Highlights of the First Meeting of the Marine Reserves Working Group

Developing the Theory of Marine Reserves

Summary of Meeting 1, May 18-22

Participants: Gary Allison, Oregon State University; Sandy Andelman, University of California, Santa Barbara; Louis Botsford, University of California, Davis; Mark Carr, University of California, Santa Cruz; Juan Carlos Castilla, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile; Patty Debenham, Sea Web; Steve Gaines, University of California, Santa Barbara; Brian Grantham, Oregon State University; Alan Hastings, University of California, Davis; John Largier, University of California, San Diego; Jane Lubchenco, Oregon State University; Joseph Neigel, University of Southwest Louisiana; Steve Palumbi, Harvard University; Hugh Possingham, University of Adelaide, Roseworthy Campus; Callum Roberts, University of York; Mary Ruckelshaus, National Marine Fisheries Service; Alan Shanks, University of Oregon; Bob Warner, University of California, Santa Barbara; Michael Whitlock, University of British Columbia

Invited Observers: Jennifer Dugan, Kevin Lafferty, Deborah McArdle

Our first meeting was very productive and we laid the groundwork for the various approaches we will be taking during the coming year. During the course of the week, we accomplished the following:

1. Got to know one another, and learned about the particular talents and areas of expertise of everyone involved. Since most of us had not worked together previously, and many of us had not previously spent much time thinking about marine reserves, this was an essential and useful process.

  1. Agreed on a set of goals for the working group and on a set of questions our modeling and synthesis efforts should address. We agreed that by the end of the project we should be able to help answer a set of basic questions, including where should marine reserves be located, how many do we need, how should they be distributed spatially, how large should they be, how should they be evaluated, etc.
  2. Agreed on working definitions to facilitate communication throughout the project (for example, what do we mean by a marine reserve in the context of this working group).
  3. Decided to pursue several complementary modeling approaches to address the range of questions identified, for a range of species with different life histories, and to create a robust analysis.
  4. Based on the collective knowledge of participants, produced an initial set of simple decision guidelines to address practical decisions by managers and policy makers about marine reserves. We began the process of debating and validating those simple rules, and agreed to revise these guidelines by the end of the project.
  5. Identified data acquisition and synthesis needs for parameterizing models, testing simple decision rules, elucidating general reserve design principles, and made a first cut at prioritizing those needs.
  6. Agreed to identify some "case study" regions where we will test and refine our models.
  7. Formed four teams, each of which will focus on a particular component of the effort: models, data, simple rules and synthesis. Each team produced an initial written statement, outlining major approaches, tasks and tentative timelines. A list leaders and participants for each of those groups is appended at the end of this summary.
  8. Set future meeting dates (November 8-10 and May 16-20), and agreed on mechanisms for communication, both within and between teams in the interim.

Teams, Team Leaders and Participants


Simple Rules

Leader: Sandy Andelman

Leader: Mary Ruckelshaus

Loo Botsford

Sandy Andelman

Steve Gaines

Juan Carlos Castilla

Alan Hastings

Brian Grantham

Steve Palumbi

Jane Lubchenco

Hugh Possingham

Hugh Possingham

Callum Roberts

Bob Warner



Leader: John Largier

Patty Debenham

Gary Allison

Steve Gaines

Loo Botsford

Jane Lubchenco
Steve Gaines Steve Palumbi

Brian Grantham

Jane Lubchenco

Joe Neigel

Steve Palumbi

Alan Shanks

(Mark Carr)

(Callum Roberts)

(Dick Strathman)