Highlights of our Michael Sars Symposium 2023
For the second edition of the Michael Sars Symposium, 120 attendees joined us at Media City Bergen for a day filled with inspiration, information, and insights celebrating marine science.
The Michael Sars Symposium 2023: Cells, organisms, and their Environment was a day packed with speakers from as far away as Japan and the U.S. covering a range of topics from neuroscience to microbial evolution and plant development. Director Lionel Christiaen welcomed our guests and introduced Gunn Mangerud, Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences who officially opened the event.
During the breaks, people gathered over coffee and cake, and around our display filled with aquariums and microscopes showcasing Nematostella, Ciona, Mnemiopsis, and Oikopleura. Members of the public at Media City Bergen also visited our display, learning about our marine organisms and asking questions about the ocean and its environment.
The speakers were so generous with their time and their research. They inspired the audience with their knowledge, curiosity, and passion for marine science provoking many thoughtful discussions during our breaks. Our lineup included Manu Prakash from Stanford University, Brady Weissbourd from MIT, Christa Schleper from the University of Vienna, Manon Demulder from Biozentrum at the University of Basel, Maria Zimmermann-Kogadeeva from the Genome Biology Unit at EMBL, Kazuo Inaba from the Shimoda Marine Research Center at the University of Tsukuba, Inari Kursula from the Dep. of Biomedicine at the University of Bergen, Pau Formosa-Jordan from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, and Carl Jones from the Michael Sars Centre at the University of Bergen.
The following day, our guests joined us at the Michael Sars Centre for a tour of our facilities, and to meet our technicians and our researchers. Manu Prakash took the time to collect samples from Byfjorden right beside our Center, before demonstrating the PlanktoSkope, a modular, open-source platform that allows for high-throughput quantitative imaging of plankton samples for citizen oceanography.
Amongst great science - I was just blown away by the focus on building great science facilities and scientists focused on animal care supporting Marine science! In an era of embracing biodiversity - you are all leading the charge. Thanks for an inspirational trip.
It was an extraordinary effort behind the scenes from the organizers, our administration team, our technicians, our Chairs, our fabulous microphone holders, our volunteers, our production team Jan Magne Hanssen and Dag Henning from Febril Film, and the team at Compass Group, Media City Bergen. We want to thank everyone for their hard work, their generosity, and for creating an unforgettable experience for all involved.
We are excited to announce that next year we will combine our Michael Sars Symposium with the 4th Nordic Meeting on Development, Stem Cells, and Regeneration over three days from May 28 - 31st, 2024 here in Bergen, Norway. The keynote speaker will be Michael Levine from Princeton University. We would love to have you join us.