We are proud to announce the following outstanding invited speakers:

Sonja Rueckert

Department of Marine and Freshwater Biology, Edinburgh Napier University


Sonja works as Senior Lecturer in Marine Biology at the Edinburgh Napier University. She is broadly interested in parasites and in particular in parasites of marine organisms. Her research approach involves traditional morphological and modern molecular techniques to understand the biodiversity, ecology and evolutionary history of parasitic organisms. Her main research focuses lies on the morphology and molecular phylogeny of gregarine apicomplexans and other protozoan parasites found in marine invertebrates. Currently, she is starting to establish gregarines as model organisms and also studies the role and impact of micro-eukaryotes in food webs. She has published a variety of influential papers on the diversity and phylogeny of apicomplexans  and is part of the international consortium on the classification of protists.


More: https://www.napier.ac.uk/people/sonja-rueckert


Daniel Richter

Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC-UPF), Barcelona, Spain


Daniel is postdoc in the Evolution of Plankton and Pelagic Ecosystems group at the Station Biologique de Roscoff, France, studying plankton biogeography and ecology. Using samples from the Tara Oceans expedition, Daniel aims to understand the influence of large-scale oceanic currents and environmental conditions in shaping microbial community assembly and diversity, and to catalog the most active protist species that drive the ecology of the global surface oceans. Before, Daniel was engaged in unravelling the evolutionary processes leading to multicellularity by analysing  choanoflagellate evolution and the genome of early metazoan lineages as well as the systematics of choanoflagellates. In both fields of research he has published several very influential papers.

From February 2018 on he will continue his studies in the Lab of Inaki Ruiz-Trillo in Barcelona, focusing on picoplankton.


More: http://www.sb-roscoff.fr/en/user/1148


John R. Dolan

Marine Microbial Ecology & Biogeochemistry Group, Laboratoire d'Oceanographie de Villefranche, France


John Dolan is Research Director of the Laboratoire d'Oceanographie in Villefranche-sur-Mer. John works on microzooplankton organisms , especially on ciliates, an important part of aquatic food chains. He worked in lakes, estuaries, and a variety of marine systems ranging from tropical lagoons to upwelling systems and Antarctica. His particular interest is the physiology (for example growth and feeding) of typical marine ciliates and freshwater nanoflagellates. He also studied diel patterns as well as digestion and selective feeding in both, micro- and nanozooplankton. His major aim is to understand why there are so many species of microzooplankton and what is their specific function. Here his focus lies on tintinnid ciliates which occur in an astounding diversity of sizes and shapes. He established a functional relationship between lorica morphology and feeding ecology and published a high number of influential papers on the ecology of marine protists. John acted as the president of the International Society of Protistologists.


More: http://www.obs-vlfr.fr/~dolan/


Thomas Posch
Department of Plant and Microbial Biology,
Limnological Station, University of Zürich, Switzerland


Thomas Posch is assistant Professor at the Limnological Station at Lake Zürich. The major focus of his research is the disentangling  of the various interactions between prokaryotes and unicellular eukaryotes in freshwater systems. Both groups of organisms form the major target of Thomas´research. He has got a fascinating record of publications on the different aspects of the intimate relationship between heterotrophic protists and algae as well as protists and bacteria. Overlapping lifestyles and competition for nutrients, as well as symbiotic and parasitic interactions are parts of his interests. His research is dedicated to understand why and how interactions evolved and will develop in times of ecosystem changes. He authored several influential papers on the effect of global warming on protists and microbial communities.


More: http://www.botinst.uzh.ch/en/research/limnology/posch.html