👋 See you at Biology 24 in Zürich!

More information soon. Thank you so much for coming!

BIOLOGY 23

February 16-17, 2023 at the University of Geneva

Biology 23 is the largest conference of organismic biology in Switzerland and aims to provide a platform for exchange between students, researchers and professors across scientific institutions, research groups and topic areas.

Biology 23 is also the annual joint meeting of the Swiss Zoological, Botanical, and Systematics societies.

Thursday 16 Feb 2023

Registration, first conference day and Darwin event.

Friday 17 Feb 2023

Second conference day and best talk and best poster awards.

Friday 31 Mar 2023

The video recordings will remain available until the end of March.

Best Talk Award: Marianna Tzivanopoulou

Marianna Tzivanopoulou, University of Lausanne, was awarded the Microsynth-sponsored best talk price for her presentation entitled “Assessing the reliability of citizen-science data for the study of ant species’ environmental niches and distributions“.

Best Poster Award: Dave Lutgen

Dave Lutgen, University of Bern, Swiss Ornithological Institute, and Friedrich-Schiller-University, was awarded the Fasteris-Genesupport-sponsored best poster price for his poster entitled “Modular regulation and convergent evolution of ASIP underpins color variation in wheatears“.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Meet the stars of the event.

Sonya Clegg
plus

Sonya Clegg

University of Oxford

Elena Conti
plus

Elena Conti

University of Zürich

Tim Coulson
plus

Tim Coulson

University of Oxford

Laurent Excoffier
plus

Laurent Excoffier

University of Bern

Catherine Graham
plus

Catherine Graham

Swiss Federal Research Institute

PROGRAMME

Discover the full programme, including all the abstracts of the session talks!

Registration and poster setup

Please bring your email receipt, and allow enough time for poster setup.

105min

A300

Welcome

By Alice Cibois, Yamama Naciri, and Estella Poloni.

15min

A300

Plenary session I – Elena Conti

Comparative Genomics elucidates the convergent origins of floral heteromorphism

Convergent evolution is one of the most fundamental yet contentious issues in evolutionary biology. The rapid accumulation of high-quality reference genomes and transcriptomes now enables us to re-examine evolutionary convergence and parallelism in a new framework: Does convergence at the phenotypic level correspond to convergence or deep homology at the genotypic level? Do the same genes and genetic architectures underlie convergent traits, or can different genes be recruited to achieve the same phenotypic outcome? I will discuss these questions focusing on heterostyly in Primulaceae but within the broader framework of flowering plants. Heterostyly evolved three times independently in Primulaceae, namely in Primula, Hottonia, and Androsace. Heterostylous taxa of Primulaceae typically comprise two different types of plants with distinct floral morphs characterized by reciprocally placed sexual organs and a heteromorphic incompatibility system that blocks self- or intra-morph fertilization. Heterostyly thus promotes cross-fertilization while preventing the harmful effects of self-fertilization, and it evolved at least 14 times in angiosperms. A supergene known as the S locus operates the genetic control of heterostyly. Despite the numerous genetic, morphological, and reproductive studies on heterostyly over the past 150 years, the molecular nature and evolutionary origins of the S locus remained unknown until recently. What are the genes and genetic architectures of the S locus? Are they the same in independent origins of heterostyly? Did the S locus evolve through a single, large duplication followed by loss of intervening genes or through multiple, asynchronous gene duplications followed by translocations? We addressed these questions by generating highly contiguous, chromosome-scale, haplotype-phased assemblies of heterostylous and homostylous genomes of Primulaceae and performing comparative genomic analyses across Ericales, the order that includes Primulaceae. Primulaceae thus represent an ideal system to study evolution on repeat in the genomics era, clarifying the connections and disconnections of evolutionary convergence from the genotypic to the phenotypic level and back.

Chair: Yamama Naciri

45min

A300

Elena Conti

My research revolves around the following fundamental questions in evolutionary biology: How is biological diversity partitioned at different temporal, spatial, and genomic scales? What are the processes that generate and eliminate biological diversity? How do geography, ecology, and genomes shape the evolution of biological diversity? I strive to address the complexity of these questions by […]

website

Lunch break



Chair: whichever one you choose 😉

75min

Sc II Cafeteria

Plenary session II – Laurent Excoffier

Demographic inference from ancient human genomes

Reconstructing the demographic history of our species is important not only for satisfying a legitimate curiosity about our origins, but also because it can allow us to better infer past episodes of selection and correctly interpret observed patterns of genomic diversity. In the last 10 years, ancient DNA has revolutionized the way we can reconstruct the settlement history of modern humans, as it gives us direct access to the genomic identity of the first colonizers of different regions of the world. However, most ancient genomes are only partially sequenced, which limits their use for demographic inference as the retrieved information suffers from ascertainment bias. However, investing in good quality ancient genomes allows one to use sophisticated inference methods developed for the analysis of modern genomes. These ancient genomes can thus be used as anchor points in the analysis of modern genomes, or be analyzed on their own to provide new insights about past settlement processes. I will illustrate this point by showing how they have allowed us to provide new insights about the exit of modern humans out of Africa, the settlement of northeastern Siberia and the relationships between early farmers and hunter gatherers from western Eurasia.

Chair: Estella Poloni

45min

A300

Laurent Excoffier

I am interested in the development of computational methods to understand evolutionary processes at the population and species level, for instance to study how past climatic and environmental changes have influenced the pattern of genetic diversity of a given species, or to detect evidence of local adaptations from genomic information. Photo ©Universität Bern; Foto: Adrian […]

website

Poster flash presentation

Check-out the list of posters.



Chair: Pascale Gerbault

30min

A300

Coffee break & poster session

Check-out the list of posters.



45min

Sc II Cafeteria

Darwin Event

The event will take place at the Le Bateau Genève (How to get there)

A sunset view of the Bateau Genève with the Jet d'Eau and the Jura as a backdrop
More info at bateaugeneve.ch

until late

Le Bateau Genève

Darwin Talk – Sonya Clegg

Tales of the South Pacific: the evolutionary ecology of island colonising birds

Chair: Alice Cibois

45

Le Bateau Genève

Sonya Clegg

I am an evolutionary ecologist interested in the processes that promote divergence in wild vertebrate systems. To understand the processes of genetic, morphological and ecological/behavioural differentiation, I combine field and molecular ecology approaches in my research. I currently lead a long-term field project on natural selection, demography and behaviour in a bird population of silvereye […]

website

Registration

60min

A300

Welcome

By Alice Cibois, Yamama Naciri, and Estella Poloni.

15min

A300

Plenary session III – Tim Coulson

Unifying ecology and evolution to understand why very large and very small species exist

Ecological changes can result in evolution of phenotypic traits and life history, which can impact population and community dynamics. These two processes interact to generate eco-evolutionary feedbacks. I will explain how we can empirically quantify and theoretically model these feedbacks by drawing on my research into the ecosystems of Yellowstone National Park and Trinidad’s freshwater streams. Although the framework I describe has had some success in linking population ecology, population genetics, life history theory, and quantitative genetics, one of the drawbacks of the approach I will describe is models can become quite complicated making them hard to analyse. I will describe a novel approach I have pioneered to simplify models to gain general, novel, ecological and evolutionary insight. I will illustrate the approach by demonstrating how to evolve both species with very large body sizes and slow life histories, and those with small body sizes and fast life histories.

Chair: Claudio Quilodran

45min

A300

Tim Coulson

My group and I research how demographic rates vary across genotypes, phenotypes and environments. We identify the ecological, evolutionary and conservation consequences of this variation. We use a mix of field observations, laboratory experiments, statistical analysis of data and the construction and analysis of mathematical models.

website

Presentation by the Societies

30min

A300

Coffee break & poster session

Check-out the list of posters.



30min

Sc II Cafeteria

Lunch break



Chair: whichever one you choose 😉

75min

Sc II Cafeteria

Plenary session IV – Catherine Graham

The importance of temporal dynamics in species interactions for community structure and stability

Species interactions are dynamic in nature, and yet, all too often we evaluate interactions with data summarized over time. By evaluating summarized data, we likely miss key mechanisms governing species interactions and community stability. Here we explore fine grained (monthly) plant-hummingbird interaction data gathered across multiple sites and over several years to describe how interaction and network structure changes across time and evaluate mechanisms that influence this variation. We show, for instance, that different factors influence resource specialization across time (2 years of monthly sampling) and space (11 sites along an elevation gradient). In addition, we use theoretical models to show that temporal dynamics in hummingbird-plant assemblages increases community stability. This combination of long(ish) term empirical data collection and both statistical and theoretical models provides new insight into the importance of considering temporal dynamics when studying species interactions and community stability.

Chair: Mathieu Perret

45min

A300

Catherine Graham

I study how the spatial and temporal arrangement of habitats influences biological diversity.  This issue relates to a number of fundamental questions in ecology that have challenged scientists for decades.  Questions include: Why do mountains have extraordinary biodiversity? What is the importance of niche partitioning in maintaining biological diversity? and How does the climate history […]

website

Coffee break & poster session

Check-out the list of posters.



45min

Sc II Cafeteria

Best talk and best poster awards

The 3 societies will nominate and award the best talk.

All attendees will be invited to vote for the best poster, which will be awarded by Alicia Sanchez-Mazas.

15min

A300

Closing remarks

By Alice Cibois, Yamama Naciri, and Estella Poloni.

15min

A300

Conference booklet and poster list

18 Feb 2023 > Day 1+2 plenary sessions recordings are available! 🎥

(*) The recordings will remain available until March 31th, 2023.

Talk format

The duration of each talk is 15 minutes (12 minutes presentation + 3 minutes for questions). More information will be provided once the talk selection process completed.

Poster format

Each poster must have a portrait layout and be in the format (width x height) 841 mm x 1189 mm corresponding to A0. More information will be provided on the flash talks once the poster selection process completed.

VENUE

Science II houses the physics, chemistry, earth sciences and biology sections of the Faculty of Science of the University of Geneva.

Sciences II

University of Geneva – Sciences II
Quai Ernest Ansermet 30, 1205 Genève
1 mi / 1.6 km from Downtown

MORE INFORMATION

2

DAYS

59

TALKS

260

ATTENDEES

1

PARTY

REGISTER

Members of the Swiss Systematics Society, Swiss Botanical Society and Swiss Zoological Society receive 10 CHF discount. Discount is not cumulative.

Conference

Regular price (in CHF) – 2 days

Regular

60.-

Conference kit

Coffee breaks

Lunch

member

50.-

Conference kit

Coffee breaks

Lunch

Students

Student price (in CHF) – 2 days
BSc, MSc or PhD only

Regular

50.-

Conference kit

Coffee breaks

Lunch

member

40.-

Conference kit

Coffee breaks

Lunch

Darwin Event

The Darwin Event will take place at Le Bateau Genève in Geneva. The event includes the keynote conference by Sonya Clegg, the dinner and a musical event.

More info at www.bateaugeneve.ch

Regular

+80.-

Darwin Talk

Apéro, three-course meal, and a selection of soft and alcoholic beverages

Musical event

Member

+70.-

Darwin Talk

Apéro, three-course meal, and a selection of soft and alcoholic beverages

Musical event

Online registrations are now closed*

(*) but we will be accepting a limited number of in-person registrations (cash only) on the first day of the event.

Refunds are no longer possible

ORGANISING COMMITTEE

Meet the brains behind the event.

Isabel Blasco-Costa
Muséum d’histoire naturelle de Genève et Université de Genève
museumlab-geneve.ch/auteurs/isabel-blasco-costa

Lionel Cavin
Muséum d’histoire naturelle de Genève
museumlab-geneve.ch/auteurs/lionel-cavin

Camille Christe
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de Genève
www.researchgate.net/profile/camille-christe

Alice Cibois
Muséum d’histoire naturelle de Genève
museumlab-geneve.ch/auteurs/alice-cibois

Mathias Currat
Université de Genève
genev.unige.ch/research/laboratory/mathias-currat

Lionel Di Santo
Université de Genève
https://sites.google.com/view/lioneldisanto/

Pascale Gerbault
Université de Genève
genev.unige.ch/research/people/pascale-gerbault

Yamama Naciri
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de Genève et Université de Genève
www.researchgate.net/profile/yamama-naciri

Mathieu Perret
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de Genève et Université de Genève
www.researchgate.net/profile/mathieu-perret-2

Estella Poloni
Université de Genève
genev.unige.ch/research/laboratory/estella-poloni

Charles Pouchon
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de Genève
www.researchgate.net/profile/charles-pouchon

Michelle Price
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de Genève et Université de Genève
biveg.unige.ch/labs/price

Claudio Quilodran
Université de Genève
genev.unige.ch/research/people/claudio-quilodran

Alicia Sanchez-Mazas
Université de Genève
genev.unige.ch/research/laboratory/alicia-sanchez-mazas

Arthur Sanguet
Université de Genève

David Roessli (website)
Université de Genève
genev.unige.ch/research/people/david-roessli

Slim Chraïti (poster and photos)
Université de Genève
genev.unige.ch/research/people/slim-chraiti

Caroline Stemberger Duri (logistics)
Université de Genève
genev.unige.ch/research/people/caroline-stemberger

Stephan Weber (logistics)
Université de Genève
genev.unige.ch/research/people/stephan-weber

Jesus Gonzalez (audio-visuels)
Université de Genève

G.R.E.S. Unidos de Genève (entertainement)
School of percussion and samba dance
unidosdegeneve.com

Chaleur cosmique (entertainement)
Nathan, DJ
www.facebook.com/chaleurcosmique

SPONSORS

A BIG thank you to all our sponsors for supporting this event!

Copyright 2023 © University of Geneva. All rights reserved.