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Survival in a Changing World: The Journal of Experimental Biology 2009 symposium

Each year, The Company of Biologists ( organises and supports a themed conference as the basis of a special review issue of The Journal of Experimental Biology. The main aim of this annual Symposium is to unite outstanding biologists and bring together their varied expertise on one particular subject. It is a leisurely meeting with enough time to talk and to discuss. The social side of science is also catered for an academic meeting in the traditional sense. As the journal is primarily associated with coverage of comparative aspects of biology, with this Symposium we would like to stress our interest in exploring the phenomena of life at all levels of biological organization in a physiological and evolutionary context.

The Summary of the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report concludes that 'Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level'. These environmental changes have already significantly impacted the habitats and living conditions of many species, including our own. Anthropogenic pollution and myriad releases of biologically active substances into the environment have further changed the world for living organisms. The aim of this Symposium is to assess the impacts many of these changes have had on animal biodiversity and ecology, emphasizing adaptation and resilience in physiological systems.

The Symposium is a satellite to the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS) 36th World Congress and will be held in the beautiful setting of Awaji Island, the largest island in Japan's Inland Sea, at the Awaji Yumebutai International Conference Center, with accommodation in the adjoining Western Awaji Island Hotel. Within 90 minutes travel of Kansai International Airport or Kyoto, Awaji Yumebutai provides a relaxed atmosphere that lends itself to work, dialogue and recreation.

The Symposium will comprise presentations by a list of 18 distinguished invited speakers and will also include open registration for a maximum of 30 additional delegates. There will be a poster session for registered delegates to present their work and plenty of scope for informal discussion. All invited oral presentations will be published as a special issue of The Journal of Experimental Biology in early 2010.

Session topics include:

  • Climate change and arctic ecological responses past, present and future
  • Climate change and its influence on terrestrial animals
  • Climate change and its influence on aquatic animals
  • Emerging zoonosis and human diseases
  • Animal resilience and adaptation in coping with changes
  • Population and ecosystem responses to land use change and contaminants


Contact: Dr. Michaela Handel
The Company of Biologists

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