Plant Genome Evolution

Speakers

Plenary speaker

Ilia Leitch

Royal Botanic Gardens, KEW, UK

Talk title: Plant genome size diversity – from genomics to ecology

Ilia J Leitch is the Senior Research Leader of the Character Evolution team in the Department of Comparative Plant and Fungal Biology at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK.

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Keynote speakers

Andrea Bräutigam

Bielefeld University, Germany

Talk title: Evolution of gene regulatory networks

Andrea Bräutigam is a professor in computational biology at Bielefeld University. Her research focuses on understanding regulatory and metabolic networks in plants and frequently includes questions about evolution.

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Liam Dolan

University of Oxford, UK

Talk title: Genetic mechanisms that controlled root development in the first land plants

Liam grew up in Dublin and got an undergraduate degree at University College, Dublin (UCD). He carried out PhD research at the University of Pennsylvania, was a PI at the John Innes Centre and has been Professor of Botany at Oxford University since 2009.

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Philip Donoghue

University of Bristol, UK

Talk title: The timing and nature of early land plant evolution

Philip Donoghue studied geology at the University of Leicester, palynology at the University of Sheffield, and completed a PhD on early vertebrate evolution back at the University of Leicester.

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Malia Gehan

Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, USA

Talk title: Utilizing natural variation and high-throughput phenotyping for crop improvement

Malia Gehan, Ph.D. Malia Gehan, Ph.D. is an Assistant Member and Principal Investigator at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, who focuses understanding mechanisms of crop resilience under temperature stress.

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Koen Geuten

University of Leuven, Belgium

Talk title: Resurrected proteins on the impact of gene and genome duplications in plants

Koen Geuten is an Associate Professor of Molecular Plant Biology at the University of Leuven, Belgium (KU Leuven).

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Daniel Koenig

University of California, USA

Talk title: Using one of the world’s oldest experiments to explore the genetic architecture of plant adaptation

Daniel Koenig is an Assistant Professor of Genetics at the University of California, Riverside.

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Jiri Macas

Biology Centre CAS, Czech Republic

Talk title: Origin and evolution of satellite DNA revealed by ultra-long nanopore reads

Jiří Macas is a principal investigator at the Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic. His research interests lie in the area of plant genomics and cytogenetics. Following his Ph.D. studies at the University of South Bohemia and post-doc stay at the University of Arizona, Tucson.

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Michael McKain

The University of Alabama, USA

Talk title: Shifting history: homoelogous exchanges and polyploid evolution

Michael McKain is an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and curator of the UA Herbarium at The University of Alabama. Prior to these appointments, he earned his doctorate in Plant Biology from the University of Georgia and was a postdoctoral researcher at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.

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Juliette de Meaux

University of Cologne, Germany

Talk title: The evolution of cis-regulation in the Arabidopsis genus

Juliette de Meaux research is focused on understanding how molecular variation contributes to optimize phenotypes and fitness in the complex environments to which plants are exposed.

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Magnus Nordborg

Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology, Austria

Talk title: Epigenetic variation in Arabidopsis thaliana

After spending a decade at the University of Southern California, I joined the Gregor Mendel Institute in Vienna as Scientific Director in 2009. I am recognized as a pioneer in the use of genome-wide association studies to study patterns of natural variation in non-human organisms, and am currently focused on understanding the genetic basis of epigenetic variation.

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Kenneth Oberlander

University of Pretoria, South Africa

Talk title: Deeply diploid past but prominently polyploid present of a radiating Cape plant lineage: are our evolutionary models of whole genome duplication wrong?

Kenneth is curator of the H.G.W.J. Schweickerdt Herbarium and a researcher at the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa.

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Robert VanBuren

Michigan State University, USA

Talk title: Convergent evolution of desiccation tolerance across land plants

The VanBuren lab integrates comparative genomic, quantitative genetics, and evolutionary approaches to understand the genetic basis of natural adaptations to drought stress. This work centers on the evolution of CAM photosynthesis and the extreme desiccation tolerance of resurrection plants.

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Jonathan Wendel

Iowa State University, USA

Talk title: The wondrous cycles of polyploidy in plants

Jonathan F. Wendel is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology at Iowa State University. His research focuses on mechanisms underlying plant genomic and phenotypic diversify, with a special focus on the phenomenon of whole genome doubling, or polyploidy.

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Jennifer Wisecaver

Purdue University, USA

Talk title: Honor by association, leveraging co-expression networks for gene discovery in specialized metabolism

Jen Wisecaver is an assistant professor in the Biochemistry Department and Center for Plant Biology at Purdue University.

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