Logo: A mountain above a lake. In silhouette on the lake are a leafless diciduous tree on the laft, a microbe in the middle, and a fish and a beetle coming in from the right.

2022 Winter Biology Virtual Symposium

June 6-8 2022

Winter can be the defining season for biology in habitats that typically experience snow and ice. In this virtual symposium, we will bring together winter researchers from a range of disciplines to continue fostering an international Winter Biology community.

Our speakers are derived from the defunct Gordon conference, but we will ensure opportunity for interaction for the whole community. We welcome researchers at all stages of their scientific career to this no-cost symposium.

The meeting was a huge success. Recordings of the talks will be available on a private link on YouTube until the end of July 2022. Email Brent Sinclair if you would like to receive a link to those recordings, and/or if you woudl like to be added to the email list to stay informed about future winter biology initiatives.

Note that by attending the symposium, you agree to the code of conduct.

Monday 6 June, 2 - 5 pm*

2:00 pm Welcome: Co-Chairs: Brent Sinclair; Western University & Sapna Sharma; York University

SESSION 1: Predicting Ice Distribution in a Warming World

2:05 pm Matti Lepparanta (University of Helsinki, Finland). Physics and climatology of ice season in lakes
2:25 pm Gesa Weyhenmeyer (Uppsala University, Sweden). Effects of ice quality changes on lake ecology
2:50 pm Aman Basu (York University, Canada). A glimpse into how ice is changing on Northern Hemisphere Lakes: the freeze-thaw  phenology of one thousand USA lakes over thirty years
2:55 pm Xiao Yang (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA). Mapping global lake ice phenology using satellite remote sensing
3:00 pm Discussion + Break

SESSION 2: Life in Winter

3:25 pm
Caroline Williams (University of California, Berkeley, USA). Snow modulates a trade-off between somatic maintenance and future reproduction in willow leaf beetles
3:45 pm
Christa Mulder (U. of Alaska Fairbanks, USA).  Berry plants in winter: what are they doing when no one is watching?
4:05 pm
Hannah Carey (University of Wisconsin, USA). Symbiosis between hibernators and their gut microbes promotes survival during winter’s challenges
4:30 pm Jessica Robichaud (Carleton University, Canada). Northern Map Turtle overwintering behaviour: movement under ice
4:35 pm Connor Reeve (Carleton University, Canada). The Winter Behaviour and Physiology of Free-Swimming Largemouth Bass
4:40 pm
Tuesday 7 June, 7 - 9.30 pm*

SESSION 3:Winter biology across space and time

7:00 pm Peter Groffman (Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, USA).  Cross-season Interactions and Nitrogen Oligotrophication in the Northern Hardwood Forest
7:30 pm Katie E. Marshall (University of British Columbia, Canada). The evolution of plasticity in cold tolerance in eastern spruce budworm
7:50 pm Discussion


8:20 pm
Hugh Henry (Western University, Canada). Soil freeze-thaw cycles and ecosystem function: the freezing sensitivity of legumes
8:40 pm
Yuka Yajima (Muroran Institute of Technology, Japan). Snowbank myxomycetes (true slime molds): a nest of cryptic microorganisms under snow cover
8:45 pm
Kenneth Smith (University of Utah, USA). Snowpack-mediated temperature responses of winter ecosystem respiration are linked to differences in plant functional type across snow-covered forests
8:50 pm Julie Reynolds (The Ohio State University, USA). What, if any, role do microRNAs have in tolerating the cold in insects?
8:55 pm Chunsen Ma (Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China). Climate warming expands overwintering range of diamondback moth and promotes pesticide resistance
9:00 pm
Wednesday 8 June, 9 - 11.45 am*

SESSION 4: Species and ecosystem vulnerability to changing winters

9:30 am
Lloyd Peck (British Antarctic Survey, UK). Antarctic marine ectotherms and the cold dark winter months
10:00 am David Swanson (University of South Dakota, USA) Metabolic Flexibility and Environmental Heterogeneity: How do Birds Respond to Variable Winters?
10:20 am
Pamela Templer (Boston University, USA).Combined effects of climate change in the winter and growing season on northern hardwood forests
10:40 am
10:55 am Heidi Steltzer (Fort Lewis College, USA). Less snow, earlier snowmelt and a warming climate: how critical is it that we know how each affects plant biology, watershed function and water supply?
11:15 am Christian Rixen (WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, Switzerland). Changing snow and alpine plants
11:35 am
Wednesday 8 June 12 noon - 1 pm
Business Meeting
(We know, nobody likes a business meeting, but this is an excellent time to engage as a community and decide: Will we have an in-person meeting in 2024? Where? Who will organize it? Should we reapply for a Gordon Conference given our 2020/2022 experiences? This is your opportunity to have a say in how the international winter biology community develops.)

*All dates and times are Eastern Daylight Time. Here's a link to a timezone converter if you don't have a favorite of your own.

The Winter Biology Virtual Symposium is organized by Sapna Sharma, Brent Sinclair, Steven Cooke, and Pamela Templer.

Contact (for this page): Brent Sinclair