SEB Antwerp 2021

Animal Biology Sessions

The following Animal biology sessions will take place at SEB Antwerp 2021.

Animal Biology


  • Parasites, disease and host immunity: Towards a mechanistic understanding of infection-induced phenotypes

  •  Lauren Nadler
  • Sandra A. Binning

  • Ecoimmunology in a changing world: challenges and progress

  •  Rebecca Cramp
  • Michel Ohmer

Environmental Fluctuation 

  • Aquatic ectotherms in fluctuating environments - the Ins and Outs of the Ups and Downs: Respiration and Osmoregulation in fluctuating environments

  •  Patricia A. Wright
  • Jonathan wilson

  • Physiological and ecological responses to temperature fluctuation

  •  Katie Marshall
  • Anne Todgham

  • Cocktails or mocktails? Synergistic and antagonistic effects in mixed stress scenario's

  •  Gudrun De Boeck

Osmotic and acid/base regulation at the thermal extremes

  •  Mads Kuhlmann Andersen
  • Christian Damsgaard
Temperature is perhaps the most important abiotic factor influencing animals' physiology, including pronounced effects on ion-, water- and acid/base-homeostasis. Still, many ectotherms thrive in the most thermally challenging environments, from cold polar regions to scorching deserts. Likewise, some endotherms undergo large body temperature fluctuations during daily torpor and seasonal hibernation that require similar homeostatic responses.

This session focuses on the physiological mechanisms that support living at and surviving temperature extremes with a focus on the interactions between ion-, water- and acid/base balance. This session seeks to synthesize universal constraints and physiological responses to extreme temperatures across vertebrate and invertebrate species.
  • Dr Heath A. MacMillan (Carleton University, Canada) - Toward physiological failure networks: The causes and consequences ionoregulatory collapse in the cold
  • Dr Bill Milsom (The University of British Columbia, Canada) - pH regulation in mammalian hibernators: does it contribute to metabolic suppression?
  • Dr Lynn Hartzler (Wright State University, USA) - Acid-base-regulation in ectothermic vertebrates in response to changing temperatures
  • Dr Shireen-A. Davies ( University of Glasgow, UK) - Diuretic neuropeptides – not just for osmoregulation

Metabolism, membrane transport and acid-base physiology inaquatic invertebrates: Towards a mechanistic understanding underlying life in changing an extreme environments 

  •  Marian Y. Hu
  • Dirk Weihrauch
  • Yung-Che Tseng

Environmental Fluctuation and Biodiversity

  • Not just down the hatch: food processing, transport, and assimilation in jawed vertebrates

  •  Nicolai Konow
  • Callum Ross

Physiological and behavioural monitoring 

  • Automated animal tracking in behavioural studies

  • Stefano Marras
  • Shaun Killen 

  • Putting animal biology in ecological context with advances in animal tracking and bio-logging

  •  Barbara Koeck
  • Shaun Killen
Over the last several decades, animal tracking and bio-logging technologies have substantially improved our knowledge of animal ecology and ecophysiology, by allowing observations of animals in ecologically relevant experiments or even the wild. The continuous technological development of animal tracking and bio-logging devices is pushing the boundaries of information made available to scientist and is generating new research opportunities.

Advances in the spatio-temporal range and resolution of animal tracking allow researchers to investigate important mechanisms underlying animal movement including bioenergetics, cognition, learning, memory and social interactions that influence decision making in animals in response to their environment. In parallel, analytical tools are emerging to help deal with the large amounts of generated data, to make behavioural inferences from animal tracks and understand the underlying environmental and physiological drivers.

This session will highlight recent insights in movement ecology and ecophysiology made possible through advancements in biologging and tracking in natural or semi-natural systems and will focus at discussing strategies for handling, analysing and give biological meaning to the enormous amounts of data produced by such systems.

  • Open Animal Biology

  • Jack Thomson

  • Open Biomechanics

  •  Nicolai Konow

  • Endocrine control of physiological and behavioural responses to environmental change

  •   Pedro Miguel Guerreiro
  • João Luis Saraiva
  • Joao Carlos Cardoso
Endocrine systems control the physiological responses to many events. In general hormones mediate relevance of the sensorial information of the CNS and promote function of peripheral physiological systems.

Environmental cues are of major importance for hormone release and its effects, such as those on development, metamorphosis, metabolism, osmoregulation, stress, sexual maturation and behaviour. Endocrines must regulate the physiology of adaptation to environmental change; however, it is not clear how changing environments may impact the chronology and rhythms of endocrine systems and the consequences on the processes mentioned above.

The session should include examples of how the endocrine system (hormones, glands, receptors, etc.) respond to climate change and environmental variability, including temperature, and temperature/photoperiod mismatch, osmotic gradients, acidification, toxicants, and its effects on physiology, communication and behaviour. The importance of field endocrinology will be given attention, focusing on studies that research animals on their natural environments.


  • Metamaterials in the natural world

  •  Thomas Neil
  • Marc Holderied
  • Zhiyuan Shen

  • Illuminating hot topics in experimental biology: A meta-analytic approach to understanding biological phenomenon

  •  Essie Rodgers
  • Nicholas Wu
  • Daniel Noble

Our session encourages experimental biologists who are interested in summarising the current evidence on climate change impacts and novel anthropogenic stressors on organismal physiology and performance. To this end, we anticipate a broad range of SEB members to attend this session.

Topics we encourage include:

•             impacts of anthropogenic stressors (e.g. pollution, ocean acidification, heat waves, etc.) on organismal physiology

•             the role of physiological safeguards (e.g. thermal phenotypic plasticity, hypoxia tolerance, etc.) in a changing world

•             testing the universality of contentious hypotheses (e.g. OCLTT, temperature-size rule, etc.).

  • Field Physiology: Beyond biotelemetry, new and old technologies, and the ins and outs of monitoring physiological responses of organisms in remote locations 

  •  Jodie Rummer
  • James Cook
  • Steven Cooke
  • Lucy Hawkes
  • Craig Franklin

  • Fish growth and environmental effects

  • Jenni Prokkola
  • Eirik Åsheim
Anthropogenic influences, including global heating and over-fishing, pose substantial threats to wild fish populations. Building reliable predictive models for changes in wild populations requires a mechanistic understanding on how the environment asserts its effects at an individual level, particularly via growth rate – a central life-history trait. Various factors in the environment can strongly affect growth rate, and decreasing growth of individuals may lead to dramatic changes in reproductive output and population dynamics.

The aim of the session is to bridge gaps and discuss advances in research on fish growth rate variation in changing environments from theoretical to experimental approaches and from organismal to cellular levels. We welcome abstracts for poster and oral presentations from diverse fields including comparative physiology, theoretical biology,  endocrinology and aquaculture science.



  • Technology Enabled Approaches to Ecophsyiology 

  • Oliver Tills
  • Manuela Truebano
  • Anne Plessis
This session is focussed on the application of both established and emerging technology enabled approaches to understanding ecophysiology.

This session is inclusive of global approaches such as molecular-omics and phenomics through to more focussed technology enabled approaches to research targeted on a particular aspect of ecophysiology.

A key unifying principle of the session is in utilising the large datasets produced by technology enabled approaches to understanding key physiological mechanisms and the intention is that this will encompass a broad range of taxa. Research using large datasets present unique challenges relating to big data, analytical approaches and study design.

Our session will draw on the breadth of experience and research interests within the society and bring together researchers using large datasets, from molecular to organismal, across all sections of the society.
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  • Mechanical Ecology - Taking Biomechanics to the Field    

  • Ulrike Bauer
  • Simon Poppinga
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  • Neurotransmitters to pheromones: the response of physiological and behavioural signals to environmental change

  • Katherine Sloman
  • Danielle M McDonald
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  • Episodic hypoxia: species with exceptional tolerance and how to study them

  • Frank van Breukelen
  • Allyson Hindle
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  • Do environmental contaminants alter energy balance, how can we find out and how much does it matter?

  • Kimberley Bennett
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  • The physiology behind phenotypic plasticity in rapidly changing environments

  • Tamzin Blewett
  • Tommy Norin 
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Cell biology sessions
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  • Open electronics in experimental biology (Workshop)

  • Michael Oellermann
  • Richelle Tanner
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