Sars International Centre for Marine Molecular Biology

Previous Guest Speakers

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Meg Veruki
Department of Biomedicine, UiB 
Structure and function of neurons in the inner retina

Ragnhild Irene Jacobsen
Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, NTNU
Of mice and worms: identifying inputs to single neurons, and chasing bioluminescent signals in the sea

Øyvind Fiksen
Department of Biological Sciences, UiB
Ecological mechanics in the ocean: encounter rates, physiology and behaviour​​​​​​

Ditte Andersen  
University of Copenhagen
A Drosophila Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor (TNFR) restricts cytoplasmic TRAF3 levels to control gut metabolism and tissue homeostasis


Nils Halberg
Department of Biomedicine, UiB
Epigenetic Control of Obesity-induced Tumor Initiation in Breast Cancer

Charalampos Tzoulis 
Department of Biomedicine, University of Bergen 
NAD replenishment therapy for Parkinson’s disease: from the lab bench to trials of experimental therapy

Aurelia Lewis 
Department of Biological Sciences, UiB
PI3K signalling in the nucleolus

Sushma Grellscheid
Department of Biological Sciences and CBU, Department of Informatics, UiB
Cell Biology Meets Soft Matter Physics to Characterise the Mechanical Properties of  Biomolecular Condensates

Iain Johnston
Department of Mathematics and Associate Group Leader, CBU, UiB
Corals, crops, ctenophores... avoiding organelle mutational meltdown across eukaryotes


Guest Speakers cancelled due to the Covid-19 situation

Aissam Ikmi 
EMBL Heidelberg
Deciphering the drivers of morphogenesis at the organismal scale

Veena Prahlad
University of Iowa
The central role of the nervous system in controlling cellular protein homeostasis

Marianne Bronner
California Institute of Technology

Radu Aricescu 
The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), Cambridge

Jun-Yi Leu
Academia Sinica
Genetic incompatibility and speciation: what can we learn from yeast and why should we care?

Oliver Hobert
Columbia University

Duygu Özpolat 
Marine Biological Laboratory, University of Chicago

Sandra Duharcourt
Institut Jacques Monod, Université Paris Diderot/CNRS

Joe Thornton 
Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago

Thomas Söllner
Biochemistry Center (BZH), University of Heidelberg

Anindya Dutta
University of VirginiaTba


Robert Lucas
University of Manchester
Animal opsins, from functional characterisation to optogenetic application

Guest Speaker Martin How
University of Bristol
Polarization as an alternative to colour in animal vision

David McClay
Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, Duke University
Top down and Bottom up approaches to understand morphogenesis

Evelyn Houliston
Institut de la Mer de Villefranche, IMEV
Gastrulation in the hydrozoan Clytia

Guest Speaker Kenneth H Wolfe
UCD Conway Institute
Origin of yeast’s natural genome engineering system, mating-type switching



Guest Speaker Roberto Feuda 
University of Leicester
Towards a system-level understanding of the evolution of the nervous system

Guest Speaker Uli Technau 
University of Vienna
The evolution of mesoderm and its derivatives - lessons from a diploblastic sea anemone

Guest Speaker Jakob Vinther
University of Bristol
Comb Jelly origins — A palaeontological perspective

Guest Speaker Andrea Pauli 
Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP)
Small proteins with big roles – from coordinating cell migration to mediating species-specific fertilization

27. 09.19
Guest Speaker Karen Echeverri
Marine Biological Laboratory, The University of Chicago
Molecular mechanisims of regeneration: lessons from axolotls

Guest Speaker - Ass. Prof. Scott Nichols 
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Denver
Evolution of epithelial organization and dynamics in animals
Host: Burkhardt group

Guest Speaker - Dr. Audrey Dussutour
IVEP team, University of Toulouse, France
Decision making and learning abilities in non neural organisms, evidence from slime molds
Host: Burkhardt Group

Guest Speaker - Nicole King (PI) 
Life Science Addition, University of California, Berkeley
Light regulated morphogenesis in a shape-shifting choanoflagellate
Host: Burkhardt/Hejnol group

Guest Speaker - Kristen Koenig (PI)
Center for Systems Biology, Harvard University
Cephalopod lens development and the evolution of visual system complexity
Host: Hejnol group

Guest Speaker - Group Leader Arnau Sebe-Pedros 
Centre for Genomic Regulation, Barcelona
Early metazoan cell type diversity and regulation by single-cell RNA-seq analysis
Host: Hejnol group

Guest Speaker - Group Leader Ines Drinnenberg 
Institut Curie, Paris
Histone repertoire changes are associated with changes in genome organisation: Loss of CenH3 in holocentric insects
Host: Gahan/Garschall

Guest Speaker - Prof. Brigitte Galliot
Department of Genetics and Evolution, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Hydra, a model for regeneration and slow aging
Host: Simona Chera

Guest Speaker - Prof. Eugen Kerkhoff
University Hospital Regensburg
Actin/myosin functions in exocytic transport processes
Host: Burkhardt Group


Guest Speaker - Leonid Moroz, Ph.D.
The Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, University of Florida
Genealogy of Neurons: Deciphering Brain Evolution through the Lens of Single-cell genomics
Host: Burkhardt Group

Guest Speaker - Benyamin Rosental, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer (Assistant Professor),
Comparative Immunology labInstitute for Agriculture and Biotechnology
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
Evolutionary origin of the mammalian hematopoietic system found in a colonial chordate
Host: Rentzsch Group

Guest Speaker - Ass. Prof. Andrew Swan, PhD,
Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Windsor, Ontario Canada
APC/C-Cort, a meiosis-specific Anaphase Promoting Complex, contributes to sex determination in Drosophila
Host: Thompson Group

Guest Speaker - Heather Marlow, Group Leader
Genomics and Epigenomics of Animal Development
Department of Developmental and Stem Cell Biology, Institut Pasteur, Paris 
Transcriptomic programs underlying cell fate determination in the sea anemoneNematostella vectensis
Host: Steinmetz Group

Guest Speaker - Prof. Dr. Annika Guse 
Guse Lab, Centre for Organismal Studies Heidelberg, Heidelberg University 
Uncovering the molecular mechanisms of coral-algal symbiosis using Aiptasia as a model system
Host: Steinmetz Group

Dr. David Garfield
Department of Evolutionary Biology, Humboldt-Universität, Germany
Characterising developmental robustness and evolution from single-cells to population genetics
Sars Group Leader candidate

Dr. Elizabeth Hambleton
Centre for Organismal Studies, Universität Heidelberg, Germany 
Molecular mechanisms and evolution of animal-algal symbiosis
Sars Group Leader candidate

Dr. Laurel Hiebert
Villefranche-sur-mer Developmental Biology Laboratory, France 
The origins of life history stages and modules in nemerteans and ascidians
Sars Group Leader candidate

Dr. Timothy Lynagh 
The Pless Laboratory, University of Copenhagen, Denmark 
Evolution of neurotransmitter receptors
Sars Group Leader candidate

Dr. Jacob Musser 
European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg Germany 
Single-cell RNAseq in sponges sheds light on the first animal cell types
Sars Group Leader candidate

Dr. Christina Zakas
Department of Biology, New York University, USA 
Finding the genetic basis of evolutionary transitions in development using a polychaete model
Sars Group Leader candidate

Guest Speaker - Dr. Maike Kittelmann
Department of Biological and Medical Sciences, Oxford Brookes University
Resolving synapse and organelle formation with 3D Electron microscopy
Host: Burkhardt Group

Guest Speaker – Prof. Francesc Cebrià
Professor Titular, Departament de Genètica, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona 
Regulation of stem cell differentiation during planarian regeneration
Host: Rentzsch Group

Guest Speaker – Dr. Jordi Solana
Department of Biological and Medical Sciences, Oxford Brookes University
Using single-cell technologies and planarians to study stem cells, their differentiation and their evolution.
Host: Rentzsch Group

Guest Speaker – Prof. Uri Frank
Centre for Chromosome Biology, School of Natural Sciences, National University of Ireland Galway 
Hydractinia i-cells and their roles in regeneration and sexual reproduction.
Host: Rentzsch Group

Guest Speaker - Dr. Yehu Moran
Senior Lecturer and Group Leader, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Studies on cnidarian microRNAs shed new light on the evolution of post-transcriptional regulation
Host: Rentzsch Group

Guest Speaker - Dr. Néva Meyer 
Assistant Professor of Biology, Clark University
Function of BMP signaling in the annelid Capitella teleta and implication for nervous system evolution
Host: Hejnol Group

Guest Speaker - Prof. Dr. Gregor Bucher 
Dept. of Evolutionary Developmental Genetics, Georg-August-University Göttingen
Beyond bicoid: The Tribolium model system reveals a novel mechanism of axis formation
Host: Rentzsch Group

Guest Speaker - Prof. Dr. Christian Mosimann 
SNSF Assistant ProfessorInstitute of Molecular Life Sciences, University of Zürich
Decoding the emergence and cell fate control of the lateral plate mesoderm
Host: Steinmetz Group


Guest Speaker - Prof. Dr. Jan Huisken
Director of Morgridge Medical Engineering Morgridge Institute for Research, Wisconsin
Quantifying embryonic development with a smart and gentle light sheet microscope
Host: Valen Group/Krause

Researcher candidate - Oleg Tolstenkov
Buchmann Institute for Molecular Life Scienses, Goethe University, Frankfurt
Enlighten the worm crawling: Optogenetic dissection of neuronal circuit controlling locomotion in C. elegans
Host: Glover Group

Guest Speaker - Henrik Bringmann, Group Leader 
Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry
Control and regenerative functions of sleep
Host: Chatzigeorgiou Group

Guest Speaker - Prof. Vincent Laudet
Observatoire Océanologique de Banyuls-sur-mer UPMC/CNRS 
A natural (and molecular) history of metamorphosis and thyroid hormones
Host: Hejnol Group

Research Fellow candidate - Emmanuel Haillot
Department of Genetics, Development & Cell Biology (GDCB) University of Iowa, USA
Establishment of the dorsal-ventral axis in the sea urchin embryo Paracentrotus lividus and the annelid embryo Platynereis dumerilii
Host: Hejnol Group

Postdoc candidate - Kathrin Garschall
Department of Ecology and Evolution University of Lausanne, Switzerland
Uncovering the Genetic Basis of Aging and Longevity in D. melanogaster
Host: Steinmetz Group

Guest Speaker - Prof. Frank Hauser
Department of BiologyUniversity of Copenhagen
Evolution of GnRH-like neuropeptide signaling systems in protostomes
Host: Hejnol Group

Guest Speaker - Prof. Maurice Elphick 
The Organismal Biology Department, Queen Mary University of London
The evolution and comparative physiology of neuropeptide signalling: insights from echinoderms
Host: Hejnol Group

Guest Speaker - Nadine Vastenhouw, Group Leader
Max-Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
DresdenTranscriptional control in time and space
Host: Hejnol Group

Guest Speaker - Prof. Tatjana Sauka-Spengler
Radcliffe Department of MedicineOxford University
Pioneering chromatin for neural crest specification
Host: Hejnol Group/Martìn Duràn

Guest Speaker - Prof. Erich Bornberg-Bauer
Institute for Evolution and BiodiversityThe Westfalian Wilhelms University of Münster
Emergence of de novo protein coding genes from ‘dark genomic matter’ – – fact or fiction?
Host: Chourrout Group/Henriet, Hejnol Group/Martín-Durán

Guest Speaker - Prof. Mark Blaxter
The Blaxter Lab, Institute of Evolutionary Biology, The University of Edinburgh
Ghosts of symbioses past: fossils of Wolbachia in nuclear genomes reveal the complex history of a dynamic nematode–bacterial symbiosis
Host: Chourrout Group/Henriet

Guest Speaker - James Gagnon
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology – Schier Lab Harvard University
Whole organism lineage tracing with genome editing
Host: Valen Group

Guest Speaker - Prof. Graham Budd
Department of Earth SciencesUppsala University
New perspectives on the Cambrian explosion - hunting down the first animals
Host: Steinmetz Group

Sars 20th Anniversary Ceremony

Dr. Charlotte Aumeier
Biosciences and Biotechnology Institute of Grenoble
Actin-microtubule synergy determines symmetry
Sars Group Leader candidate

Dr. Elizabeth Williams
Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen Germany
Environmental and neuropeptidergic regulation of marine invertebrate metamorphosis
Sars Group Leader candidate

Dr. Eivind A.B. Undheim
Centre for Advanced Imaging, University of Queensland Australia
Exploring an arsenal: towards a holistic understanding of venom evolution
Sars Group Leader candidate

Dr. Ildiko Somorjai
Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland, Univ. of St. Andrews 
Amphioxus: conservation and novelty of a living fossil
Sars Group Leader candidate

Dr. Anastasios Pavlopoulos
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Research Campus, USA 
Multi-level studies of developmental morphogenesis
Sars Group Leader candidate

Dr. José M. Martín-Durán
University of Bergen, Sars Centre, Hejnol Group 
The diversification of animal development
Sars Group Leader candidate

Dr. Pawel Burkhardt
Marine Biological Association, Plymouth UK 
Choanoflagellates and the evolutionary origin of synapse signalling complexes
Sars Group Leader candidate

Guest Speaker - Dr. José Luis Gómez-Skarmeta, PI
The Gómez-Skarmeta LabCentro Andaluz de Biologia del Desarrollo, CABD/CSIC/UPO
Evolution of regulatory landscapes
Host: Hejnol Group/Martìn Duràn

Guest Speaker - Prof. Greg Wray, PI
Wray LabDuke University
Rapid evolution of larval morphology in sea urchins through rewiring of a developmental gene regulatory network
Host: Chourrout Group/Henriet