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The Early Career Microbiologists’ (ECM) Forum will host its flagship Summer Conference dedicated to showcasing early career research, career development and networking. The conference will provide undergraduate, masters and PhD students with a peer-led conference experience designed to offer an introductory experience to scientific conferences and professional development opportunities.

The Early Career Microbiologists’ Forum Summer Conference (#ECMConf19) will take place at Trinity College Dublin, Moyne Institute.



Lecture View

Thursday 20 June


We are delighted to announce the following speakers have been confirmed to speak at the Early Career Microbiologists’ Forum Summer Conference. 

James Hall 
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Job title: Tenure Track Fellow
Place of work: Department of Evolution, Ecology and Behaviour in the University of Liverpool
Research interest: I am interested in microbial evolution, particularly on the role of mobile DNA and horizontal gene transfer
Theme of talk: I’m going to be talking about how mobile DNA lets microbes evolve rapidly, with examples from parasites to plasmids and beyond
If you were not a microbiologist what would you be? I’m interested in how we learn new things, so if I wasn’t a microbiologist I’d probably be a teacher.

Jana Katharina
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Job title: Research Associate
Place of work: University of Strathclyde
Research interest: bioimaging, evolution, microbial metabolism and ecology
Theme of talk: microbial metabolism, evolution
If you were not a microbiologist what would you be?: Ecologist or psychologist

Conor Feehily

Job title: SFI Experienced Post-doctoral researcher
Place of work: Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ireland
Research interest: Microbiology of the vagina, maternal transmission of microbes, infectious disease
Talk title: The vaginal microbiome in health and disease
Theme of talk: Changes in the microbial communities in the vagina have been associated with poor health outcomes for women and new born infants. Whilst bacterial vaginosis is a recurring, often chronic condition that reduces quality of life and increases the risk of sexually transmitted infections, shifts in vaginal microbial populations have also been linked to the risk of preterm birth. My talk will discuss what we know about the link between vaginal microbes and health, and reveal the opportunities we have in terms of both treatment via probiotics and improved research thanks to next generation sequencing technologies.
If you were not a microbiologist what would you be?: I’d like to think I could have given carpentry a go, or else pursued some stage performance

Sarah Lumley

Job title: Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Place of work: The Pirbright Institute
Research interest: Mosquito borne viruses and high containment microbiology
Talk title: The ability of British mosquitoes to transmit Rift Valley fever virus
Theme of talk: Understanding the capability and limiting factors of temperate British mosquitoes to support replication and transmission of RVFV is critical in order to understand the potential for this virus to establish were it introduced to the UK.
If you were not a microbiologist what would you be?: I’ve had an interest in Microbiology since the age of 17/18 I’m really not sure what else is for me (I think I missed the boat to play football for a living)

David Cleary

Job title: Senior Research Fellow in Microbial Sciences
Place of work: Faculty of Medicine and Southampton NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), University of Southampton
Research interest: Respiratory tract microbiomes; epidemiology of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae; carriage studies; microevolution of pathogens
Talk title: Microbiota Interactions in the Upper Respiratory Tract
Theme of talk: Using genomic epidemiology and microbiome data to understand the interactions between pathobiont and commensal species of the human upper respiratory tract.
If you were not a microbiologist what would you be?: As a teenager I’d have said professional rugby player. More realistically, historian or perhaps archaeologist. 

Daniel Morse

Job title: Research Associate
Place of work: Microbiomes, Microbes and Informatics Group, School of Biosciences, Cardiff University
Research interest: Polymicrobial biofilms, fungi-bacteria inter-kingdom interactions, infection modelling and host responses to infection.
Theme of talk: Candida albicans virulence in polymicrobial biofilms; modulation of C. albicans behaviour and thus expression of virulence factors by oral bacteria in in vitro biofilms, and using an in vitro infection model.
If you were not a microbiologist what would you be?: I’d like to have been involved in healthcare/medicine somewhere, or follow my other passion of music and tried to ‘make it’ with my pop-punk/rock band! I genuinely think microbiology is my calling though, and cannot actually see myself doing anything else!

Maya Holding

Job title: PhD Student
Place of work: Health Protection Research Unit for Emerging & Zoonotic Infections, Public Health England
Research interest: Vector-borne diseases, particularly tick-borne viruses, disease ecology and medical entomology.
Theme of talk: Utilising serological screening of deer and testing field collected ticks, to contribute to the mapping of evidence of louping ill virus distribution in the UK and conduct surveillance for tick-borne encephalitis virus.
If you were not a microbiologist what would you be?: I would probably be a vet.

Elaine Waters

Job title: MSCA, MedTrain Fellow
Place of work: National University of Ireland, Galway.
Research interest: Biofilm infections and ways to prevent them, infectious disease, AMR and glycobiology.
Theme of talk: It is estimated that 65–80% of infections involve biofilm formation. These biofilms often form on implanted devices and cause device-related infections that are difficult to treat. We are looking at novel carbohydrate coating (often produced by the microbes themselves) to prevent device-related infections.
If you were not a microbiologist what would you be?: I’m not sure, but possibly psychology or a baker with a focus on celebration cakes.

Abstracts and posters

Abstract submission is now closed. 


The poster abstract book can be dowloaded below.

ECM Forum Summer Conference poster abstracts book

Those who are presenting a poster must ensure the work is presented as below. We cannot accommodate incorrectly formatted posters during the conference.

  • Poster Size: A0 size 841mm(w) x 1189mm(h) – your poster must not exceed these measurements.
  • Poster layout MUST BE portrait orientation.
  • Posters will be displayed on poster boards measuring 1m(w) x 2m(h), one to a side.
  • Posters can ONLY be fixed by Velcro (provided at conference).
  • Your poster number will be sent at least one week prior to the conference.

Registration is now closed.

What's included in your registration fee?

  • A conference programme guide
  • An introductory experience of scientific conferences in a peer-led environment
  • Scientific sessions discussing the latest research from ECM Forum members
  • Full access to scientific poster sessions
  • Professional development sessions tailored to those in the early stages of their microbiology careers
  • Networking over dinner and drinks on the Thursday evening, as well as tea and coffee breaks
  • Access to CPD (Continuing Professional Development) points
  • Certificate of attendance (available after the conference upon request)

Conference rates


Early bird rate
(Available until 4 June) 

Full price rate
ECM Forum member £50 £60
Microbiology Society member £60 £70
Non-member £75 £85

Find out more about becoming an ECM Forum Member.  

Destination and Accomodation

This meeting will take place at Moyne Institute, Trinity College Dublin:

Department of Microbiology
Moyne Institute of Preventive Medicine
School of Genetics and Microbiology
Trinity College Dublin
Dublin 2

Getting there

From Dublin airport:

  • Dublin Buses, 16 to the City Centre
  • Airlink Buses, 747 or 757 to the City Centre
  • Aircoach (slightly more expensive)


Although we do not arrange accommodation for delegates, here are some suggested hotels in the nearby area:

  • The O'Callaghan Collection
  • Trinity City Hotel

There is also reasonably priced accommodation available on the university campus and in student apartments within easy commuting distance. 

Grants and Professional Development

FEMS Early Career Microbiologists’ Forum Summer Conference Grant

This meeting has been selected by the Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS) to offer grants for congress participation for early career researchers.

Grants of up to £300 are available to support Undergraduate Student, Postgraduate Student and Full Concessionary Members attending the ECM Forum Summer Conference. Funds may be used as a contribution to any cost associated with attendance (for example, registration, travel, accommodation, etc.).

Applicants who require support for childcare or caring costs may also apply for an additional sum of up to £500. Please contact [email protected] for further details.

Applications for this grant have now closed.


To apply for this grant, you would need to meet following requirements:

  • be a member of a FEMS Member Society* 
  • be an early career scientist
  • be an active microbiologist
  • be a presenting author at the meeting (oral or poster)

*The Microbiology Society is a FEMS Member Society. For a full list of Member Societies, visit the FEMS website

Application process

Please submit a completed ECS Meeting Grant Application Form to [email protected] by no later than 14 May 2019.

Additional benefits

As a FEMS Member Society member, you can:

  • benefit from the grant provided for this meeting (see Eligibility above)
  • apply for other FEMS Grants
  • benefit from a discount off the registration fee for FEMS congresses
  • benefit from a 25% discount off a selection of OUP books

Professional development (CPD) credits

The ECM Forum Summer Conference has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology (21 CPD credits). Further information can be requested by email at [email protected].

Social Programme

Join us for pizza at the Pavilion Bar on the first day of the conference, which is included for all delegates.


Exhibition and Sponsorship


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