Gordon Research Conferences
Meeting Details

Animal-Microbe Symbioses (GRS)
Gordon Research Seminar

Initiation and Maintenance of Mutualisms


June 10-11, 2017


Mount Snow
West Dover, VT Site Information


Tera Levin & Hassan S. Salem

Application Deadline

Applications for this meeting must be submitted by May 13, 2017. Please apply early, as some meetings become oversubscribed (full) before this deadline. If the meeting is oversubscribed, it will be stated here. Note: Applications for oversubscribed meetings will only be considered by the Conference Chair if more seats become available due to cancellations.

GRS Speaker Abstract Deadline: Although applications will be accepted until the date noted above, any applicants who wish to be considered for an oral presentation should submit their application by March 10, 2017. Please refer to the application instructions in the Meeting Description section below for more details (if available).

Meeting Description


This year, the Animal-Micobe Symbioses Gordon Research Conference will be accompanied for the first time with a Gordon Research Seminar (GRS). The GRS is a meeting organized by early-career scientists for early-career scientists. This seminar will bring together postdocs, graduate students, and others with comparable levels of expertise to present and discuss their findings at the forefront of symbiosis research through posters and oral contributions. The meeting will feature a stimulating and welcoming environment, ideal for fostering collaborations, conceiving new research directions, and networking with peers and mentors before attending the larger GRC meeting.

Like the associated Gordon Conference, the GRS is broad in scope, focused on beneficial relationships between hosts and microbes. Topics will include (but are not limited to) the genetics and genomics of symbionts and their hosts; impacts of symbiosis on host life history, evolution, and ecology; and the mechanisms of multilevel, multispecies interactions. Consequently, the meeting will unite researchers from genetics, genomics, chemistry, animal physiology, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Participants in the GRS are strongly encouraged to present their work at the associated Gordon Conference, which will immediately follow the GRS.

Application Instructions

The meeting will feature approximately 10 talks and 2 poster sessions. All attendees are expected to actively participate in the GRS either by giving an oral presentation or presenting a poster. Therefore, all applications must include an abstract.

The Chairs will select speakers from abstracts submitted by March 10, 2017. Those applicants who are not chosen for talks and those who apply after the deadline to be considered for an oral presentation will be expected to present a poster. In order to participate, you must submit an application by the date indicated in the Application Deadline section above.

Related Meeting

This GRS will be held in conjunction with the "Animal-Microbe Symbioses" Gordon Research Conference (GRC). Those interested in attending both meetings must submit an application for the GRC in addition to an application for the GRS. Refer to the associated GRC program page for more information.


Meeting Program

2:00 pm - 5:00 pmArrival and Check-in
3:30 pm - 3:45 pmIntroductory Comments by GRC Site Staff / Welcome by the GRS Conference Chair
3:45 pm - 4:30 pmKeynote Session: How to Identify the Function of Your Favorite Microbial Symbiont
Discussion Leader: Piotr Lukasik (University of Montana, USA)
3:45 pm - 4:20 pmAngela Douglas (Cornell University, USA)
"How to Identify the Function of Your Favorite Microbial Symbiont"
4:20 pm - 4:30 pmDiscussion
4:30 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmDiversification and Evolution in a Symbiotic World
Discussion Leader: Jarrett Lebov (Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Oregon, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:45 pmPiotr Lukasik (University of Montana, USA)
"Multiple Independent Splits of a Nutritional Endosymbiont into Symbiotic Consortia"
7:45 pm - 7:50 pmDiscussion
7:50 pm - 8:05 pmTami Lieberman (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
"Adaptation and Diversification of Commensal Bacteria Within Humans"
8:05 pm - 8:10 pmDiscussion
8:10 pm - 8:25 pmJennah Dharamshi (Uppsala University, Sweden)
"Novel, Diverse and Abundant Chlamydia Discovered in Loki's Castle Deep Marine Sediments"
8:25 pm - 8:30 pmDiscussion
8:30 pm - 8:45 pmBrandon Seah (Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Germany)
"Sulfur-Oxidizing Symbiotic Bacteria Without Known Pathways for Autotrophic CO2 Fixation"
8:45 pm - 8:50 pmDiscussion
8:50 pm - 9:05 pmAniek Ivens (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
"Specificity in a Multilevel Mutualistic Network of Ants, Trophobionts and Their Interacting Microbiomes"
9:05 pm - 9:10 pmDiscussion
9:10 pm - 9:25 pmAsher Leeks (University of Oxford, United Kingdom)
"Relatedness or Transmission Mode: Why Are Some Symbionts More Beneficial than Others?"
9:25 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 11:00 amMolecular Mechanisms Underlying Mutualisms
Discussion Leader: Jennah Dharamshi (Uppsala University, Sweden)
9:00 am - 9:15 amJarrett Lebov (Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Oregon, USA)
"Experimental Adaptation of an Environmental Bacterium to the Zebrafish Digestive Tract"
9:15 am - 9:20 amDiscussion
9:20 am - 9:35 amLucie Kesnerova (University of Lausanne, Switzerland)
"Disentangling Metabolic Functions of Honey Bee Gut Bacteria"
9:35 am - 9:40 amDiscussion
9:40 am - 9:55 amJulia Polzin (University of Vienna, Austria)
"Understanding Mechanisms of Host-Microbe Interactions in Marine Clams"
9:55 am - 10:00 amDiscussion
10:00 am - 10:15 amPhillip Cleves (Stanford University, USA)
"Using Transcriptomics and Reverse Genetics to Understand Mechanisms of Cnidarian-Dinoflagellate Symbiosis"
10:15 am - 10:20 amDiscussion
10:20 am - 10:35 amSarah McAnulty (University of Connecticut, USA)
"Catch and Release: Differential Hemocyte Binding in the Squid-Vibrio Symbiosis"
10:35 am - 10:40 amDiscussion
10:40 am - 10:55 amPhilipp Weber (University of Vienna, Austria)
"Cell Growth and Chromosome Segregation in Longitudinally Dividing Nematode Symbionts"
10:55 am - 11:00 amDiscussion
11:00 am - 12:30 pmPoster Session

Coffee will be served in the poster area from 11:00 am - 11:30 am
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 2:30 pmMentorship Component: Career Panel
Discussion Leaders: Aniek Ivens (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and Sarah McAnulty (University of Connecticut, USA)
1:30 pm - 2:30 pmPanel Discussion
"Careers in Symbiosis"
  • Edward Ruby (University of Hawaii, USA)
  • Zakee Sabree (The Ohio State University, USA)
  • Elizabeth Vallen (Swarthmore College, USA)
  • Emily White (Nature Microbiology, United Kingdom)
2:30 pm - 3:00 pmEvaluation Period
Fill in GRS Evaluation Forms
3:00 pmSeminar Concludes
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