University Of Tasmania
152667 - Making spatial temporal marine ecosystem modelling.pdf (5.29 MB)
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Making spatial-temporal marine ecosystem modelling better-A perspective

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 12:34 authored by Steenbeek, J, Buszowski, J, Chagaris, D, Christensen, V, Coll, M, Elizabeth FultonElizabeth Fulton, Katsanevakis, S, Lewis, KA, Mazaris, AD, Macias, D, de Mutsert, K, Oldford, G, Pennino, MG, Piroddi, C, Romagnoni, G, Serpetti, N, Shin, Y-J, Spence, MA, Stelzenmueller, V

Marine Ecosystem Models (MEMs) provide a deeper understanding of marine ecosystem dynamics. The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development has highlighted the need to deploy these complex mechanistic spatial-temporal models to engage policy makers and society into dialogues towards sustainably managed oceans. From our shared perspective, MEMs remain underutilized because they still lack formal validation, calibration, and uncertainty quantifications that undermines their credibility and uptake in policy arenas.

We explore why these shortcomings exist and how to enable the global modelling community to increase MEMs' usefulness. We identify a clear gap between proposed solutions to assess model skills, uncertainty, and confidence and their actual systematic deployment. We attribute this gap to an underlying factor that the ecosystem modelling literature largely ignores: technical issues. We conclude by proposing a conceptual solution that is cost-effective, scalable and simple, because complex spatial-temporal marine ecosystem modelling is already complicated enough.


Publication title

Environmental Modelling & Software








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Elsevier Sci Ltd

Place of publication

The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Oxon, Ox5 1Gb

Rights statement

© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license (

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Marine systems and management not elsewhere classified