This conference has been deferred to 2023 due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check back soon for the 2023 schedule.
Microbes are the dominant life form on our planet. Studying them in the context of their plant, animal and human hosts using metagenomic tools is changing the way we view microbial, animal and plant diversity, evolution, and biology. There is an increasing appreciation that these resident microbes influence the fitness of their plant and animal hosts, ultimately forming a metaorganism consisting of a uni- or multicellular host and a community of associated microbes. There is also growing interest in the application of specific microbiome modulators for animal health.
We now have a unique opportunity to advance the field of symbiosis by integrating discoveries from the multiple biological disciplines. The challenge is twofold. To what extent can we explain the evolutionary trajectories of symbioses and their responses to ecological factors, including anthropogenic stressors, in terms of the underlying cell biology and molecular biology of the systems? How realistic is it to predict the fitness and ecological fit of symbioses from knowledge of the underlying among-partner interactions? Addressing these questions will drive new fundamental understanding and enable meaningful solutions to pressing challenges in animal health and disease, biotechnology, agricultural production, biological responses to climate change and more.
The overarching goal of the GRC is to discuss the governing principles underlying associations of microbial communities with hosts from diverse taxonomic groups. This year, the conference will focus on the specific functional consequences of the interactions, the underlying regulatory principles, the resulting impact on host life history and evolutionary fitness in the selected host systems, and also on how to successfully translate these basic research findings into useful therapies for animal and human health.
We invite you to bring your motivation, your ideas and your system to the 4th Gordon Research Conference on Animal-Microbial Symbioses. You will be joining an interdisciplinary group of researchers at all career stages and many nationalities, with the common and inclusive goal to solve scientific problems. The GRC is widely recognized for its comprehensive agenda and is gaining a fantastic reputation as a networking event. The GRC will be accompanied by the Gordon Research Seminar (GRS), a unique venue for early career scientists to discuss their data and debate the big issues in our discipline.