Archive of Previous Meetings

British Ecological Society and Société Française d’Ecologie Joint 2014 Meeting

December 9-12, 2014, Lille, France

The joint BES/SFE meeting will include a focus on the following international and EU-focused thematic topics: Agro-ecology, Biodiversity and ecosystem services, Evolutionary ecology and disease, Marine ecology and the EU Marine Directive, Freshwater ecology and the EU Water Directive, and Horizon 2020 Tackling Societal Challenges.

RCN EukHiTS will be sponsoring a Symposium at the BES/SFE meeting on Tuesday December 10th, as follows:

Symposium Title: Accelerating ecology and biodiversity research via ecometagenomics: species, communities and environmental DNA.

Our confirmed list of speakers is as follows:

  • Pierre Taberlet, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine Grenoble – “Introduction to DNA metabarcoding” (Keynote)
  • Kristy Deiner, Eawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology – “Biomonitoring macroinvertebrates with environmental DNA”
  • Serita Frey, University of New Hampshire – “Fungal Biodiversity: Sustaining the Wood-Wide Web in Temperate Forests”
  • John Colbourne, University of Birmingham UK – “Genomes as Indicators of Environmental Health”
  • Dorota Porazinska, University of Colorado Boulder – “Highly endemic diversity patterns of soil microscopic taxa”

Symposium Description:  High-throughput sequencing technologies now offer tremendous opportunities to make major inroads into our understanding of global biodiversity, macroecology, species detection/biomonitoring and multi-level trophic interactions. For microbial eukaryotic taxa, we can now conduct en mass biodiversity assessment using taxonomic gene markers at a fraction of the time and cost required for traditional (morphological) approaches. Complimented by metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metabarcoding of larger organismal communities and the analysis of “free” environmental DNA (eDNA), the possibilities of enhancing current approaches to biodiversity are vast. In addition, as databases of genes with functional descriptions expand and links between genotype and phenotype extend, metagenomic approaches become useful for linking functional diversity and ecosystem function. Despite this promise, current bottlenecks and roadblocks lie in the development of useful distributed tools, links between molecules and morphology/ecology, and common data standards to allow global comparisons across individual studies. In order to make the most of emerging high-throughput sequencing approaches, we must draw on expertise from diverse disciplines, including microbial, molecular and contemporary ecology. The goal of this session is to catalyze cross-disciplinary discussions between the ecology and environmental sequencing communities and showcase the opportunities that currently exist for 21st Century ecologists. This session will begin with an overview of environmental sequencing approaches, introducing participants to the methods, data types and current advantages and limitations of DNA-based studies. This session would stimulate critical discussion related to the 2014 meeting theme of “Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services,” with interdisciplinary links to other international and EU-focused topics (Marine, Freshwater, and Agro-ecology). Since community-based molecular genetic analysis  represents an emerging ecological discipline, it is important to enhance linkages between the environmental DNA community and those focusing on contemporary ecological challenges, to facilitate high-throughput ecological research that will be relevant at the European scale.

This BES session proposal is timely: The understanding of patterns and mechanisms of biodiversity is among the central goals of ecology, yet patterns of the diversity of microscopic organisms continues to remain greatly uncharacterized and unexplored. Spatial patterns of species diversity are important because they generate knowledge for setting priorities for conservation, monitoring, and restoration programs that are strongly advocated in the European Union. Given that microscopic taxa are major components of detrital foodwebs and play key roles as decomposers, predators and parasites, the application of high-throughput sequencing is critical for expediting our understanding of species’ diversity and functional attributes.

12th Annual Ecological Genomics Symposium

October 31-November 2, 2014, Kansas City, Kansas

This year marks the 12th Ecological Genomics Symposium and we have put together an outstanding lineup of speakers who will cover their latest research results. The event will convene in the Kansas City Marriott Country Club at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, October 31st and conclude on Sunday November 2 at noon. Registration will be opening soon!

To learn about the Kansas State University Ecological Genomics Institute, please visit at

Zach Cheviron, University of Illinois
Casandra Extravour, Harvard University
Jack Gilbert, University of Chicago
Felicity Jones, Max Planck Institute, Tübingen, Germany
Catherine Linnen, University of Kentucky
Michael Lynch, Indiana University
Sean Place, University of South Carolina
Jesse Poland, Kansas State University
John Stinchcomb, University of Toronto
Alex Wilson, University of Miami

POSTER SESSIONS: Poster sessions will be held on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. Poster topics should be related to the field of Ecological Genomics. A LIMITED NUMBER OF SUBMITTED POSTER ABSTRACTS WILL BE SELECTED FOR ORAL PRESENTATIONS.
Please share this announcement with colleagues and students who are interested in learning more about the field of Ecological Genomics. If you have questions, please contact Michael Herman or Loretta Johnson.

Funding for this symposium is provided by Kansas State University.
Ecological Genomics Institute Directors:
Dr. Loretta Johnson,
Dr. Michael Herman,
Kansas State University, Division of Biology
116 Ackert Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506-4901

3rd World Conference on Marine Biodiversity (WCMB2014)

October 12-16, 2014, Qingdao, China

Meeting Theme: “Life in a Changing Ocean”

The meeting program will emphasize six focal sub-themes:

  • Marine Biodiversity & Global change
  • Marine Ecosystem Structure & Function
  • Marine Ecosystem Safety
  • Marine Biological Observation
  • Marine Biological Resources
  • Deep sea Biodiversity

In particular, two special sessions will include a focus on microbial eukaryotes:

  • Ecological and  evolutionary  paradigms in marine  biology  and how meiofauna can be used to address them (Organized by Jeroen Ingels, Plymouth Marine Lab, UK)
  • Evolution in the Deep Sea: Origins, Adaptation and Diversity (organized by Adrian Glover, The Natural History Museum, London)

Environmental Omics (iEOS2014)

September 15th – 18th, 2014, Liverpool, UK

The second NERC international Environmental Omics Synthesis Conference (iEOS2014) will take place in Liverpool (UK), 15th-18th September 2014. The conference aims to bring together researchers and organisations from a range of disciplines with shared interests in the development of new approaches for data handling, generation and analysis in environmental ‘omics. Full information is available at our website

iEOS2014 is a broad spectrum conference showcasing global research with international speakers from Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI), KU Leuven Belgium, US Environmental Protection Agency, Trinity College Dublin, Pennsylvania State University, University of Aberdeen, DKFZ (German Cancer Research Centre), Heidelberg, University of Sheffield, Ghent University Belgium, University of Birmingham, University of Massachusetts Amherst and US Army Engineer Research and Development Centre.

Sessions include:

  • Evolutionary Genomics
  • Meta-omic Analysis of Biome Composition and Function
  • Archaeological ‘Omics
  • Epigenetic Basis of Phenotypic Plasticity Underpinning Acclimatisation
  • Systems Ecotoxicology

Further information is available on the agenda –

Workshops include:

Fully funded workshops run by the NERC NBAF group (travel and accommodation grants available):

  • Gene Expression Analysis
  • Metabolomics
  • Restriction-site Associated DNA (RAD) Data Analysis
  • Population Genomics.

Workshop – ‘Computational Approaches to Study Biological Mechanisms: Bringing together large scale ‘omics approaches and classical computational modelling’

Workshop – ‘Application of the Adverse Outcome Pathway Framework in Environmental Risk Assessment’

Workshop places will be limited so please register early to avoid disappointment.

Conference registration closes on Monday 11th August. We welcome abstract submissions for platform and poster presentations. For updates, please follow us on @EnvOmicsNERC (description from meeting website)

Lake Arrowhead 2014 Meeting on Microbial Genomics

September 14-18, 2014, Lake Arrowhead, California

This conference is part of a yearly meeting initiated in 1991 to bring together genome sequencers, bioinformatics specialists, biologists, and geneticists, to forge interactions that would result in meaningful functional genomics. The goal of the meeting is to translate the influx of new genome sequencing information into useful biological studies.

The Lake Arrowhead 2014 meeting will have a major focus on microbial communities, the human microbiome, pathogens, and bioenergentics. The field of genomics has reached the point where deriving the sequence of an organism’s entire genome is now seen as a beginning rather than an endpoint. The sequence itself is a powerful tool to guide further studies to achieve an understanding of the organism’s biology. This understanding requires either a detailed genetic analysis, or more rapid methods for developing functional genomics.

Therefore, this year’s meeting will cover micro-organisms for which extensive analyses exist, and those for which new biological and technical strategies are being developed. The focus on biodiversity, the human microbiome, pathogenic organisms, and bioenergentics adds special significance to this meeting. This meeting is designed to have a mix of invited presentations and poster sessions. The meeting will have approximately 110 participants. (description from meeting website)

15th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology (ISME15)

August 24-29, 2014, Seoul, South Korea

The International Society for Microbial Ecology is the principle non-profit scientific society for the burgeoning field of Microbial Ecology and its related disciplines. ISME fosters the exchange of scientific information by organizing international symposia as well as specific workshops, sponsoring publications, and promoting education/research. ISME provides services to the scientific as well as the wider community.
The ISME symposia, organized every two years, are the largest international meetings addressing the wide range of topics in Microbial Ecology. (description from ISME website)

2014 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting

August 10-15,  2014,  Sacramento, California

The RCN EukHiTS annual catalysis meeting venue has just been announced; this year’s event will be held in conjunction with the Ecological Society of America’s 2014 Annual Meeting to be held in Sacramento, California, August 10-15, 2014. The main events will consist of a hands-on workshop and a special session that includes talks and discussion (times and abstracts listed below).

Workshops #9884: “Environmental sequencing approaches and computational tools for ecologists” 
Sunday, August 10, 2014
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Description: This workshop will bring together an interdisciplinary pool of researchers to discuss current approaches, challenges, and future directions for environmental sequencing studies (-omic studies of bacteria, archaea and microbial eukaryotes). The workshop program will introduce ecologists to common data types and scientific workflows currently employed for the analysis of high-throughput sequencing data (e.g. Illumina/454). Participants will be given overview presentations and hands-on demonstrations for a number of different approaches, including rRNA marker gene analysis, shotgun metagenomics, and metatranscriptomics. This workshop will introduce participants to computational biology tools and software pipelines which can be harnessed for DNA/RNA-based “ecometagenomic” studies. In addition, we aim to solicit feedback from workshop participants, fostering discussions on how to establish better links between traditional ecological research and new, high-throughput sequencing approaches.

Special Sessions #9883:”Ecometagenomics”
Monday, August 11, 2014
10:15 AM – 11:30 AM

Description: The goal of this session is to catalyze cross-disciplinary discussions between the ecology and environmental sequencing communities.  High-throughput sequencing technologies now offer tremendous opportunities to make major inroads into our understanding of global biodiversity and biogeographic patterns. However, in order to make the most of emerging high-throughput sequencing approaches, we must move towards a “systems ecology” mindset, drawing expertise from diverse disciplines. For microbial eukaryotic taxa in particular, we can now conduct en mass biodiversity assessment using traditional loci (rRNA genes) at a fraction of the time and cost required for traditional (morphological) approaches. In addition, as databases of genes with functional descriptions expand, metagenomic approaches become useful for elucidating ecosystem function. Despite this promise, current bottlenecks and roadblocks lie in the development of useful distributed tools, links between molecules and morphology/ecology, and common data standards to allow global comparisons across individual studies. This session will begin with an overview of environmental sequencing approaches, introducing participants to the methods, data types and current advantages and limitations of DNA/RNA-based studies. The session is intended to be highly interactive, including brief talks, moderated discussion points, and solicitation of questions and feedback from audience members. This session would stimulate critical discussion related to the 2014 meeting theme of “Its all ecology.” DNA/RNA-based studies represent an emerging ecological discipline, and as such, it is imperative that the growing community of microbial ecologists begins to build strong links to the traditional ecological research that forms the center point of the ESA meetings.

Another ESA session linked to RCN EukHiTS is oral session OOS10: Ecological Genomics as an Emerging Field: Opportunities for Non-model Organisms (organized by Melis Akman, UC Davis)

Next-Generation Summer Course in Environmental Genomics

August 2-9, 2014, Bar Harbor, Maine

A technical course to guide research into how environmental conditions affect gene responses and the fitness of organisms, held at the Mount Desert Island Biologial Lab in Maine, USA

Number of participants: Restricted to 25.

The faculty at MDIBL is pleased to again offer a training course in Environmental Genomics, aiming to better understand technologies and approaches used to discover how gene function is influenced by environmental conditions while accounting for variation that exists within and among natural populations. This course is built on the paradigm that the research field will most effectively grow by properly designing large-scale experiments enabled by drastically increased sample-throughput and lower sequencing costs. Most importantly, the bioinformatics challenges of manipulating and analysing population-level genomics data must be addressed.

This course is designed to train the next-generation of environmental scientists, which have included in past years: university professors, postdoctoral researchers, doctoral students and government scientists, representing institutions from North America and Europe. Most responded in the departure survey that the course curriculum, choice of technologies, and effectiveness provided sufficient training to either begin or enlarge an environmental genomics project in their own laboratories. All reported that they would recommend this course to a colleague.

This course trains researchers to design studies, and to collect and analyse DNA re-sequencing and RNA-Seq gene expression data. Daphnia is used for training because of its growing use as a model system for environmental genomics and for improving environmental health protection, yet the skills learned during the course will be applicable to all study systems with maturing genomics resources. Much time is devoted to guiding the current and future projects of attendees.

Ultimately, participants will be better positioned to incorporate these technologies into their own research laboratories, while better understanding how functional genomics and automation can be applied to ecology, evolution and environmental toxicology.

Course Faculty include:
* John Colbourne (University of Birmingham & MDIBL)
* Joseph Shaw (Indiana University & MDIBL)
* Benjamin King (MDIBL)
* Andrew Whitehead (University of California Davis)
* Gary Churchill (Jackson Laboratory)
* Trudy Mackay (North Carolina State University)
* Thomas Hampton (Dartmouth College)
* Luisa Orsini (University of Birmingham)
* John Novembre (University of Chicago)
* Michael Herman (Kansas State University)
* Wes Warren (The Genome Institute, Washington University)

plus many more.

Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory
Old Bar Harbor Rd., Salisbury Cove, ME 04672

2nd North America Congress for Conservation Biology (NACCB)

July 13-16, 2014, Missoula, Montana

The Society for Conservation Biology North America Congress for Conservation Biology (NACCB) is recognized as the most important meeting for conservation professionals and students working in North America. The biennial NACCB provides a forum for presenting and discussing new research and developments in conservation science and practice for addressing today’s conservation challenges. In addition, these conferences connect our regional community of conservation professionals and serve as a major networking outlet for people interested in North America conservation. (description from NACCB website)

Sessions of interest to RCN network participants:

Viruses to Vertebrates: Environmental DNA in Conservation Biology (organized by Taylor Wilcox, Unversity of Montana)

Provisional session program as follows:

  • Dr. Caren Goldberg “Simultaneous detection of amphibian pathogens and their vertebrate hosts in aquatic systems”
  • Dr. Ryan Thum “Using environmental DNA for early detection and rapid response for Eurasian watermillfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum)”
  • Dr. Antoinette Piaggio “Going with the flow: Using waterways to detect Burmese pythons and feral swine”
  • Jenna Schabacker “Early detection of aquatic invasive species: Evaluation of new eDNA qPCR tests and sampling methods”
  • Dr. Andrew Mahon “New technologies for using environmental DNA to detect invasive species”
  • Dr. Aibin Zhan “Technical issues of rare species detection using next-generation sequencing”
  • Dr. Christopher Jerde “Estimating species richness with environmental DNA”
  • Dr. Mehrdad Hajibabaei “Next generation biodiversity analysis through DNA metasystematics”

Evolution and iEvoBio 2014

June 20-24, 2014, Raleigh, North Carolina

Evolution 2014 is the joint annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE), the Society of Systematic Biologists (SSB), and the American Society of Naturalists (ASN). iEvoBio is a satellite conference following the main conference, bringing together biologists who are interested in evolution, systematics, biodiversity, software, and mathematics.

Evolutionary Biology of Caenorhabditis and other Nematodes

June 14-17,  2014,  Hinxton, UK

This conference will bring together scientists studying evolutionary processes in diverse nematode groups. In addition to attracting many researchers studying evolution in Caenorhabditis elegans as model organism (and its closer relatives such as C. briggsae and C. remanei), the meeting will also welcome scientists investigating other free-living groups and the numerous animal- and plant-parasitic nematode species that threaten human health and the global economy. There will be a strong emphasis on genomic approaches and perspectives. The topics highlighted will include experimental evolution, fundamental evolutionary forces, genotype-phenotype relationships, metagenomic analyses, and processes of parasitism. The programme plays a critical role in promoting interaction and collaboration between evolutionary scientists training in the C. elegans tradition and those focused on other nematode groups.

A limited number of registration bursaries are available for PhD students and junior post-docs to attend this conference (up to 50% of the registration fee).

Abstract and bursary deadline: May 2, 2014
Registration deadline: May 16, 2014

Evolutionary Biology of Caenorhabditis and other Nematodes_2014

Society for Molecular Biology & Evolution 2014 Annual Meeting

June 8-12, 2014, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Meeting Theme – MOLECULAR EVOLUTION: From Genome Technology to the History of Life

The Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution is an international organization whose goals are to provide facilities for association and communication among molecular evolutionists and to further the goals of molecular evolution, as well as its practitioners and teachers. (description from SMBE website)

Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting 2014

May 17-23, 2014, Portland, Oregon

Meeting Theme: “Bridging Genes to Ecosystems: Aquatic Science at a Time of Rapid Change”
This conference is a joint meeting of four aquatic scientific societies: Society for Freshwater Science (SFS), Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), Phycological Society of America (PSA), and Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS).

Sessions including a focus on microbial eukaryotes:

029 – Aquatic Species Investigation: Environmental DNA applications for aquatic ecosystems
Organized by Erik Pilgrim (US EPA), Eric Stein (Southern California Coastal Water Research Project), and
Mehrdad Hajibabaei (University of Guelph/Biodiversity Institute of Ontario)

The continued rapid advancement of genomics and associated technologies is opening the door to new techniques for detecting and monitoring biodiversity in any aquatic ecosystem. As all organisms shed DNA into their environment, this environmental DNA (eDNA) signal may now be detected directly from the water column through various molecular detection methods, from quantitative PCR to Next-Generation Sequencing. Researchers worldwide have been developing these revolutionary methods for a variety of applications: environmental bioassessment of aquatic habitats based on molecular analyses of biodiversity, detection and monitoring aquatic invasive species, discovery of pathogens and parasites in aquatic environments, determining sites and populations for conservation of biodiversity, and tracking and uncovering populations of threatened or endangered aquatic species. This session gathers together aquatic scientists pursuing the latest available genomic capabilities to provide new, powerful tools for studying, understanding, and protecting aquatic biodiversity. The session allows researchers to present the current state of eDNA analysis while providing insight into future directions for this work.

American Society for Microbiology 2014 Annual Meeting

May 17-20,  2014,  Boston, Massachusetts

Meeting includes sessions focused on basic and environmental microbiology, host-microbe interactions, and eukaryotic microbes amongst other areas.

Sessions of interest include:

16th Meeting of the Genomics Standards Consortium

March 31 – April 2, 2014, Oxford, UK

Meeting Theme: Biodiversity Genomics
Large efforts are underway to sequence much of the biodiversity on Earth. Some focus on particular species (notably humans and other model organisms, or species of economic or ecological significance) and others on particular places or environments. These studies, whether at the organismal or ecosystem scale, increasingly address change over time. There is much potential overlap among these projects and an urgent need to establish common data standards as well as an opportunity to share lessons learned (e.g., biobanking, data policies, technological approaches, informatics platforms, theory and modeling etc.) GSC 16 will serve as the fourth meeting of the Genomic Observatories Network (GOs 4) and the first international meeting of the Ocean Sampling Day Consortium. (description from GSC 16 website)

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