In the past few years it has been clear that there is much to be learned from the genetic and phenotypic diversity in different isolates/strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, its close relatives and other yeasts found in different environments and uses. This year's meeting will embrace this diversity at all levels, bringing together yeast researchers from across the UK and beyond.

This Focused Meeting will take place between 27–29 June 2018 at Stamford Court, University of Leicester, UK.

Organising committee: Ed Louis, Steven Foster, Kayoko Tanaka (all University of Leicester, UK)

Scientific advisors: Daniela Delneri (University of Manchester, UK), Mick Tuite (University of Kent, UK)

Key topics:

  • Ecology and evolution
  • Biotechnology and non-conventional yeasts
  • Yeast as human disease models
  • Complex traits
  • Fundamental processes

Follow us on Twitter @MicrobioSoc

Updates on the British Yeast Group: Embracing Variation meeting can be found using the hashtag: #BYGEV18

Image credit: Dennis Kunkel Microscopy/Science Photo Library.




Lecture View

Wednesday 27 June

Thursday 28 June

Friday 29 June


We are delighted to announce that the following speakers have been confirmed to speak at this Focused Meeting. 

Jürg Bähler (University College London, UK)

Jürg Bähler completed his PhD in 1994 at the University of Bern (Switzerland) with Jürg Kohli. He then carried out post-doctoral research in Kobe (Japan), at the University of North Carolina (USA) with John Pringle, and at Imperial Cancer Research Fund (London) with Paul Nurse. In 2000, Bähler joined the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute as a Group Leader, and in 2009 was appointed as a Professor of Systems Biology at University College London. His laboratory studies genome function, regulation and evolution using fission yeast as a model system. Bähler has published ~180 papers, receiving over 14,000 citations. He is an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology. Bähler received a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award and Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award.

Alessia Buscaino (University of Kent, UK)

Dr Alessia Buscaino is a Group Leader and a Senior Lecturer in Fungal Epigenetics at the University of Kent. She joined the University of Kent in 2013 and her group aims to understand how epigenetic mechanisms control fungal pathogenicity and anti-fungal drug resistance. Within these areas the group focuses on understanding how chromatin structure regulates adaptation and genome instability in Candida albicans, the most common human fungal pathogen.

Dr Buscaino graduated in Molecular Biology at the University of Palermo (Italy) in 2000. She conducted her PhD research in the laboratory of Dr Akhtar at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory research institute. During her PhD, her interest in epigenetics and chromatin modifications flourished while investigating mechanisms of Dosage Compensation in Drosophila melanogaster. In 2005, Dr Buscaino was awarded an EMBO long-term post-doctoral fellowship to investigate how heterochromatin assembles on large blocks of DNA repeats in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

Anne Donaldson (University of Aberdeen, UK)

Accurate chromosome maintenance through successive cell cycles is indispensable for life. My research expertise is in chromosome maintenance, with a focus on the molecular biology of DNA replication. My PhD research was at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, followed by postdoctoral work at the University of Washington in Seattle where I began to study regulatory components controlling replication origins. My research group at Aberdeen University has made important contributions, including the genome-wide identification of replication origins in budding yeast, the elucidation of mechanisms specifying the replication temporal programme, and our studies of the Replication Factor C-Like family of protein complexes, in which we identified the Elg1 Replication Factor C-Like Complex as crucial for unloading the PCNA polymerase clamp during replication. A current focus of our interest is the protein Rif1, which has multifaceted roles in chromosome maintenance throughout eukaryotes.

Chris Finnis (University of Leicester, UK)

Chris has worked in the biopharmaceutical industry for over 25 years developing yeast for cGMP manufacturing processes. After graduating in biotechnology and biochemical engineering in the 1980s he joined ICI Pharmaceuticals in Cheshire before moving to Delta Biotechnology in Nottingham. Here he co-developed S. cerevisiae strains for the manufacture of recombinant albumin used in Merck’s childhood M-M-R®II vaccine and albumin fusion proteins, such as albiglutide (Eperzan®/Tanzeum®) produced by GSK for type-2 diabetes. After a PhD in microbial genetics at University of Nottingham he developed yeast for the world’s first cGMP manufacturing process for animal-free recombinant transferrin. Following Novozymes’ acquisition of Delta Biotechnology in 2006, he led their Molecular Biology Department, engineering albumin to create second-generation albumin fusion and conjugation technology (Veltis®) for half-life extension. Chris now consults for life-science start‑ups in the East Midlands and is an Honorary Visiting Fellow at the University of Leicester’s Department of Genetics and Genome Biology.

Gilles Fischer (Sorbonne Université, France)

Gilles Fischer has obtained a PhD in Genetics from the University of Nancy (France). He moved to the University of Oxford (UK) as a post-doctoral fellow in Ed Louis lab where he performed the first comparative study of genome architecture between multiple Saccharomyces species. Then he joined the Bernard Dujon lab at the Institut Pasteur and contributed to the Genolevures consortium. He is now Director of Research at CNRS and heads the Biology of Genomes team at Sorbonne Université in Paris. His research focuses on genome dynamics through characterisation of chromosomal structural variations and sequence polymorphisms at different scales, from cells to populations, and from strains and to species. His interests also include the relationships between replication/recombination and the evolution of gene content, gene organisation and variations of the nucleotide composition of genomes. Gilles Fischer is senior editor of the journal Yeast (Wiley).

Flaviano Giorgini (University of Leicester, UK) 

Prof Giorgini is a native of Indiana (USA) and pursued a BSc degree in Biological Sciences (with an emphasis in Genetics) at Purdue University. He obtained a MA degree in Molecular Genetics at Washington University in Saint Louis and a PhD in Genetics at the University of Washington in Seattle under the supervision of Prof Robert Braun, where he studied germ cell biology in the mouse. His interest in neurodegeneration research began as a Senior Fellow in the Department of Pharmacology (University of Washington), where he employed genetics and genomics approaches in yeast, mammalian cells and mice to identify and study genetic modifiers of Huntington’s disease. His work during this time, combined with his background in genetics and model organism biology, formed the basis for his current research in neurogenetics at the University of Leicester, where his laboratory studies the mechanisms underlying Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. He began as a Lecturer in the Department of Genetics in 2006, was promoted to Reader in Neurogenetics in 2012, and has been Professor of Neurogenetics since 2015. Prof Giorgini is currently a member of the Grant Assessment Panel for Parkinson’s UK, and has previously served as the Chair for the Scientific and Bioethics Advisory Committee of the European Huntington’s Disease Network (EHDN).

Mat Goddard (University of Lincoln, UK) 

Mat works on various aspects of experimental ecology, population biology and evolution. Mat uses yeasts as both experimental research models as well as investigating yeasts' role in agricultural ecosystems. He gained a PhD in ecological and evolutionary genetics at Imperial College at Silwood Park before moving to a Research Fellow position at the NERC Centre for Population Biology to undertake experimental ecology and evolution. Mat gained a Faculty position at the University of Auckland in New Zealand in 2004, where he spent a fruitful decade or so working closely with the NZ wine industry. Since 2015 Mat has been based at the University of Lincoln, with a research focus on UK agri-ecosystmes, but retains a fractional position at Auckland and continues to work with the NZ wine industry.

Daniel Jeffares (University of York, UK)

Daniel Jeffares initially studied in New Zealand. He held a postdoctoral position in Copenhagen, and then worked at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute for six years working on Plasmodium genomics. In 2009 he joined Jürg Bähler’s group at UCL, where he worked on fission yeast diversity analysis for six years. In 2017 he started an independent position at the University of York. His interests range from molecular evolution of life, population and comparative genomics, functional genomics and quantitative genetics. Most recently he has worked on population genomics and quantitative genetics in fission yeast.

Gianni Liti (Nice Sophia Antipolis University, France)

Gianni Liti studied biology and obtained his PhD in 2000 from the University of Perugia (Italy). In 2001, he moved to the UK (first to Leicester then to Nottingham) and worked on genome evolution, population genomics and telomere biology using the budding yeasts, S. cerevisiae and other closely related species as model organisms. In 2011, he moved to Nice (France) as CNRS researcher where he leads a team working on yeast population genomics and complex traits analysis.

David Lydall (Newcastle University, UK)

David Lydall and colleagues use various molecular, genetic and systematic approaches to understand how genetic stability is maintained in the simple model organism budding yeast. Since completing his PhD he has worked in Vienna, Tucson, Manchester and Newcastle upon Tyne. See http://www.ncl.ac.uk/camb/staff/profile/davidlydall

Adele Marston (University of Edinburgh, UK)

Adele Marston is a Wellcome Senior Research Fellow in Basic Biomedical Science and a Professor of Cell Biology in the Wellcome Centre for Cell Biology, University of Edinburgh. She graduated from the University of Oxford with a BA in Biochemistry (1995) and a PhD in Pathology (1999). Adele carried out postdoctoral work at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, before obtaining a Wellcome Trust Career Development fellowship in 2005 to set up lab at the Wellcome Centre for Cell Biology, University of Edinburgh. She was awarded a Wellcome Senior Fellowship in 2011 and renewed this in 2016. In 2010 she was selected as a Scottish Life Sciences Alliance (SULSA) lecturer and an EMBO Young Investigator. Her research is focused on the mechanisms used to segregate chromosomes during cell division, particularly meiosis.

Snezhana Oliferenko (King's College London, UK)

Snezhana (Snezhka) Oliferenko studied biochemistry and virology at Lomonosov Moscow State University before joining Lukas Huber's laboratory at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna, Austria, for her PhD studies. Snezhka then moved to Singapore to work as a postdoc with Mohan Balasubramanian. In 2002, she established her research laboratory at the Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL) in Singapore. At the end of 2013, she moved her lab to the Randall Centre for Cell and Molecular Biophysics at King's College London. Since late 2016, her lab is located in the new Francis Crick Institute. Snezhka has been using comparative analyses of related fission yeast species as a discovery tool to understand how cells navigate mitotic division and establish polarized states.

Gislene Pereira (Heidelberg University, Germany)

Gislene Pereira is an independent group leader and Heisenberg Professor at the Cancer Research Centre and Centre for Organismal Studies at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. She has trained at the University of São Paulo, Brazil (BSc in Pharmacy and MSc in Biochemistry), Ludwig-Maximilian University, Munich, Germany (PhD in Biochemistry) and at the Beatson and Paterson Institutes for Cancer Research, UK (postdoctoral fellow). Before moving to Heidelberg, she was a Lecturer at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester, UK. Her research interests cover centrosome-driven cell signalling, cilia biogenesis and the control of cell polarity/asymmetric cell division. Her work contributed to the elucidation of a spindle-related mitotic checkpoint and defined the mode of centrosome inheritance in asymmetrically dividing yeast cells. Her laboratory also identified novel regulators of cell polarity establishment and important molecular players that regulate cilia biogenesis at the centrosome.

Chris Powell (University of Nottingham, UK)

Chris Powell holds a PhD on yeast cellular ageing and fermentation performance from Oxford Brookes University, UK (2001).  After a post-doctoral research position at the same institute investigating rapid methods for detection of contaminants in beer (2001-2004) he worked in the research department for Lallemand Inc, Montreal, Canada (2004-1010), ultimately occupying the positions of Senior Scientist in Brewing Research and Project Manager in Genetic Identification.

In 2010 Chris moved to the University of Nottingham where he is currently an assistant professor in yeast and fermentation.  His core subject areas include yeast physiology and fermentation biotechnology, particularly related to the brewing, beverage and sustainable bioenergy sectors.

Chris is the author or co-author of more than 60 publications, a member of the American Society of Brewing Chemists (ASBC) editorial board, and a regular reviewer for many other scientific journals. He is currently acting as ASBC President for 2017-18. 

Daniela Delneri (University of Manchester, UK)
Abstracts & Posters

A copy of the abstract poster book for British Yeast Group: Embracing Variation can be downloaded here: 

Poster book British Yeast Group: Embracing Variation

Oral presentations

In order to ensure your presentation runs smoothly, you are asked to comply with the following:

  • PowerPoint presentations - PC version – are brought to the conference on a USB memory stick.
  • PowerPoint presentations - Mac version – can only be accepted if you bring your own laptop and connecting cables.
  • Please allow for 3 minutes Q&A following your talk in your allocated times.


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 one month prior to the conference.

Registration is still open for non residential rate but if you would also like accommodation provided please call ahead at +44 (0) 7786 33 1252 as places are limited.

What's included in your residential registration fee?
  • Admission to all scientific sessions
  • 4-star campus single ensuite bedroom for two nights (27 and 28 June)
  • Full English and continental breakfast (28 and 29 June)
  • Hot and cold fork buffet lunch (27, 28 and 29 June)
  • Two-course evening meal (27 and 28 June)
  • Tea and coffee breaks
  • A delegate bag
  • A programme book
  • Local beer tasting
What's included in your non-residential registration fee?
  • Admission to all scientific sessions
  • Hot and cold fork buffet lunch (27, 28 and 29 June)
  • Two-course evening meal (27 and 28 June)
  • Tea and coffee breaks
  • A delegate bag
  • A programme book
  • Local beer tasting
Conference rates
  Early bird rate
Available until
Thursday 7 June

price rate

Available until Monday 25 June

Full and Full Concessionary Member (residential) £260 £310
Full and Full Concessionary Member (non-residential) £160 £210
Postgraduate and Undergraduate Student Member (residential) £230 £280
Postgraduate and Undergraduate Student Member (non-residential) £130 £180
Non-member (residential) £350 £400
Non-member (non-residential) £250 £300
Registration confirmation

Upon registration you should receive an automated confirmation email. Please contact [email protected] if after 24 hours this has not been received.

Visa applications

If you need a letter of invitation for a visa application, we will be happy to supply this after we have received full payment.

To find out if you need a visa to visit the UK, please visit the UK visa and immigration website.

Please note that all conference delegates are responsible for their own travel and visa arrangements; the Microbiology Society will not take any responsibility for travel or visa problems.

Payment information

All registration fees must be paid in full BEFORE arrival at the meeting. Any outstanding registration fees must be paid before admittance will be granted to the meeting.


Refunds will not be provided.

Substitutions of attendees can be made at any time by contacting [email protected].
Destination Leicester & Accommodation

Destination Leicester

The British Yeast Group: Embracing Variation meeting will be held at Stamford Court at the University of Leicester:

BYGEV18 map

Stamford Court
University of Leicester
Manor Road

Getting there

For advice on how to get to Stamford Court, please visit the University of Leicester's website or download the campus map below:

University of Leicester conferences map


University of Leicester conferences – how to find us



The Pavilions (John Foster Hall) accommodation is located amongst landscaped grounds and within easy walking distance of Stamford Court.

  • Bedroom check-in on the day of arrival is from 14:00.
  • Bedroom check-out on the day of departure is by 9:30.
  • Keys can be collected from the Conference Centre (Stamford Court) during the hours of the conference; any late key collections can be made from John Foster Hall reception, which is situated across the road from Stamford Court.
  • Keys can be returned to Stamford Court or directly to John Foster Hall reception on the day of departure.
  • Any out-of-hours enquiries regarding accommodation during your stay can be directed to John Foster Hall reception, which is open 24 hours.

On-campus accommodation includes:

  • Free internet access in all rooms
  • Bath and hand towels*
  • Tea and coffee-making facilities*
  • Access by stairs (the university has ground floor rooms so please ensure you notify the reservation team if such a room is required)
  • On-site, free car parking (please refrain from parking on the mai nroads that surround the house)
  • On-site laundry facilities (please bring washing powder and plenty of change)

*Generally provided as standard, but please check with the reservation team prior to arrival.

Social Programme

Day 1 

Local beer tasting and poster session

Wednesday 27 June, 17:45–19:30, Stamford Court

Following the first session of the meeting, we would like to invite you to a local beer tasting and poster session that will allow you to discuss the research with the authors, and taste limited edition beer from Leicester's first craft brewery.

Conference dinner

Wednesday 27 June, 19:30–21:00, Stamford Court 

The conference dinner will provide a great opportunity to continue the discussions from the day in a relaxed atmosphere.

Day 2 

Drinks reception and poster session

Thursday 28 June, 18:00–19:30, Stamford Court

We would like to invite you to another informal drinks reception and poster session that will allow you to socialise, view the posters on display and enjoy a drink.

Conference dinner and live band

Thursday 28 June, 19:3021:00, Stamford Court

Following the drinks reception, join us for a BBQ dinner and enjoy spending time with the other delegates and listen to a live band, Cocked n' Loaded.

Day 3 

King Richard III tour

Friday 29 June, 14:00, King Richard III Visitor Centre

In August 2012, King Richard III's skeleton was found underneath a car park in Leicester. Nowadays, the King Richard III Visitor Centre tells the fascinating and moving story of the life and death of the king, and reveals one of the greatest archaeological detective stories ever told. The tour will be held on Friday after the conference.

Entrance fee

  • Adult:  £8.95
  • Student: £8.00
  • Child: £4.75
  • Over 60: £8.00
Grants & Professional Development

Conference grants

Society Conference Grants will be available to support eligible members wishing to present at this Focused Meeting. Funding is also available for members requiring support for caring costs associated with conference attendance. The closing date for applications is Thursday 24 May 2018. You can apply for a grant before receiving notification about the outcome of your abstract submission. A conditional grant offer can be made without evidence of abstract acceptance if unavailable at the time of application, however evidence must be provided to claim any grant offered.

ECM Forum Co-chairing Scheme

The ECM Forum Co-chairing Scheme provides ECM Forum members with the opportunity to be involved in the chairing of scientific sessions at the conference. The Co-chairs will not receive any monetary value in co-chairing and will not take the place of a session Chair, but will receive a fantastic professional development opportunity to learn about being a session chair from more experienced colleagues.

ECM Forum members who are submitting an abstract to the meeting are asked to express interest in the Co-chairing Scheme via the abstract submission system, and are invited to provide a statement outlining the following information:

  • Why do you want to be a session Co-chair?
  • Which session(s) would you like to Co-chair?
  • Provide evidence of your expertise in this subject area.

All applications will be reviewed by the Society's Divisions and successful Co-chairs will be introduced to the relevant session Chair.

Co-chairs will receive a letter of thanks from the ECM Forum Executive Committee confirming that they participated in the Co-chairing Scheme, and will be recognised in the conference programme.

For questions about the ECM Forum Co-chairing Scheme, please contact [email protected].

Exhibition & Sponsorship

Exhibition and sponsorship opportunities are available for this meeting. For more information, please contact [email protected] or download the exhibition pack. 

Exhibition Pack British Yeast Group: Embracing Variation


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BYG_logo_m2p.jpg BYG_logo_formedium.jpg  


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