#Evol2012: Events on our agendas

The Ottawa skyline.

From 6 to 10 July, members of the American Society of Naturalists, the Society of Systematic Biologists, and the Society for the Study of Evolution (three North American professional societies that usually meet jointly) will join the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution and the European Society for Evolutionary Biology in Ottawa for what will be pretty much the biggest meeting of evolutionary biologists ever.

And we’re going to be there!

But all those biologists in one place means that this year more than ever, attendees will have to pick and choose what talks they make an effort to see. There will be no fewer than fourteen concurrent session talks—the “regular” 14-minute talks most attendees present—running in different rooms at the same time, at any given time of day, and in addition to multiple longer-format symposia. Fortunately, Ottawa is also the first Evolution meeting with a scheduling app for smartphones, which lets attendees select talks and symposia sessions to create personalized schedules.

But that still means we’re spending our spare time poring over the program, making tough choices. Which events are we not going to miss? Read on:

Devin: On Sunday there are two symposia sponsored by CSEE:

  • Morning— The structure & dynamics of ecological networks: from genes to ecosystems;
  • Afternoon— Eco‐evolutionary dynamics: How ecological and evolutionary process influence one another.

Both of these have a combination of empirical and theoretical research. I also see both network approaches as well as Eco-Evo frameworks leading to breakthroughs in evolutionary theory so I am anxious to see what the experts in the field have to contribute.

Sarah: I’m looking forward to all the talks with microb* in the title. In particular:

  • Gut microbe-host interactions: Who controls who? by Sven Pettersson (Saturday, 1:30 in the ESEB Symposium) and
  • Geographic variation of human gut microbiome composition by  Taichi Suzuki (Saturday, 4:15 in the Microbial Evolution, Diversity & Behaviour session) because I love hearing about gut bugs! That entire session looks pretty interesting, really.
  • There’s also a poster, “Detecting codiversification in an ant gut microbiome,” by Jon Sanders, that has several intriguing keywords.

CJ:  I’ll likely be in and out of the 6 different symposia on coevolution and species interactions, with a few pops into the Ecology/Evolution of Disease. I’m also interested in the ‘Next-generation’ genomics of parallelism and convergence.

And Jeremy: I’m excited about the molecular ecology symposium on Friday, as well as the SSE symposium on the genomics of speciation on Saturday. In general, I’ll be keeping an eye out for folks presenting attempts to detect the effects of adaptive evolution in genome-scale population genetic data sets. And checking in on interesting species interaction talks, if I have any spare time at all.

See also: A long list of recommendations from Jeremy Fox at the Oikos blog.

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