SEB Prague 2020

SCIENCE ACROSS BOUNDARIES – CELL,PLANT AND ANIMAL BIOLOGY SESSIONS

The following joint Animal, Cell and Plant biology sessions will take place at SEB Prague 2020.

ANIMAL & CELL BIOLOGY

ENVIRONMENTAL FLUCTUATION

NEUROTRANSMITTERS TO PHEROMONES: THE RESPONSE OF PHYSIOLOGICAL AND BEHAVIOURAL SIGNALS TO ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE

Organisers:
  • Katherine Sloman (University of West Scotland, UK)
  • Danielle McDonald (University of Miami-RSMAS, USA)
Speakers:
  • Katarina Medger (University of Pretoria, South Africa) -  Stress at a small scale: Non-invasive monitoring of glucocorticoids in African small mammals
  • Bob Wong (Monash University, Australia) - Sex on steroids: Widespread endocrine disruptor impairs mechanisms of sexual selection in fish 
  • Sarah Dalesman (Aberystwyth University, Wales) - Intraspecific variability in the response to predation threat: linking physiology, cognition and behavior
  • Katie Gilmour (University of Ottawa, Canada) - Physiological and behavioural responses to the social environment in fishes

Animals have the ability to respond physiologically or behaviourally to their surroundings through communication via chemical messengers. The functions of chemical messengers range from communication between cells to between whole organisms, and depending on the compound, chemical messengers can travel distances from nanometers to kilometers to interact with their given receptor and elicit their response. Neurotransmitters, released by the presynaptic cell in response to electrical signals, diffuse across a narrow gap to interact with receptors on a postsynaptic cell. Paracrine factors travel further, yet still diffuse relatively short distances to influence cells in the local environment compared to hormones and neurohormones, which are specialized for long distance communication within an animal. For many animals, chemical messengers outside the animal convey information that signals social status, sexual readiness or alarm. The goal of this session is to focus on the broad topic of neural, endocrine and external communication, their role in physiology and behaviour and their potential sensitivity to environmental change.

 
Related sessions:

Animal biology sessions
Cell biology sessions

EPISODIC HYPOXIA: MAMMALIAN SPECIES WITH EXCEPTIONAL TOLERANCE AND HOW TO STUDY THEM

Organisers:
  • Frank van Breukelen (University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA)
  • Allyson Hindle (University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA)Speakers:
Speakers:
  • Frank van Breukelen  (University of Nevada Las Vegas) - Hypoxic tenrecs
  • Cassondra Williams (National Marine Mammal Foundation) - Turn down the volume: Noise disturbance evokes maximal behavioural and cardiac responses from diving northern elephant seals  
  • Jose Pablo Vazquez-Medina (University of California Berkeley) - Cell culture methods to unravel the mechanisms of ischemia-reperfusion tolerance in diving seals 
  • Martin Jastroch (Stockholm University) - Mitochondrial function in episodic hypoxia

This session will discuss mammals that survive and thrive in a fluctuating oxygen environment. In particular, it will focus on techniques to measure tolerance to episodic hypoxia at whole-animal through cellular and in vitro levels, focusing on both natural models and experimental methods. Episodic hypoxia is typically associated with a disruption of homeostasis, and can pose drastic challenges to non-adapted species. By using this environmental challenge to anchor the session, we will explore the power of comparative physiology to leverage a diversity of highly specialized phenotypes and  to compare and contrast adaptation, specialization and experimental approaches. 

Related sessions:

Animal biology sessions
Cell biology sessions

DO ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINANTS ALTER ENERGY BALANCE, HOW CAN WE FIND OUT AND HOW MUCH DOES IT MATTER?

Organisers:
  • Kimberley Bennett (Albertay University, UK)
  • Kelly Robinson (University of St Andrews, UK)
  • Dr Holly Armstrong (University of Plymouth, UK) 

The ability to manage energy balance appropriately in a fluctuating environment is fundamental for survival. Increasing evidence suggests anthropogenic contaminants can compromise the ability of orgamisms to regulate their energy balance, with potential negative consequences for population trajectories and biodiversity.  Many anthropogenic chemicals have established roles as toxins, and endocrine disruptors of reproductive and thyroid axes. More recent data implicate many such compounds as lipid disruptors. By altering adipogenesis, fat deposition, lipid profiles, adipose tissue function and hormone sensitivity, environmental contaminants may fundamentally alter energy requirements, storage and use.  Such effects may be subtle or challenging to identify in wildlife and therefore require novel experimental approaches. This session will explore evidence that environmental pollution impacts on energy balance regulation from the molecular to the organismal level across a range of taxa and habitats. This session will identify common pathways, highlight challenges and showcase novel experimental approaches to investigate such effects in wildlife that simultaneously experience additional stressors in a fluctuating environment.

Speakers: 
  • Heli Routti (Norwegian Polar Institute, Norway)   
  • Kate Arnold (University of York, UK)
Related sessions:

Animal biology sessions
Cell biology sessions

THE PHYSIOLOGY BEHIND PHENOTYPIC PLASTICITY IN RAPIDLY CHANGING ENVIRONMENTS

Organisers:
  • Tamzin Blewett (University of Alberta, Canada)
  • Tommy Norin (Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Denmark)
Speakers:
  • Trish Schulte (University of British Columbia, Canada) - Mechanisms of plasticity in tolerance to abiotic stressors in fish
  • Clare Stawski (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway) - Physiological and behavioural plasticity of Australian marsupials in a changing environment
  • Tobias Wang (Aarhus University, Denmark) - Phenotypic flexibility of digestive and cardiovascular function to intermittent feeding bouts in snakes and other vertebrates
  • Andrew Turko (University of Guelph, Canada) - Feedback among phenotypically plastic behavioural, physiological, and morphological traits in amphibious fish moving between water and land

Embracing the overarching theme of ‘environmental fluctuation’, we encourage submissions from researchers working with species that naturally experience rapid fluctuations in environmental physicochemical parameters (e.g. temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, anthropogenic influences) or physiological state (e.g. binge feeders), such as animals living in intertidal zones, downstream of effluent inputs, or in environments with scarce nutrient resources. These species are among the most fascinating for the experimental biologist, as they must display significant physiological plasticity and/or behavioural adaptations in order to survive, grow, and reproduce. Consequently, the mechanisms by which they achieve homeostasis in light of these challenges can be studied for insight into the key processes in regulation of energy metabolism, acid-base balance, ionoregulation, and thermoregulation.

Related sessions:

Animal biology sessions
Cell biology sessions
 

ANIMAL, CELL AND PLANT BIOLOGY

BIG DATA

OMICS APPROACHES TO ECOPHYSIOLOGY 

Organisers: 
  • Oliver Tills (Plymouth University, UK)
  • Manuela Truebano Garcia (Plymouth University, UK) 
  • Anne Plessis 
Speakers: 
  • Melody Clark (British Antarctic Survey, UK) - Life in the slow lane   
  • Dietmar Kultz (UC Davis, USA) - Multilevel functional genomics data integration as a tool for understanding eco-physiology   
  • Francesco Falciani (Institute of Integrative Biology,UK) - Quantitative proteomics for holistic network analyses of environmental effects on complex organisms
  • Nicholas Smirnoff, Biosciences (University of Exeter, UK) - Using metabolomics to investigate plant stress responses.

This session is focussed on the application of global omic approaches and their integration to understand ecophysiology. We will encourage the integration of research using plant and animal models. The session will appeal to members using a diverse range of methodological and technological approaches, from molecular to whole organism physiology. The unifying principle of the session will be a focus on the application of omic- approaches to understanding key physiological mechanisms and this will encompass a broad range of taxa. Research using -omics datasets present unique challenges relating to big data, analytical approaches and study design. The session will draw on the breadth of experience and research interests within the society and bring together researchers using large datasets, from molecular (genomics) to organismal (phenomics). 

Related sessions:

Animal biology sessions
Cell biology sessions
Plant biology sessions

Satellite Meetings:

THE SCIENCE OF ANIMAL SENTIENCE: REFINING EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY

RNA COMMUNICATION BETWEEN PLANTS AND INTERACTING ORGANISMS AND INNOVATIVE RNA-BASED PLANT PROTECTION

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