Sessions | - CCMAR -


Preliminary list of sessions (more to follow)

Topic Abstract Name
Linking recombination rate to patterns of population divergence: structural variants and beyond

Recombination rate plays a major role in shaping genomic landscapes, especially during divergence. This is because gene flow and recombination homogenize environment-specific and/or species-specific allele combinations, thus opposing local adaptation and speciation. Structural variants (SVs), heritable modifications of the chromosome structure, have strong effects on recombination leading to the suppression/reduction of recombination within rearranged parts of the chromosome.  The genomic revolution has revealed that SVs are common across taxa and investigations into divergence often illuminate a SV architecture. In this session, we want to present examples linking recombination rate to population divergence in marine or maritime species. This session aims to cover the extent of natural variation in recombination including structural variants, sex chromosomes, and variation of recombination rate along chromosomes. We would be pleased to host talks or posters covering theoretical or empirical work on the topic, as well as future perspectives for the field.

Alan, Le Moan

Ecological and evolutionary epigenetics in marine organisms

Recent studies in the young research field of Ecological Epigenetics provide increasing evidence for the potential of epigenetic variation to increase plasticity, facilitate speciation and accelerate adaptation to new environments and stressful conditions. While epigenetics research is growing particularly strong in terrestrial plants, research in marine organisms is lagging behind. In this session, epigenetic implies molecular modifications that have the potential to change gene expression across generations, and that cannot be attributed to changes in DNA sequence. These modifications occur in the form of histone modification, non-coding RNA, and DNA methylation. This session invites talks on the characterization of epigenetic variation in marine organisms, its independence from or dependence on genetic variation, its contribution to plasticity or evolutionary change in response to the environment, its effect on transposable element activity and gene expression, as well as its heritability and, thus, adaptive potential.

Alexander, Jueterbock

The ecological and evolutionary consequences of life cycle complexity 

Natural selection shapes the timing and nature of stages within a life cycle. Far from being intriguing exceptions, complex life cycles, characterized by discrete stages that differ in form or function, are especially diverse among marine organisms. Many marine organisms alternate between a dispersive propagule stage with a benthic or pelagic adult life. Many algae have more than one free-living stage within the same life cycle, often differing in morphology, ploidy, or sex. In addition to life cycle variation, many marine taxa are also partially clonal in which they undergo both sexual and asexual reproduction. While work has begun to unravel the evolution of complex life cycles, we understand less about the additional role of partial clonality in the dynamics and evolution of metapopulations. The purpose of this session is to bring together evolutionary ecologists to share the latest theoretical and empirical developments to shed light on the evolutionary consequences of partial clonality in the ocean. As many marine organisms have complex life cycles and are partially clonal, this session will be of wide interest to evolutionary biologists either involved on theoretical development or empirical studies, shedding light on the influence of complex life cycles on micro- to macroevolutionary processes. Stacy, Krueger-Hadfield
Complicated genomes in non-model organisms Our understanding of the evolutionary processes shaping genome evolution in the marine realm still relies on a handful of model-organisms. Although the rapid development of new protocols and sequencing technologies aims to facilitate the investigation of non-model species, the focus remains mostly around human-type genomes. But how representative 
of the diversity are such genomes? Characteristics such as large genome sizes, polyploidy and small body sizes are common to marine organisms. These represent technical challenges that often impede the investigation of evolutionary processes in genomes of non-model species. Initiating a proper genome-wide study in such complicated organism can be an epic mission requiring new and innovative tools and protocols. However, progress in marine genomics is starting to pave the way for sequencing difficult species. This session will aim to bring together scientists with experience in marine genomics, transcriptomics and evolution of complicated genomes to discuss their challenges and findings. This forum will also provide the opportunity to discuss future developments for studying genomic evolution in marine non-model organisms.
Marvin, Choquet
Evolutionary genomics of hybridisation in the sea Hybridising species provide natural experiments that can illuminate the genomics of speciation and the complex dynamics of local adaptation. In the marine environment, high fecundity and highly dispersive larval stages typifying many organisms create opportunities for repeated secondary contacts and periods of gene flow between historically isolated lineages. Present-day anthropogenic translocations of marine species can additionally facilitate secondary contact between allopatric taxa and subsequent gene flow. Advances in genomic methods and new genomic resources for marine organisms offer unprecedented opportunities for investigating past introgression and present-day admixture at increased genomic- and spatial-scales. Such past and contemporary hybridisation events can have several possible outcomes ranging from extensive mixing of genomes to differential genome-wide introgression. Both genomic advances and multiple contexts of hybridisation can provide novel insights into the processes contributing to reproductive isolation and local adaptation. This session aims to advance understanding of the role of hybridisation in shaping contemporary evolution, as well as the use of hybridisation to study the mechanisms and genomic architectures implicated in the build-up of reproductive isolation in high gene flow marine systems.

Iva, Popovic

Alexis, Simon

Genomic insights into marine population vulnerability and evolution under environmental change Locally adapted populations are some of the most vulnerable in the face of a rapidly changing ocean climate. The extent to which marine populations are tied to distinct environmental variables can be a critical determinant in their survival, and our ability to understand and predict these evolutionary processes will be crucial to mitigating marine species extinction in the coming decades. Genome-wide data can now be generated for nearly any organism, and novel approaches to analyze that data are allowing for a deeper understanding of how climatic and oceanic change can shape communities on a molecular level. This includes insights into demographic histories, historical and ongoing adaptation, and the impact of these processes on the genomic evolution of marine organisms. This session will emphasize empirical genomic research on the impacts of local environments on marine populations, and the innovative approaches in data analysis being used to understand how environmental change impacts marine evolution. By bringing together researchers using diverse tools and study designs, this session will be a unique opportunity to share progress in our field, to compare evolutionary patterns across taxa, and to plan for the empirical data necessary for future research in marine evolutionary genomics.  Stephen, Gaughran

Delineating coral reef species using integrative tools: to a better understanding of biodiversity and evolutionary processes

In recent decades, coral reef literature increasingly focused on coral reef bleaching and the ability of coral reefs to adapt to climate change, most often based on specific experiments under controlled conditions in model species. While mainly concerned by the faith of coral reefs facing the Anthropocene, evolutionary processes shaping coral reef species diversity – believed to be the highest of any ecosystem on the planet- and population dynamics may have been overlooked, yet they are crucial for their maintenance and resilience. Using forefront approaches, early findings did indicate that much of coral taxonomy was at odds with evolutionary patterns, mainly due to erroneous misidentification of individuals and species, leading to incorrect population level genetic diversity and structure, and species delineation. The high variability observed could indeed goes in hand with differential responses of cryptic species, i.e. under the evolutionary process of speciation, rather than intra-specific phenotypic plasticity. This session aims to uncover biodiversity, biogeographic and evolutionary patterns of coral reef organisms based on the integration of novel morphological, barcoding, genomic and transcriptomic tools. Florentine, Riquet

Dynamics of marine host-microbe interactions

The recent perspective that all multicellular organisms are essentially holobionts – host plus its associated microbiota – has opened the way of microbes into marine ecology and evolution research. Host-microbe interactions can be very species-specific and deeply influence host functions, including nutrition, defense and behavior. However, how these interactions evolve and are maintained, is still highly unknown.

Additionally, the environment affects the host-microbe interplay. On the one hand, environmental changes can cause an unbalance in the abundance and diversity of the microbiota, leading to dysbiosis and ultimately disease. On the other hand, microbes may evolve much faster than their long-lived hosts and, thus, the microbiota may help to buffer adverse environmental conditions for the holobiont. To better understand the effects of the changing ocean on marine organisms, it is therefore crucial to consider the potential role of the microbiota in acclimatization and adaptation of the holobiont.

This session aims to highlight the importance of marine host-microbe interactions and the impact of the smallest members of the world on the faith of marine ecosystems. We would like to encourage the dialogue between scientists from different backgrounds to get a more comprehensive functional understanding of what determines the evolution of host-microbe interactions.

Angela M., Marulanda 

Lara, Schmittmann

Long-lived structural species in a changing world: eco-evolutionary studies with conservation and restoration implications Many temperate biodiversity-rich communities, providing key-ecosystem services, are dominated by long-lived and sessile animals and algae. These species play key ecological roles as habitat-forming species, increasing the structural complexity of the habitats. However, considering the life-history traits (longevity, late maturity)of these species, the actual rate of global change is dramatically challenging their demographic and evolutionary responses. In contrast, the distribution range of many long-lived structural species along sharp environmental gradients (e.g., latitude, depth) suggests possibilities of responses to disturbances through complex population-by-environment interactions.  
In this session, we will focus on the ecology and evolution of long-lived structural species impacted by global change in temperate seas: how these models are original in term of their population-by-environment interactions and, how this knowledge should be used in conservation policies. Specifically, we aim to improve our understanding of the processes underlying their response to environmental disturbances. 
We thus anticipate multidisciplinary talks combining, for instance, long-term monitoring, field and experimental works, population dynamics and genomics, and focused on the inference of evolutionary processes, in order to promote the conservation and restoration of these key components of marine diversity.
Jean-Baptiste, Ledoux