Future challenges in cephalopod research

José C. Xavier, A. Louise Allcock, Yves Cherel, Marek R. Lipinski, Graham J. Pierce, Paul G K Rodhouse, Rui Rosa, Elizabeth K. Shea, Jan M. Strugnell, Erica A G Vidal, Roger Villanueva, Alexander Ziegler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)
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Cephalopods (Mollusca: Cephalopoda) play an important role as keystone invertebrates in various marine ecosystems, as well as being a valuable fisheries resource. At the World Malacological Congress, held 21-28 July 2013 in Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal, a number of cephalopod experts convened to honour the contribution of the late Malcolm R. Clarke, FRS (1930-2013) to cephalopod research. Endorsed by the Cephalopod International Advisory Council (CIAC), the meeting discussed some of the major challenges that cephalopod research will face in the future. These challenges were identified as follows: (1) to find new ways to ascertain the trophic role and food web links of cephalopods using hard tissues, stable isotopes and novel concepts in theoretical ecology; (2) to explore new approaches to the study of cephalopod morphology; (3) to further develop cephalopod aquaculture research; (4) to find new ways to ascertain cephalopod adaptation and response to environmental change; (5) to strengthen cephalopod genetics research; and (6) to develop new approaches for cephalopod fisheries and conservation. The present paper presents brief reviews on these topics, followed by a discussion of the general challenges that cephalopod research is bound to face in the near future. By contributing to initiatives both within CIAC and independent of CIAC, the principle aim of the paper is to stimulate future cephalopod research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)999-1015
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Issue number5
Early online date26 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2015

Bibliographical note

We thank Anto´nio M. de Frias Martins, past President of the Unitas Malacologica and Peter Marko, President of the American Malacological Society for organizing the 2013 World Congress of Malacology, and the Cephalopod International Advisory Committee for endorsing a symposium held in honour of Malcolm R. Clarke. In particular, we would like to thank the many professional staff from the
University of the Azores for their hospitality, organization, troubleshooting and warm welcome to the Azores. We also thank Malcolm Clarke’s widow, Dorothy, his daughter Zoe¨, Jose´ N. Gomes-Pereira and numerous colleagues and friends of Malcolm’s from around the world for joining us at Ponta Delgada. We are grateful to Lyndsey Claro (Princeton University Press) for granting copyright permissions.


  • aquaculture
  • cephalopods
  • climate change
  • fisheries
  • future research
  • genetics
  • morphology
  • trophic interactions


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