Reminder: early bird registration for Volvox 2019 ends soon

Volvox 2019 logo

If you’re planning to go to the Fifth International Volvox Conference, it’s time to get a move on. Early bird registration and, more importantly, abstract submission end Saturday. Registration is open (at a slightly higher rate) until July 13, but if you want to present a poster or talk, the June 1 deadline applies.

The meeting is July 26-28 in Tokyo and includes a July 29 excursion to the NIES microbial culture collection and the National Museum of Nature and Science.

Volvox newsletter

Volvox newsletter cover

As David Kirk pointed out, what we normally call the First through Fourth International Volvox Meetings are really about the fifth through eighth, as they were preceded by several meetings in the ’70s. The very first meeting was hosted by David and Marilyn Kirk at Washington University in St. Louis. Richard Starr, then at Indiana University, reported on the meeting in the first Volvox Newsletter (Dr. Starr would later move to the University of Texas, and his strains would form the beginning of the UTEX Culture Collection, which is still in operation).

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Travel grants for Volvox 2019

Volvox 2019 logo

The Fifth International Volvox Conference will be July 26-29, 2019 at the University of Tokyo Hongo campus. For past meetings, generous support from organizations such as the American Genetic Association, the Company of Biologists, Wellcome Trust, and the Phycological Society of America has allowed the organizing committee to award travel fellowships to students and postdocs. It’s not yet clear if that will be the case for next year’s meeting.

Stephanie Höhn has helpfully put together a list of outside travel grants available to students and/or postdocs, along with their deadlines and membership requirements:

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Repost: Message from David Kirk

After last week’s sad news that one of the founding fathers of Volvox research, David Kirk, had passed away, I thought it would be relevant to repost a message he sent a couple of years ago. The modern series of Volvox meetings started in 2011 in Arizona, and we’ve been calling them the First through Fourth International Volvox Conferences, with the Fifth scheduled for July 26-29, 2019. Dr. Kirk wrote in with some interesting historical insight about Volvox meetings that long preceded the current series:

I got an email out of the blue from David Kirk, and I thought some of it would be of interest. Dr. Kirk is one of the biggest names in Volvox research: he carried out much of the developmental genetics that forms the foundation of our field, he literally wrote the book on Volvox evo-devo, and my impression is that most of the PIs currently studying Volvox spent time in his lab as students and postdocs.

VolvoxBookCover

The email was prompted by the meeting review from the 2015 meeting in Cambridge (he liked it, whew! :-D), and he said that he’s looking forward to the 2017 meeting in St. Louis. The email also had a footnote with some interesting information, which I quote here with Dr. Kirk’s permission:

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Redefining secular ethics…or not

LAMP Symposium

Last month, I attended the Fourth Annual LAMP Symposium, “Religious and Scientific Perspectives on the Future of Life” at Emory University (LAMP is the Georgia Tech/Emory Leadership and Multifaith Program). The talks were an interesting mix, including some straight-up science, some thoughtful discussions of the interactions between science and religion, and a bit of absolute pseudo-profound bullshit.

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