BG1.10/OS3.9/SSS4.17BG1.10/ OS3.9/ SSS4.17

Multi-omics as a bridge between global observations in biology, ecology, and biogeochemistry (co-organized) 
Convener: Pier Luigi Buttigieg  | Co-conveners: Felix Janssen , Julie C. Robidart 
Omics technologies (e.g. metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metabolomics) show great promise in extending our understanding of how phylogenetic and functional biodiversity, particularly in microbial communities, drive and respond to biogeochemical processes throughout the biosphere. Many ecological guilds such as (de)nitrifiers, photo-, and chemoautotrophs have long been known to play a central role in biogeochemical cycling, yet we have only begun to piece together their complex interplay and their connection to system-level biodiversity. While large-scale projects and programmes (e.g. Tara Oceans, the Earth Microbiome Project, and Ocean Sampling day) have formed a basis to link insight from omics to existing models of elemental cycling, much remains to be done to systematically and globally integrate omically enhanced investigations of ecosystem capacities and the biogeochemical processes to which they are intimately associated. Operationalising this link will contribute to the filling of key gaps in our understanding of biology/ecology and biogeochemistry, helping us bring both disciplines to bear on issues of ecosystem health and the pressures it faces from global change. In doing so, we will help address needs expressed by organisations such as the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON). This session invites contributions from those addressing the challenge of integrating omics and biogeochemical sensing and/or modelling to achieve more holistic insight into ecosystem functioning. We particularly encourage submissions describing activities that seek to evaluate and improve omics observation and merge them with existing biogeochemical observation frameworks as well as those aiming to standardise methods and enhance information exchange in this rapidly developing field. Finally, this session will also serve to link participants with international initiatives and networks aiming to mainstream omics in Earth observation and to increase representation of biogeochemically-focused efforts in these groups.