HotTopics Symposium: Evolution in and of Cell Communities

Joint NLSEB/BioSB symposium on Evolution in and of cell communities

February 15th 2023, BioSB HotTopics organized, together with the Dutch Society for Evolutoinary Biology (NLSEB), a full-day symposium on a topic of joint interest among evolutionary and systems biologists: evolution in and of cell communities at the O2-building (VU Amsterdam).

About 65 people joined the symposium, which featured nine stimulating talks by microbial and cancer researchers: Paul Rainey (MPI for Evolutionary Biology, Ploen, Germany), Sijmen Schoustra (Wageningen UR), Rinke van Tatenhove-Pel (TU Delft), Djordje Bajic (TU Delft), Frank Bruggeman (VU Amsterdam), Marjon de Vos (RU Groningen), Enrico Sandro Colizzi (U Cambridge), Daniel Miedema  (Amsterdam UMC) and Saskia Suijkerbuijk (Utrecht U). These were organized in three sessions, (i) evolution of communities, (ii) evolution within communities, and (iii) evolution within multicellular organisms – each followed by a lively plenary discussion on specific topics arising, such as conditions promoting community-level evolution, evolutionary constraints from community context and remarkable parallels between ecological and genetic causes of microbial and cancer evolution.

The day ended with poster presentations and drinks, where discussions continued. The organizers of the symposium (Meike Wortel, Evert Bosdriez, Sijmen Schoustra and Arjan de Visser) received lots of positive feedback, which may motivate the organization of a similar symposium on a topic of joint interest for members from NLSEB and BioSB


Location: O2 building, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Date and Time: Wednesday 15/02/2022 from 9:30-18:00

9:30 – 10:00   Registration & Coffee

10:00 – 12:00 Session 1: Selection on communities by competition between communities

      • Paul Rainey: Communities as evolutionary units

      • Sijmen Schoustra: Experimental evolution and natural microbial communities from traditional fermentation

      • Rinke van Tatenhove-Pel: Evolution of microbial cooperation requires intermediate founder population sizes

12:00 – 13:00   Lunch

13:00 – 14:30   Session 2: Selection pressure on community members arising from community structure

      • Djordje Bajic: Exploring eco-evolutionary interactions on empirical fitness landscapes using metabolic models

      • Frank Bruggeman: Biochemistry-based prediction of the evolution of microbial metabolism in communities

      • Marjon de Vos: Antibiotic Resistance Evolution of urinary pathogens in their microbial habitat

14:30-15:00     Coffee

15:00 – 16:30    Session 3: Selection within multicellular organisms

      • Enrico Sandro Colizzi: Evolution of multicellularity: emergent evolutionary feedbacks on individual cells

      • Daniel Miedema: Measuring genetic diversity to predict cancer evolution

      • Saskia Suijkerbuijk: Cell competition in primary and metastatic colorectal cancer

16:30 – 18:00   Posters & Drinks

The symposium, including lunch and drinks, is free of charge but sign-up is obligatory.


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