With this third international ASLO Meeting in Europe and the only ASLO meeting in 2009, the picturesque coasts and towns of Southern France invite you to share and exchange your scientific findings and viewpoints with colleagues from all over the world with a touch of Mediterranean life style by setting the premises for lively discussions in a friendly and warm atmosphere. Mediterranean tradition includes a long enough lunchtime break to visit one of the lovely restaurants in the medieval quarters of Nice, only 5 minutes away, or to take a break at the nearby beach (sorry, sunbathing is not guaranteed in January). We are intentionally not focusing this meeting on a specific theme and rather offer a large variety of session to everybody's taste and interest using a bottom up approach. Reflecting Europe's large variety of different cultures that have to cope with each other in a permanent exchange of different ideas, we introduce a new kind of plenary lecture in this conference. Topic of the day will be covered by two speakers with either controversial or complementary viewpoints in order to solicit a lively discussion among the participants in the following sessions. We also encourage a transdisciplinary approach with natural and social scientists in one of the five keynote topics (“Future water shortage and sustainable water management: their implications for aquatic ecosystems”).