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  Home > 2018 Conference series > Sex uncovered: the evolutionary biology of reproductive systems

Sex uncovered: the evolutionary biology of reproductive systems

 French version

Roscoff (Brittany), France, April 23-27, 2018


Deadline for application: January 16, 2018


Chairperson: Tanja Schwander

Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Biophore, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
Phone: +41 21 692 4151


Vice-chairpersons: Thomas Lenormand1 / Denis Roze2

1Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CEFE), Campus du CNRS, 1919 route de Mende, 1919 route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
Phone: +33 (0)4 67 61 32 91

2Station Biologique de Roscoff, Place Georges Teissier, CS90074, 29288 Roscoff Cedex, France
Phone: +33 (0)2 98 29 23 20


Sex: What is it good for? The reasons for why the vast majority of eukaryotes take a complicated detour to reproduction, when straightforward routes are available, remains a central and largely unanswered question in evolutionary biology. Reproduction can invoke clonality and different forms of meiotic parthenogenesis, self-fertilization or mating between relatives, or sexual reproduction with outcrossing. Each of these forms of reproduction directly influences the potential for adaptation and diversification of lineages and thereby the structure of biodiversity. Despite that, our understanding of the evolution of reproductive and genetic systems is still fragmentary. Even some of the most fundamental questions remain open, such as: Why is sex maintained in most species? What type of genetic changes drive transitions between different mating systems? How can mixed mating systems (involving, for example, a combination of sex and outrossing with selfing or parthenogenesis) be maintained within the same species or even within populations? What are the consequences of shifts of reproductive systems for the fate of species?
The aim of this conference is to bring together researchers working on different aspects of reproductive system evolution. We are especially interested in bringing together researchers using different approaches and different research systems in an attempt to closing the gap between theoretical and empirical research on the evolution of reproductive and genetic systems.

The conference will comprise five sessions:

  • The evolution of sexual and asexual reproduction
  • The evolution of mating systems
  • Genetic conflicts and sexual dimorphism
  • The evolution of sex determination systems
  • Open session: other aspects of reproductive systems


Invited speakers
(provisional titles)


Aneil AGRAWAL (Toronto, Canada)
Mutation accumulation in selfers under variable selection

Tia-Lynn ASHMAN (Pittsburgh, USA)
Sex chromosome diversity in strawberries: insight into a novel mechanism

Lutz BECKS (Plön, Germany)
The evolution of sex and predator-prey dynamics

Sylvain BILLIARD (Lille, France)
Evolutionary consequences of two mating types

Deborah CHARLESWORTH (Edinburgh, United Kingdom)
The young "sex chromosome" of the guppy, Poecilia reticulata

Brian CHARLESWORTH (Edinburgh, United Kingdom)
How much hitchhiking is going on?

Susana COELHO (Roscoff, France)
Evolution of sex chromosomes in the brown algae

Mathilde DUFAŸ (Montpellier, France)
Evolutionary ecology of sexual specialization in angiosperms

Sylvain GLÉMIN (Montpellier, France)
Dynamic of mating system evolution and its genomic consequences in wheat relatives (Aegilops/Triticum)

Christoph HAAG (Montpellier, France)
Automixis and clonality in Daphnia

David HAIG (Harvard, USA)
Broken symmetries and intragenomic conflict

Matthew HARTFIELD (Aarhus, Denmark)
Determinants of genetic diversity in facultative sexuals

Julie JAQUIERY (Rennes, France)
Genetic control of contagious asexuality in the pea aphid

Sexually antagonistic selection and genome evolution

Hanna KOKKO (Zurich, Switzerland)
Sex, sexes and mating types: being explicit about demography

Thomas LENORMAND (Montpellier, France)
Recombination, asexuality, and the evolution of gene expression

Michael LYNCH (Indiana, USA)
The population genomics of the cyclical parthenogen, Daphnia pulex

Gabriel MARAIS (Lyon, France)
Evolutionary stasis of the pseudo-autosomal region in Strepsirhine primates

Emmanuelle PORCHER (Paris, France)
Combining population and quantitative genetics to model inbreeding depression and mating system evolution

Susanne RENNER (München, Germany)
Why is gaining and losing dioecy so easy?

Stefan SCHEU (Göttingen, Germany)
Evolution and diversification without sex in oribatid mites

Tanja SCHWANDER (Lausanne, Switzerland)
Genomic consequences of asexuality: insights from Timema stick insects

Henrique TEOTÓNIO (Paris, France)
Developmental, life-history and population genetic consequences of partial selfing in experimental C. elegans

Karine VAN DONINCK (Namur, Belgium)
The genome architecture of bdelloid rotifers: shaped by their long-term ameiotic evolution or dessication?

Beatriz VICOSO (Klosterneuburg, Austria)
Sex chromosome turnover and conservation in insects

Stephen WRIGHT (Toronto, Canada)
Pollen competition, meiotic drive, and the evolution of plant sex chromosomes


Deadline for application: January 16, 2018


Registration fee (including board and lodging)

460 € for PhD students
650 € for other participants


Application for registration
The total number of participants is limited to 115 and all participants are expected to attend for the whole duration of the conference. Selection is made on the basis of the affinity of potential participants with the topics of the conference. Scientists and PhD Students interested in the meeting should send:

- their curriculum vitae
- the list of their main publications for the 3 last years
- the abstract of their presentation:

The abstract must respect the following template:
- First line: title
- Second line: list of authors. Presenting author underlined
- Third line: author's addresses
- Fourth line: e-mail of the presenting author
Abstracts should be no longer than an A4 page and preferably be submitted in Times New Roman, font size 11 pts. No figures. ".doc" file format.

to the Chairperson of the conference ( and to the secretary of the conferences ( before the deadline. After it, the organizers will select the participants. Except in some particular cases approved by the Chairperson, it is recommended that all selected participants present their work during the conference, either in poster form or by a brief in- session talk. The organizers choose the form in which the presentations are made. No payment will be sent with application. Information on how and when to pay will be mailed in due time to those selected.


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