Microbes are everywhere, living inside and around us, often within complex and dynamic communities that underpin the health of our bodies and of natural ecosystems. The need to understand and predict microbial evolutionary dynamics has never been more urgent. The rise of antimicrobial resistance is a crisis caused by the evolutionary adaptation of microbes to our use of antibiotics. How microbes respond to global change will shape critical biogeochemical processes in oceans and soils. Solutions to these and many other emerging issues will require an in-depth understanding of the evolutionary dynamics of microbial communities, to enable us to predict and manage their responses to selective pressures and to design robust biotechnological solutions.
The meeting is intended to strengthen collaborative ties between researchers working in the diverse field of microbial evolution, both in the UK and overseas. There will be invited talks on a range of topics including drivers and dynamics of (pan)genome evolution, microbiome evolution, predicting microbial evolution, and the applications of microbial evolution. In addition, the meeting will provide opportunities for early career researchers to present their work in the form of contributed talks and poster presentations and to build their collaborative networks.
As part of the preparations for returning to delivering in-person events, Microbiology Society Council members and members of the Virus Division have worked with Society staff to develop a framework of mitigations for the Society to apply to all of its events throughout 2022, in order to ensure that these are as COVID-secure as possible.
Implementation of this framework is a shared responsibility; shared between the Society, the venues we use for our events, and all potential attendees. Attendance at any of our events is a personal choice, but it will be incumbent on all of us to deliver these mitigations in order for us to keep all delegates and staff as safe as we can.
The framework covers the following five areas.
The following mitigations will be implemented for all those attending a Focused Meeting in 2022. The Society staff will continue to consult with the organising committee in the lead up to the event and these mitigations will be kept under review and may be amended to ensure they remain appropriate as circumstances change.
All attendees are required to be fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine against COVID-19 to attend a Focused Meeting in 2022. For many individuals, this will mean a primary course and booster vaccine, and with the booster administered at least 14 days before the meeting. However, if you do not meet this requirement or if you have any concerns around your vaccination status, please get in touch with us to discuss it further by emailing [email protected]
You can find further information on vaccines on the World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 vaccine advice page, which includes a list of vaccines that have been approved for use against COVID-19.
Best efforts will be made to promote the circulation of fresh air into each Focused Meeting venue. This will include use of air conditioning, if available at the meeting venue, or opening of doors and windows during appropriate intervals in the event programme if possible.
FFP3 masks will be provided to all individuals attending a Focused Meeting in 2022 and everyone will be expected to wear them inside the meeting venue, except when eating or drinking and except for those that have medical exemptions.
Attendees will be provided with LFT devices and are expected to test themselves daily before entering the meeting venue.
All attendees are reminded to adhere to social distancing where possible, particularly during communal activities such as lunch and poster sessions.
The programme of invited speakers for the meeting include:
Álvaro San Millán, D.V.M., Ph.D., is a Group Leader in the National Centre for Biotechnology in Madrid. He obtained his doctorate at the Complutense University of Madrid in 2010, working on plasmid-mediated antibiotic resistance in zoonotic bacteria. As a postdoc, he worked for 4 years at the Department of Zoology of the University of Oxford, analysing the evolutionary bases of plasmid-mediated antibiotic resistance. In 2016, he started his research group in the Department of Microbiology at Ramon y Cajal University Hospital in Madrid, where he started a project focused on the study of the evolution of plasmid-mediated antibiotic resistance in patients and the hospital setting. In 2020, Dr San Millán joined the Spanish National Centre for Biotechnology as a Tenured Scientist in Plasmid Biology. Dr San Millán is interested in understanding the role of plasmids as catalysts of bacterial evolution, with a special focus on the evolution of plasmid-mediated antibiotic resistance in clinical settings.
My lab is interested in eco-evolutionary dynamics of species interactions in multi-trophic communities. We use two main study systems in our research. First, model cystic fibrosis lung microbiomes that focus on understanding the evolution of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterial pathogen by antibiotics, other co-occurring bacteria and lytic phages. Second, a tomato rhizosphere microbiome model that focuses on elucidating the ecology and evolution of bacteria-phage-plant interactions in the rhizosphere, using Ralstonia solanacearum plant pathogenic bacterium, a causative agent of bacterial wilt disease, as the focal species. Studying these eco-evolutionary processes is important for understanding bacterial disease dynamics in agricultural and medical contexts and developing new ways to control infections. To achieve this, we combine experimental evolution with environmental and clinical sampling, field and greenhouse experiments, genome sequencing, omics and bioinformatic analysis.
Registration is now open and Early bird discounted rates are available until 11 October 2022.
Online registration for the Understanding and Predicting Microbial Evolutionary Dynamics meeting is now open. Microbiology Society members get heavily subsidised registration fees for focused meetings, annual conference and other society events. Join now to enjoy these discounts and many other opportunities that are designed for microbiologists at all stages of their career.
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Abstract submission for the Understanding and Predicting Microbial Evolutionary Dynamics meeting is now open. Abstracts are welcome in all areas of research in microbial evolution and ecology.
Submissions close on 30 August 2022.Submit your abstract
Both members and non-members of the Microbiology Society are welcome to submit an abstract for the meeting. All offered oral presentations and posters will be selected from the abstracts submitted. Once submissions are closed, they will be reviewed by the organising committee and submitters will be notified of the outcome by email on 20 September 2022.
By submitting an abstract to this meeting, you are indicating to the session organisers your commitment to attend the event.
Abstracts must be a maximum of 250 words. The Society has produced a guide to give delegates some tips on how to write a great abstract, which can be downloaded below:How to write a great abstract
Please note that the abstract is the only information session organisers use when deciding whether to accept your work for presentation as an offered oral or poster. If accepted, it will also be published in the abstract book for the meeting – so think carefully about what needs to be included.
Microbiology is pleased to provide the Outstanding Science Prize to a scientific poster at the ‘Understanding and Predicting Microbial Evolutionary Dynamics’ meeting. The winner, selected by members of the organising committee, will win a cash prize and be featured on the Microbe Post. All posters displayed at the meeting are automatically entered for the prize.
Support is also available for members requiring support for caring costs associated with conference attendance. Further information about these grants and where to apply will be advertised shortly.
If you are a member who is not eligible for a Society Conference Grant, please apply via the Travel Grant scheme.