Update: ECSS 2020 moving forward as planned

Dear ECSS 2020 Attendees:

As most of you are aware, the COVID-19 virus has spread to many parts of the United States. At this point, Michigan has no reported cases. However, U-M is closely monitoring this evolving situation, and developed this website with updated information on the outbreak and campus policy. In line with these guidelines, ECSS 2020 will move forward as planned.

We ask that all ECSS attendees consult and comply with their institution’s travel guidelines. We also ask ECSS attendees to refrain from attending the symposium if ill. Please consult the CDC and WHO websites for additional information and recommendations.

Inquiries can be directed to Chris Dick and Cody Thompson.

Chris Dick & Cody Thompson (on behalf of the ECSS 2020 Committee)


-Natural History Collections: Drivers of Innovation-

 The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan invites nominations of outstanding scientists early in their careers to participate in an exciting symposium about innovative and unconventional uses of biological collections across scientific disciplines. The symposium events will take place from the 13-15 March 2020, on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Eight early career scientists will be selected to present their work and generate intriguing discussions at the 2020 ECSS symposium. In addition, two keynote speakers will be featured in the symposium. We welcome nominations of early career scientists who study and utilize natural history collections in new and potentially unexpected ways. We envision this symposium as a way to showcase the often-unrealized opportunities and non-traditional avenues of research that museum collections make possible to the entire scientific community, and emphasize some of the interdisciplinary ways in which collections are being or could be used. We hope to foster a broader understanding and expanded use of the incomparable resource that is a biological collection. This symposium aims to highlight the work of up-and-coming scientists whose research interests span a breadth of disciplines in collections work including but not limited to: comparative genomics, bioengineering, climate change, historical pathogen dynamics, and many, many more. We both advocate for and champion diversity and strongly encourage the nomination of members from groups traditionally underrepresented in science.

Early career scientists are considered senior graduate students (who stand to receive their Ph.D. within one year), postdoctoral researchers, and first- or second-year faculty. A colleague or advisor must provide the nomination.

Nomination materials must include a brief letter of recommendation addressing the nominee’s scientific promise and ability to give a compelling talk, nominee’s curriculum vitae, and a brief abstract of the proposed presentation (< 200 words, written by the nominee).

Nominations should be sent electronically as a single PDF file to ecss-2020@umich.edu using the subject line format, “nominee’s Last Name, First Name ECSS 2020 Nomination”.

Review of nominations will begin on January 7, 2020.

Selected participants will be contacted in mid-January and will have all expenses covered (registration, travel, and accommodation). An official announcement of the slate of speakers will be issued soon thereafter.

Information about Early Career Scientist Symposia held in past years can be found at http://sites.lsa.umich.edu/ecss/. For more information, please contact Linda Garcia at garciall@umich.edu.

The 2020 Early Career Scientists Symposium scientific committee includes:
Jenna Crowe-Riddell
Sonal Gupta
Hernán Lopez-Fernandez, chair
Benjamin Nicholas
Teresa Pegan
Brad Ruhfel
Cody Thompson
Taylor West

2015 Speakers

Katherine Amato is now an assistant professor at Northwestern University in the Department of Anthropology. She continues to study gut microbes in the context of non-human primate ecology and is addressing similar themes in humans.

Kelly Weinersmith was invited to talk about phenotype-manipulating parasites at The Future is Here Festival (an event co-run by Smithsonian Magazine and Nerd Nite).

Rachel Vannette is now an assistant professor at University of California-Davis in the Department of Entomology and Nematology, studying plant-associated microbial communities and their influence on plant-insect interactions.