Symposia & Workshops

Currently, the following symposia and workshops have been proposed. The Organizing Committee welcomes any and all input regarding potential symposia for inclusion (Deadline for symposium and workshop submission is the 31. 03. 2012). Symposium number should be cited with abstract submission and have been assigned on a first-come-first-served basis.

01 GfBS-Symposium: Small but manifold: Protist diversity
Convener: Birgit Gemeinholzer
Protist diversity is far from being completely described. Unsuspected diversity is discovered by the application of new techniques. The session is dedicated to investigations presenting new techniques to detect diversity, revealing up to now hidden diversity, and/or new concepts about how to deal with the newly discovered diversity.

02 Swiss Systematic Society-Symposium: Evolution of parasites and parasitoids
Convener: Seraina Klopfstein, Hannes Baur, Jean Mariaux
Diversity of parasitic organisms: The majority of species on earth have a parasitic lifestyle. Despite their overwhelming diversity and importance in both ecology and economy, parasitic organisms still only play a minor role in biodiversity research. This symposium will try to shed light on patterns of parasite diversity, focussing on multi-cellular parasites and insect parasitoids, and discuss mechanisms involved in their diversification.

03 – Svenska Systematikföreningen-Symposium: Phylogenetic methods
Convener: Bengt Oxelman
Studying the evolution of extant and ancient biota belongs to the core questions of biological science. Phylogenetic methods have greatly advanced our knowledge on the interrelation of organisms. This session is devoted to new methods of phylogenetic inference, character evolution and molecular clock studies.

04 – Société Française de Systématique-Symposium: Cryptic species
Conveners: Patrick Martin & Cyrille D’Haese
The taxonomical issue addressed by cryptic species (two or more distinct species classified as a single one due to morphological similarity) has been recognized nearly 300 years ago. The recent advent of DNA sequencing as a new tool in systematics, especially the growing use of barcoding, and the resulting discovery of an unexpectedly large amount of cryptic diversity have reactivated the interest of biologists in such an issue. This session will try to consider different facets of the topic, from concepts (what are “cryptic” species, how to identify them?) to their impact on biodiversity assessments, conservation, and nomenclature, via questions such as whether cryptic species are more common in particular habitats, taxonomical groups, and what extrinsic or intrinsic factors potentially affect cryptic biodiversity.

05 – The Systematics Association-Symposium: Animal venoms
Convener: Ronald A. Jenner
Animal venoms have evolved many times independently. Convergently evolved venoms in distantly related taxa, however, can show remarkable compositional similarities. This symposium addresses the question of what factors determine venom composition across a diversity of phylogenetic levels‹from closely related species to distantly related phyla.

06 NOBIS Austria-Symposium: Estimate of biodiversity in space and time
Convener: Martin Zuschin
No reliable census of modern life exists and even less information is available for the geological past. Global estimates can be heavily biased by the number and types of regions studied for particular taxa and realistic calculations will therefore need to understand not only the evolutionary but also the spatial aspects of biodiversity. The session is dedicated to advances, new techniques and burning questions in this field.

07 Alpine biodiversity
Convener: Andreas Tribsch
Alpine habitats offer very different living conditions at different habitats, which result in a rich flora and fauna. Thus, the Alps and other mountain systems, shelter a considerable part of worldwide biodiversity. This session is dedicated to the Alpine and high mountain biodiversity as well as to their faunal and climate history.

09 Philosophy of phylogeny
Convener: Alessandro Minelli
Phylogenetic methods are widely applied in different branches of sciences, yet the basic philosophical backbone of phylogenetic inference is rarely tackled. Evaluation of alternative phylogenetic trees, however, necessitates consideration of the underlying principles. This session is dedicated to the basal rules governing phylogenetic inference, new applications and changing concepts.

10 Evo-devo
Convener: Andreas Wanninger & Alessandro Minelli
The recent years have seen an explosion of morphological and molecular data on metazoan development, which has resulted in various new hypotheses on the evolutionary origins of animals and their bodyplans. This session will focus on new findings in the field of evolutionary developmental biology (“EvoDevo”). We welcome presentations on metazoan morphogenesis, gene expression, and experimental developmental biology, in particular of non-model system species.

11 Biodiversity-Informatics: Data mobilization with GBIF-D
Convener: Walter G. Berendsohn & Dagmar Triebel
The mission of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) is to facilitate free and open access to biodiversity data worldwide via the Internet. As a founding member GBIF Germany (GBIF-D, ) contributes since 2001 to this largest biodiversity information project worldwide. Main objective is the focused gathering and mobilization of suitable data from Germany's research community and natural history collections. In addition, available observation data will linked into GBIF. The eight project partners of GBIF-D are organizing data sharing but also develop and provide software tools for data mobilization. The symposium is dedicated to the entire spectrum of tools and technical solutions developed and used in the GBIF-context such as BioCASe and GeoCASe, Diversity Workbench, the EDIT Platform for Cybertaxonomy, Euro+Med PlantBase, the DNA Bank Network, LIAS, the smartphone-app Anymals+Plants and more.

12 Processes of diversification and speciation
Convener: Gerald Schneeweiß
Elucidating processes of diversification and speciation is paramount for our understanding of how the tremendous biodiversity observable today has originated and how it may react to threats and challenges imposed by human activities now and in the future. Technological advances with respect to data generation (e.g., next-generation sequencing, sophisticated analytical tools) as well as conceptual advancements (e.g., modes and models of speciation) set an excitingly powerful framework for studying those processes (e.g., hybrid and polyploid speciation, ecological speciation, sexual selection) in and beyond model organisms.

13 Systematics as an integrative science
Convener: Eric Smets
For many years already systematics not only relies on comparative morphology and anatomy to reach an overall picture of plant evolution. To reconstruct the phylogeny of plants the integration of phylogenetics, evolutionary and developmental genetics, genomics, and morphology and anatomy offers unprecedented opportunities. This symposium aims to illustrate examples of this integrative approach.

14 Plant-animal interactions
Convener: Sigrid Liede-Schumann
Interactions between plants and animals are at the same time influential factors in ecological communities and powerful evolutionary drivers both on the plant and on the animal side. Herbivory, predation by plants on animals (carnivorous plants), mutualism, dispersal of plant reproductive structures, and, finally, deception of animals by plants constitute important regulators for the success or failure of populations and species. This symposium aims at highlighting some of the newest results in the field to enhance our understanding of the complex regulatory patterns of our biosphere.

15 – Evolutionary epigenetics
Convener: Ovidiu Paun
Elucidating the evolutionary implications of epigenetic signals promises to significantly improve the general understanding of the mechanisms underlying natural phenotypic variation and organismic adaptation strategies. Recent investigations started to integrate epigenetics in population genetics, evolutionary biology and ecology, particularly when studying biotic responses to changing environmental conditions. The reality of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in a broad variety of organisms currently challenges the gene-centered view that still dominates the evolutionary thinking about variation, heritability, adaptation and evolution. Accordingly, our focus in the study of evolution is shifting from single genes to developmental/regulatory networks and holistic phenotypes.

16 – Evolution and systematics of colonial organisms
Convener: Andrey Ostrovsky & Björn Berning
Colonies of clonal organisms often display various degrees and types of polymorphism among their interconnected modules, occasionally resulting in highly integrated colonies that can be regarded as super-organisms. The investigation of these complex biological systems may greatly aid our understanding of evolutionary processes, e.g. the origin and maintenance of phenotypic plasticity, evolvability, or stabilising selection. This session will feature studies of colonial organisms that highlight their evolutionary pathways and developmental processes as well as the common and distinctive features in different groups.

17 IUBS-Symposium: Nomenclature for the future
Convener: Regine Jahn
A common concern of today is that numerous organisms are going extinct before they have even been described. Two of the reasons are that there are too few taxonomists, and that the procedures involved in formally naming new species are slow. For some groups of species - if not typical animals or plants - it is often difficult to know which of the current Codes to apply, and different authors take divergent views. Molecular biology and online taxonomic information management systems offer ways to accelerate the recognition and description of new species, and these technologies need to be incorporated into the Codes in order to meet the future needs of the scientific community.  There is a need for harmonization of the Codes where possible, and work towards a single BioCode (Draft BioCode 2011) that can apply to all kinds of organisms. The workshop will explore the status quo of the different Codes and formulate requirements for a nomenclature for the future.

19  Hybrid evolution and speciation
Convener: Katharina Schulte & Georg Zizka
In times of phylogenetic thinking hybrid speciation violates the assumptions of a “tree of life” evolution. It is known for decades that hybridization between plant species is frequent and that many species are of hybrid origin. Recently evidence is accumulating that also animal species are frequently a result of hybrid evolution. This session will cover several aspects of hybrid evolution and speciation using the term “hybrid” in a wide sense. Aspects of lateral gene transfer, homoploid and polyploid speciation, evidence of historical hybridization of lineages and introgression will be covered.

21 Biogeography and systematics
Convener: Alexandra Muellner-Riehl
While Systematics seeks to understand which species exist on earth, how they differentiated and how they can be classified, biogeography aims at explaining their distributions. Biogeography (including phylogeography), with all the new methodology available, has not only considerably contributed to our understanding of the “plasticity” of species and the temporal colonization patterns of taxa across their geographical ranges, but also yielded insights into the geographical component of speciation and diversification. This session will discuss new aspects of biosystematics and biogeography.

27 Detecting errors in phylogenies
Convener: Wolfgang Wägele
The amount of data available for phylogenetic analyses is increasing rapidly, especially with the growing number of sequenced genomes. At the same time the complexity of tools required for phylogeny inference is growing, with the result that it is not possible any more to understand which mechanisms of the computational process are responsible for a particular result. The selection of a “correct tree” has often become a matter of personal beliefs, especially when deeper phylogenies are inferred. In this symposium we want to discuss if it is possible to detect parts within single data sets that are more vulnerable for model violations, in which cases we have to expect systematic errors that can not be cured with “more data”, and how to estimate data quality.

28 The evolution of asexual plants and animals
Convener: Elvira Hörandl & Stefan Scheu
The evolution of asexual eukaryotes provides challenging questions for evolutionary biology. Various reproductive strategies exist in animals and plants, and asexuality is often connected to a considerable short-term evolutionary success. The advantages of mixed systems, and the long-term fate of asexual lineages, however, are still under dispute. The investigation of various case studies in plants and animals and the development of theory will greatly improve our understanding of a core question of evolutionary biology, that is, the predominance of sex in higher eukaryotes.

29    Molecular approaches to species delimitation
Convener: Jean-François Flot
Species delimitation is the most fundamental step in taxonomy as well as a necessary prerequisite for many studies in other research fields. In contrast to morphological features that are often influenced by the environment, DNA sequences provide rich and relatively unbiased information on the genetic relationships between the individuals sequenced. This symposium aims to bring together proponents of the various DNA-based approaches to species delimitation, in order to stimulate discussions and facilitate the emergence of a consensual set of methods.

31    Research collections in the contexts of  preservation issues and scientific use
(14th meeting of the Curator's group of the GfBS, open to everyone)
Conveners: Peter Giere & Peter Michalik
Research collections typically housed in museums and managed by curators are often the starting point for specimen based studies, especially in a phylogenetic and evolutionary context. Whereas the huge numbers of specimens in a museum collection need constant maintenance to preserve its integrity, researchers using the collection may have opposing interests. Invasive sampling for genetic studies and other methods of research may request access to collections that potentially can counteract preservation needs for the specimens in question. The preservation of rare and valuable specimens may outweigh research interests so that the interests of researchers and curators can be mutually exclusive. This symposium deals with access requests that may be detrimental to the specimens – both from user and museum side – and possible ways of avoiding this potential conflict of interests. 

Workshop DNA-Barcoding initiatives
Conveners: Elisabeth Haring & Frank Zachos
DNA Barcoding has become a well established taxonomical tool, which supplements the classical taxonomy, enables rather simple identification of many organisms and can be used for various applications. Several national and international initiatives have been initiated up to now. Experiences and progress of such projects will be reflected and aims of inchoate and future initiatives will be discussed in this workshop.





2nd BioSyst.EU meeting 2013 | NOBIS Austria