Meeting announcement: “Evolution of microbes in natural and experimental populations”


Where, when:

Venue: The meeting will be held in Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India.
Dates: 14-16 December 2017


Evolutionary research on microbes tends to adopt either one of two strategies; experimental evolution (EE) in the laboratory or studying variation within natural populations. Microbes are highly amenable to experimental evolution, and this approach has successfully addressed a broad range of questions, including adaptive dynamics, the repeatability of evolution, social interactions, and the distribution of fitness effects.  Whole-genome sequencing of large samples from wild populations are similarly underpinning rapid advances in understanding how genome dynamics (such as the role of horizontal gene transfer and the pan-genome) underpin adaptation and ecological interactions. These two perspectives should, in principal, provide mutual reinforcement, as each addresses the potential weaknesses of the other; EE studies offer a controlled but artificial environment, whereas studies on natural populations are inherently more complex yet more realistic. This meeting will aim to bridge the gap between these approaches and build upon synergies and reciprocal benefits. The meeting will include a session on ‘Big Data’ analysis and microbial genomics supported by MRC CLIMB (Cloud Infrastructure for Microbial bioinformatics).

Confirmed presenters:

Angus Buckling (University of Exeter, UK)
Olivier Tenaillon (French Institute of Health and Medical Research, France)
Daniel Falush (University of Bath, UK)
Deepa Agashe (National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India)
Ed Feil (University of Bath, UK)
Sam Sheppard (University of Bath, UK)

UK/India Organising committee:

Professor Edward Feil (Milner Centre for Evolution, Bath, UK)
Dr Freya Harrison (University of Warwick, UK)
Dr Daniel Falush (Milner Centre for Evolution, Bath, UK)
Dr Tiffany Taylor (Milner Centre for Evolution, Bath, UK)
Professor Sam Sheppard (Milner Centre for Evolution, Bath, UK)

Dr Siddartha Satapathy (Tezpur University, Assam, India)
Professor Suvendra Ray (Tezpur University, Assam, India)
Professor Shashi Baruah (Tezpur University, Assam, India)
Professor Chitra Dutta (Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata, India)
Dr. Deepa Agashe (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bangalore, India)

How to apply:

If you would like to attend the meeting please send an email to the organisers at by 1 October 2017. Talks will be selected from submitted abstracts (up to 250 words), and all delegates are invited to present a poster.

Travel awards:

Twelve (12) awards are available for Early Career Researchers to attend and speak at the meeting (graduate students, post-doctoral researchers). These awards will provide US$1000 towards travel costs, and all registration costs (including 3 nights accommodation). Awardees based in India will receive a maximum of US$300 for travel. Please send no more than 500 words on your research, and the contribution you can make to the meeting to the organisers:
Deadline for applications :
1 October 2017, decisions will be made by 15 October 2017.