The last century has seen a large and rapid expansion of human activities which in turn has been destroying ecosystems that had been developing for billions of years. Indeed, growing economic activities often lead to the extinction of species, the degradation of habitats, and the direct destruction of organic life. Human-made global warming is one of the key factors contributing to the sixth mass extinction of species. The ocean has long taken the brunt of the impacts of climate change and has been influenced by the raise in temperature and the associated marine water acidification. These processes are gradually altering the ocean's unique landscapes and biodiversity.
Marine life, from unicellular microorganisms to mammals, is struggling to adapt to new environments and change their distribution and ecological niches. Some of these species are going extinct, while others manage to find rescue and stay alive. Environmental changes and ecosystems destruction have a substantial effect on Earth. However, they also provide exciting opportunities to understand the origin and the evolution of life using elaborate modern methods for observations and outstanding data analysis capabilities.
BMC Genomics is calling for submissions to our "First Dive into Marine Genomics for early-career researchers Collection (marine biologists, marine ecologists, and evolutionary biologists) on their first step in understanding the world ocean's biodiversity during this era of substantial changes using molecular genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics methods. For this Collection, we invite you to contribute original research papers describing the application of modern methods for phylogenetic analyses, as well as speciation and molecular evolution studies of marine species in changing environments. Experimental studies demonstrating the importance of epigenetic factors (i.e., non-coding RNAs and RNA/DNA modifications) in adaptation to changing environments and research focused on describing the role of interspecific hybridization and its adaptive potential are also welcome. With this collection we would like to promote the sustainable development goal SDG14: Life Below Water.
N.B. As we understand the importance of the first steps for marine genomics, for this collection BMC Genomics would like to encourage manuscripts where the first author is an early-career researcher (BSc, MSc, or PhD student or scientist with no more than 5 years of research experience after the PhD). As per our policy, APC waivers are available for corresponding authors based in countries listed here: apc waivers | Open research | Springer Nature.
Image credit: Anastasiia Samoukina