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

2016 Speaker News

If you are a past speaker and would like to share or update your news, please email eeb-webinfo@umich.edu.

Rachel Germain is now a joint Biodiversity/Killam Postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia. The project that she presented at the 2016 ECSS was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Her current research tests how species’ histories of competitive interactions have driven evolutionary divergence through the phenomenon of character displacement (CD).

Tadashi Fukami published the work he presented at the symposium (Dhami, Hartwig, and Fukami 2016, Proceedings of the Royal Society B) and is working on a book on the symposium theme, frontiers in community assembly (contract with Princeton University Press).

Luke Mahler will be a keynote speaker at the ForBio Annual Biosystematics Meeting in Bergen, Norway in April 2017. Following the meeting, he will also offer a short workshop in phylogenetic comparative methods.

Andy Rominger will be starting as an Omidyar Fellow at the Sante Fe Institute in July 2017. He continues to work on the intersection of ecological and evolutionary dynamics from the perspective of statistical mechanics of non-equilibrial systems.




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.



2014 Speakers

Amy Iler began a new position as assistant scientist at the Chicago Botanic Garden in November 2016.

Daniel Karp was co-lead author on Loss of Avian Phylogenetic Diversity in Neotropical Agricultural Systems, published in Science Magazine. He discussed some of the results at the 2014 ECSS.

Mike Martin will be starting a tenure-track position as associate professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway on March 1, 2016. He’ll be in the Department of Natural History within the University Museum. While there, he’ll build his own research group and pursue funding to study genomics of plants and animals from herbarium and museum collections using ancient DNA.

Cayelan Carey is in her second year as an assistant professor at Virginia Tech. Her lab has started conducting whole-ecosystem experiments in reservoirs, manipulating redox conditions to study the effects on biogeochemical cycling and plankton food webs.

2013 Speakers

Paul Harnik started a new position in fall 2013 as an assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at Franklin and Marshall College.

Laura Wegener Parfrey became an assistant professor of botany and zoology at the University of British Columbia in 2013. She is working on the ecology of microbial eukaryotes.

Melanie Hopkins started as an assistant curator in invertebrate paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Catherine E. Wagner is now an assistant professor at the University of Wyoming in the Department of Botany and the Biodiversity Institute. She was the 2015 recipient of the Dobzhansky Prize from the Society for the Study of Evolution. She continue to work on using genetic and ecological data to understand the evolution of diversity in adaptive radiations, with a focus on African cichlid fishes.

Graham Slater started as an assistant professor in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago in July 2015.

2012 Speakers

Jessica Blois continues her job as assistant professor at University of California Merced.

Andrew Hill completed his Ph.D. at the University of Colorado and works as chief scientist at Vizzuality in New York. He is working on projects with a broad set of challenges from biodiversity informatics to data visualization and global information systems.

Lauren Sallan became a Michigan Fellow and assistant professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan! Sallan was recently interviewed about the early record of vertebrates, especially fishes, by Palaeocast, an online radio show supported by the Paleontological Society.

She’s published a few recent papers: Sallan, L. C. (2012) Tetrapod-like Axial Regionalization in an Early Ray-finned Fish.Proceedings of the Royal Society B 279: 3264-3271.

Friedman, M. and L. C. Sallan (2012) Five Hundred Million Years of Extinction and Recovery: a Phanerozoic Survey of Large-Scale Diversity Patterns in Fishes. Palaeontology. 55: 707-742.

Sallan, L. C. and M. Friedman (2012) Heads or Tails: Staged Diversification in Vertebrate Evolutionary Radiations. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 279: 2025-2032.

Morgan Tingley is now an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Dan Rosauer has worked at the Australian National University since 2012, where he is a Research Fellow in the Moritz Lab, Research School of Biology and part of the Centre for Biodiversity Analysis.  He will soon be starting an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship, also at Australian National University, to delve more deeply into the phylogeographic-scale processes which drive broad-scale patterns of biodiversity. His recent publications include:

Rosauer DF, Catullo RA, Vanderwal J, Moussalli A & Moritz C (2015) New lineage range estimation method reveals fine-scale endemism linked to Pleistocene stability in Australian rainforest herpetofauna. PLoS One.

Rosauer DF & Jetz W (2015) Phylogenetic endemism in terrestrial mammals. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 24, 168-179.

Moritz C, Fujita MK, Rosauer DF, Agudo R, Bourke D, Doughty P, Palmer R, Pepper M, Potter S, Pratt R, Scott M, Tonione M & Donnellan S (2016) Multilocus phylogeography reveals nested endemism in a gecko across the monsoonal tropics of Australia. Molecular Ecology.

Monica Papes continues her work as assistant professor at Oklahoma State University, in the Department of Integrative Biology. She recently co-taught a Conservation Implementation course in Ethiopia, as part of KU Biodiversity Informatics Training Curriculum, funded by the JRS Biodiversity Foundation.


2011 Speakers

Daniel Streicker is a Wellcome Trust/Royal Society Sir Henry Dale Research Fellow at the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine at the University of Glasgow. He recently won the Science and SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists and the Robert C. Anderson Memorial Award for Best Dissertation in the Life Sciences at the University of Georgia.

Recent publications:
Streicker, D.G. (2013) From Persistence to Cross-Species Emergence of a Viral Zoonosis. Science 342 (6163) doi: 10.1126/science.1247566

Blackwood, J., Streicker, D.G., Altizer, S. and Rohani, P. (2013) Resolving the roles of immunity, pathogenesis and immigration for rabies persistence in vampire bats. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA doi: 10.1073/pnas.1308817110

Streicker, D.G., Fenton, A. and Pedersen, A.B. Differential sources of host species heterogeneity influence the transmission and control of multi-host parasites (2013) Ecology Letters, 16 (8); doi: 10.111/ele.12122

Condori, R.E. Streicker, D.G., Cabezas-Sanchez, C., Velasco-Villa, A. (2013) Enzootic and epizootic rabies associated with vampire bats in Peru. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 19 (9). doi: 10.3201/eid1909.130083

Streicker, D.G., Franka, R., Jackson F.R. and Rupprecht, C.E. (2013) Anthropogenic roost switching and rabies virus dynamics in house roosting big brown bats. Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 13 (7); doi: 10.1089/vbz.2012.1113

Laura Pollitt will be a Wellcome Trust CIIE junior fellow at the University of Edinburgh to work on the transmission implications of mixed strain infections in vectors starting in February 2014.

Britt Koskella moved from the University of Exeter to take up an assistant professor position at University of California-Berkeley’s Integrative Biology department, where she continues to study the interaction between bacteria and phages within the plant microbiome.
Amber Smith was awarded an NIH NIAID K25 Career Development Award in 2012 and moved to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She is now a faculty member in the Infectious Diseases Department and has a laboratory that combines theoretical and experimental microbiology to investigate the mechanisms of influenza-pneumococcal coinfections.

2010 Speakers

Richard Lenski and his long-term evolution experiment were recently featured in Science magazine.

Jenna Gallie received a Marie Curie IIF postdoctoral research fellowship to work with Martin Ackermann at ETH Zurich and Eawag which is in Switzerland.

Levi Morran has received an NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Bjørn Østman is a postdoc at Michigan State University and BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action. His research is on evolutionary dynamics.

Sijmen Schoustra
 currently holds a position at the Laboratory of Genetics at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. The work he presented at the symposium has been published:

SE Schoustra, T Bataillon, DR Gifford, R Kassen (2009) The properties of adaptive walks in evolving populations of fungus. PLoS Biology 7 (11), e1000250

SE Schoustra, HD Rundle, R Dali, R Kassen (2010) Fitness-associated sexual reproduction in a filamentous fungus. Current Biology 20 (15), 1350-1355