Marine organisms are exciting models for evo-devo

A symposium organized by Neptune Network students with the latest research on evo-devo of marine invertebrates

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Last week I attended The Neptune Evo Devo Symposium in sunny Lisbon, my home town. This meeting was organized by the students of the Neptune Network, a European project that brings together nine European labs to train the young generation of researchers interested in evo-devo of marine organisms. This five-year project, funded by Marie-Curie, is coming to an end and what better way to celebrate its achievements than a meeting that brought together students and PIs from the network as well as guests from other institutions?

Students and PIs presented on recent developments of their research. We had three days of high-quality science and engaging presentations which covered the full spectrum of evo-devo, from fossils to molecular and neuro focuses. The talks included conceptual new ideas such as Arendt’s new evolutionary concept of cell or Akam’s segmentation clocks in arthropods. We also heard of clever methods such as Domazet-Loso’s phylostratigraphic approach to infer rates of gene birth and death over evolutionary time and Averof’s long-term life imaging of limb regeneration.

If you attended the conference and would like to share some thoughts, feel free to comment below.

Vera Domingues

Senior Editor, Springer Nature

Vera joined Nature as a locum Associate Editor in 2012, handling the fields of ecology and evolution, and in 2013 she moved to Nature Communications, where she managed a team of editors. She joined the launch team of Nature Ecology & Evolution in 2016. Vera obtained her PhD from the University of Azores, studying the evolution of coastal fish in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, and collaborated with the Eco-Ethology Research Unit at ISPA in Lisbon and the University of California at Santa Cruz for her dissertation. Her postdoctoral work took her to Harvard University where she investigated the genomics and evolution of adaptive coloration in wild mice.


Go to the profile of Henry Gee
about 5 years ago
So glad you went to this, Vera - evodevo of marine organisms is a huge, hot topic. Next stop - evodevo of meiofauna.
Go to the profile of Andreas Hejnol
about 5 years ago
I missed it - was in Japan instead. I am glad it went this well cause one of the student organizers was mine. Yes - meiofauna next stop. Lots of questions to answer.