Oceania Ecological Forecasting Initiative

The Oceania Forecasting Initiative is a grassroots regional group of individuals from Australia, New Zealand, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia interested in creating and using ecological forecasts.

OEFI’s upcoming monthly webinar will be on 25 May 2023 at 3pm AET, noon AWT, 5pm NZ by Dr. Steph Brodie on “Skillful ecological forecasts for marine resource managementFind details below about Dr. Brodie’s talk. Register for the call here.

See other Upcoming Events and Recordings from Previous Events for the Oceania ecological forecasting community below.

Sign-up below to be added to a listserv to receive announcements about activities.

OEFI Co-Chairs: Alistair Hobday, CSIRO; Belinda Medlyn, Western Sydney University; Glenda Wardle, Sydney University; Jamie Cleverly, TERN & James Cook University

EFI has a Slack group and the OEFI has a #oceania-chapter channel. Slack is a great way to stay up to date with OEFI events, communicate within the group and across EFI, and find information about forecasting-related papers, funding, etc. Email info@ecoforecast.org to be added to the EFI Slack group and the #oceania-chapter channel.

New Paper Out By OEFI Collaborators

Sun C, Hobday AJ, Condie SA, Baird ME, Eveson JP, Hartog JR, Richardson AJ, Steven ADL, Wild-Allen K, Babcock RC, Yang D, Yu R, Mongin M. Ecological Forecasting and Operational Information Systems Support Sustainable Ocean Management. Forecasting. 2022; 4(4):1051-1079. https://doi.org/10.3390/forecast4040057

Upcoming Events

1) OEFI is planning to host a workshop between the MODSIM and ESA conferences in July to support in-person networking for the Chapter. 

2) The group would like to work on a position paper on the importance of ecological forecasting for Oceania and what is needed to move the community forward.  

3) OEFI will again host a seminar series in 2023 to share and highlight the ecological forecasting work being done in Oceania.  The calls will be on Thursdays at 3pm AET, noon AWT, 5pm NZ on the following dates. Details about speakers and topics will be added as they are confirmed. Recordings from previous seminars are available below. Do get in touch if you’d like to contribute a topic, nominate a speaker, or be the speaker (email info@ecoforecast.org).    

  1. 25 May – Steph Brodie (CSIRO); “Skillful ecological forecasts for marine resource managementRegister for the Call Here. Find details about Dr. Brodie’s talk below.
  2. 22 June – Register for the Call Here
  3. 24 August – Register for the Call Here
  4. 21 September – Register for the Call Here
  5. 2 November – Register for the Call Here
  6. 14 December – Register for the Call Here

25 May 2023 – Steph Brodie (CSIRO);
“Skillful ecological forecasts for marine resource management” Register Here.

Abstract: Forecasting physical conditions and ecological responses on sub-seasonal to annual timescales benefits marine resource users and decision-makers to anticipate environmental variability and change yet remains operationally elusive. We applied seasonal forecasts to assess the capacity of two management tools in the California Current Ecosystem (CCE) to provide information up to 12 months ahead. The tools use ocean temperature anomalies to: (1) inform risk assessments that mitigate whale entanglements in a crab fishery; and (2) guide the timing of a fishery closure to protect loggerhead sea turtles. In both cases, forecasts accurately predicted anomalous conditions, and may prepare resource managers and conservation practitioners, in some cases a year in advance. Importantly, skillful forecasts were made during an extended marine heatwave coinciding with high rates of turtle bycatch and whale entanglements. We compared the efficacy of readily available global forecasts versus dynamically downscaled forecasts to the CCE and found these management tools can be skillfully forecast using global ocean forecasts. We show that regionally downscaled forecasts are not a necessity and may be less skillful than global forecasts if they have fewer ensemble members than global forecasts. These results highlight capacity for transitioning ocean management tools to forecast systems, providing information for managers and stakeholders to anticipate and adapt to seasonal and longer-term climate variability. 

Dr. Steph Brodie’s Bio: Steph joined CSIRO as a research scientist in 2023, following experience working with NOAA in California for the past 5 years. She has a broad interest in biogeography, fisheries, and climate change. She has expertise in quantitative analyses and using diverse data sets to examine pelagic predator ecology and the roles that oceanographic processes play in species distributions.  Steph is interested in applied research and understanding how climate change and variability is affecting living marine resources and the communities that depend on them.

Previous Events – click the links to get to recordings from each session

  1. 23 March 2023: Jamie Cleverly, James Cook University & TERN. “The statistical predictability from climate factors of carbon, water and energy fluxes across Australian and New Zealand agricultural sites”
  2. 12 February 2023: Alfredo Huete, University of Technology Sydney. “Pollen forecasting and satellite-derived ecological connections between the environment and human health”
  3. 18 October 2022: Justin Welbergen, Western Sydney University.Flying-Fox Heat Stress Forecaster and Flying-Fox Radar Monitor – applications and implications for proactive flying-fox conservation management.” A recording of this talk is not available.
  4. 30 August 2022: Claire Spillman and Christopher Pickett-Heaps, Bureau of Meteorology. “Data sources for ecological forecasting in Oceania”
  5. 23 May 2022: Paige Eveson, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere; Quinn Thomas, Virginia Tech; Sean Walsh, University of Melbourne. Examples of Ecological Forecasts.
  6. 12 April 2022: Introductions, ecological forecasting in Oceania, and opportunities to participate as a community.

23 March 2023: Contributed Talk by Jamie Cleverly, James Cook University & TERN

12 February 2023: Contributed Talk by Alfredo Huete, University of Technology Sydney

30 August 2022: Presentations about Data Sources for Ecological Forecasting in Oceania

23 May 2022: Presentations about Ecological Forecasts

12 April 2022: Introductions, ecological forecasting in Oceania, and opportunities to participate as a community.

  • Miro Board which shows forecasting projects and interests of the group that met

Other Resources

Recording of 2 March 2022 Webinar Hosted by TERN: Forecasting Ecosystem Changes

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