The Volvox 2017 website is live

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The website for the Volvox 2017 conference is up at www.volvox2017.org. Registration isn’t open yet, but there’s some information about the venue, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis. The meeting is set for August 16-19, 2017.

The goal of the International Volvox Conference is to bring together international scientists working with Volvox and its relatives (aka Volvocales or volvocine algae). We cordially invite experimentalists and theorists interested in these fascinating organisms.

I’ll keep you posted!

Volvox 2017 – save the date

The Fourth International Volvox Conference will be held in St. Louis, Missouri August 16-19, 2017, with Jim Umen organizing.

Starting in 2011, we have had a Volvox meeting every other year (every year there’s not a Chlamydomonas meeting, that is). The first meeting was at Biosphere 2 outside of Tucson, Arizona, the second at the University of New Brunswick, and the third at Cambridge University.

Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2, the site of the First International Volvox Meeting in 2011.

You don’t have to study Volvox to join us; the meeting is open to anyone with an interest in the evolution of multicellularity (last year’s invited speaker was Professor Pauline Schapp, who studies cellular slime molds).

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New position at Georgia Tech

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Part of the reason posts at Fierce Roller have been so sparse lately is that I’ve been busy moving across the country. I’m now a Senior Research Scientist in the School of Biology at Georgia Tech. I’ll be running a small lab, with two (soon three) postdocs and a very talented grad student.

I spent exactly one day on campus before I left for the ASM Experimental Microbial Evolution meeting, on which I managed to meet with the grad student and one postdoc and to get hooked up to the campus wifi. I have not yet attended new employee orientation or been assigned an employee ID number, so the degree to which I’m actually employed at this moment is a bit murky. Hopefully I’ll get this all sorted next week.

The long-term evolution experiment

I’m attending the 2nd ASM Conference on Experimental Microbial Evolution (#ASMEME) in Washington, DC. The meeting opened last night with a keynote address by Rich Lenski on the long-term evolution experiment (LTEE). If you’re not familiar with it, the LTEE involves twelve populations of E. coli bacteria that have been transferred every damn day for the last 28 years. That’s right, twelve transfers every day since Ronald Reagan was President.

Since E. coli undergoes about 6.6 doublings per day under the experimental conditions, that means that the bacteria in this experiment have been evolving for over 65,000 generations. In that time, it has produced a wealth of information about evolutionary processes and spun out countless related experiments. The LTEE is so iconic that you usually don’t have to explain, at least to evolutionary biologists, which long-term evolution experiment you’re talking about. It has also played a role in some controversies, not least the “Lenski affair.”

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I’m going to Cyprus!

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I’m heading to Limassol, Cyprus at the end of September to talk about Volvox morphology and evolution. Phycomorph is a European group studying seaweed development and reproduction, with a large focus on cultivation. I have an extra day after the meeting, so hopefully I’ll get to explore a bit.

The organizers were initially worried about the high cost of transportation from Missoula, but I had good news for them: I won’t be flying from Missoula but from Atlanta, which is (seriously) half as expensive. The timing of the flights is a bit unfortunate, though, so I’ll have a couple of very long layovers in Heathrow (17 and 20 hours).

 

The preliminary list of confirmed speakers is:

Phycomorph speakers