Being young researchers themselves, the organizers of the EMBL PhD Student Symposium on Evolution recognize the need for a meeting that is accessible both to specialists in evolutionary biology and to non-specialists alike. Evolution is the underlying principle that unifies all disciplines within the life sciences. An appreciation of evolutionary theories and an understanding of the latest research developments in this field are of great benefit to biological scientists. As the future generation of international scientists, young researchers in particular should be exposed to the subject. The proposed symposium aims to provide the opportunity for young scientists to interact with those well-established researchers, working at the cutting edge in the field. During the two-day symposium, thirteen leading scientists whose interests cover six areas (detailed below) will each present a lecture.
The focus of the symposium will be largely on molecular evolution, supplemented with lectures exploring for example cultural evolution and the application of evolutionary theories to artificial systems. The research backgrounds of the invited speakers are diverse, spanning developmental biology, phylogenetics, structural biology, population genetics and palaeontology. Equally, the participants are anticipated to be drawn from a range of biological disciplines. The multidisciplinary nature of the meeting, inherent in the subject itself, should promote a high level of discussion and strengthen the network of European scientists concerned with evolutionary biology. EMBL, an institute housing some of the leading research activities in Europe, will be the location for this symposium. The international flavour and open, highly collaborative nature of the institute will promote interactions between participants from different countries and will encourage high level scientific collaborations on a European scale.