collected feedback from members. This meeting coincided with a special session at the ASLO conference (Viruses, Microbial Diversity and Ecosystem Function). Organized by co-chairs Wilhelm and Weinbauer as well as core member Suttle, the session included 17 oral presentations as well as 9 poster presentations. Attendance was surprisingly high, with as many as 200+ conference delegates in the room for some presentations.  A future meeting is currently being planned for Vancouver, British Columbia . The meeting is tentatively scheduled for June 1-3, 2006. Dr Wilhelm will co-ordinate this meeting and is anticipated to begin planning in September or October of 2005. A meeting is also planned for Villefranche-sur-mer in France in 2008.  We anticipate that a 2007 meeting may also be held, but this will be dependent on funds and necessity.

JUNE 2006. "Virus ecology in marine systems: a workshop on methods".  The first official meeting of WG126 was held in Vancouver, British Columbia from June 1-3, 2006, on the campus of the University of British Columbia.  More than 40 participants attended and provided presentations on various aspects of virus ecology. Members also provided insight and thoughts on the pending Methods in Aquatic Virus Ecology publication the working group is producing.   We are also planning a virus meeting for sometime in the late spring or early summer of 2007 - check back for more details.


photo by Matthias G. Fischer

JUNE 2007.  The Bergen Workshop.  During May 7 - 12 2007, SCOR core members, associates and others  gathered in Bergen, Norway to undertake 2 significant tasks.  The first was a comparative of a series of techniques associated with marine virus ecology in order  to determine how these approaches differ in the results they provide. The second task  for the group was to begin to collate ideas on their pending volume  concerning Methods in Marine Virus Ecology. Tasks completed, the group is now working towards the final meeting in 2009.

photo by Professor JH Paul


Our third meeting will be held  in May 2009.  Newark Delaware, May 14-16





We would like to thank The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies  


The Michael Smith Laboratories  


for their co-sponsorship of our June 2006 meeting



We would like to thank the Espeland Marine Biological Station for hosting the 2007 meeting.



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