Candidate for Member at Large: Alessandra Conversi

Alessandra Conversi

Ph.D. 1992 (Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, California, USA)


Biographical Information

I am a scientist with wide international experience, having studied, lived and worked in the USA, Italy and the UK. I am currently Senior Researcher in the National Research Council (CNR) in Lerici, Italy. Prior to that, I was recipient of a European Marie Curie Fellowship at SAHFOS, Plymouth, UK and Branch Director at CNR, Lesina, Italy. Before that I was in the USA as a Fulbright Scholar in 1985 and obtained a PhD at Scripps Institution of Oceanography; after, I worked at the National Science Foundation as a Knauss Sea Grant Marine Policy Fellow; then became Research Assistant Professor at the Marine Center of Stony Brook University, until I returned to Italy in 1997.

I worked for 30 years in the field of climate and global change relationship on impacts on marine populations, pioneering a field, bioclimatology, that has now become mainstream. In the last decade, I focused on tipping points and ecological regime shifts. My work has indicated that shifts in the marine environment are ubiquitous, connected, likely to grow in frequency and magnitude in future because of global change. I have also eagerly served for several organisations, e.g as Expert Reviewer for IPCC and IPBES.
Despite international relocations, I remain in touch with colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic -as well as with ASLO- where I was honoured to serve as OSM18 Vice-Chair and OSM20 coChair. I am excited about further developing my relationship with ASLO in the role of Member at Large!

Candidate Statement

I admire ASLO both for its high-quality scientific content and for its ethics, which I encountered while serving as OSM18 Vice-Chair and OSM20 co-Chair. This experience revealed the complexity and teamwork that lies behind constructing an international flagship conference, and showed me how to translate ASLO core values from words into reality.
I have worked for 30 years in the field of climate interactions with marine biota. In the last decade I have focused on marine regime shifts and tipping points. My studies have made it clear that to avoid reaching these points a societal shift is needed. To achieve that, we need a change in peoples’ awareness and heart.

As ASLO Member-At-Large I would endeavour to foster:
-Interdisciplinary expansion: a new level of interdisciplinarity is needed – including social sciences, economy, art: we need all hands on deck! I would like to help ASLO explore ways to increase such cross-disciplinary dialogs
-New communication models: the standard knowledge transfer system used by scientists (peer-reviewed publications, conferences) is not expansive enough to produce the societal shift needed. I am interested to see ASLO explore novel ways of reaching and targeting new audiences (e.g., movies, new heroes). I see enormous potential in art for communicating and empowering scientific messages, especially in this era dominated by social media in which the scientific voice is lost
-Youth outreach and engagement: younger generations will face the brunt of our current non-sustainable lifestyle, yet feel powerless in changing the current direction. I believe that empowering the next generation is crucial, and this can be done through programs that prize ingenuity and original solutions
-Cross-cultural exchanges: through my own experience, I am aware of cultural divides between countries and I can contribute in bridging them. I would particularly like to increase exchange opportunities for marine scientists from South American, Asian and African countries
-Geopolitical exchanges: Europe is aiming to become the first CO2 net-zero continent by 2050, and is focusing on blue, sustainable growth, with emphasis on sustainability. I would like to see ASLO foster exchange on what we can learn from this process, and how we can promote good practices in our society.

I am fond of ASLO and as a Member at Large I will draw on my expertise to make it even more international, interdisciplinary, and strong.

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