Confirmed plenary presenters are:
Chantal Abergel, CNRS, France
Chantal Abergel is Research Director at CNRS and Director of the Genomics and Structural Information Laboratory. The laboratory is focused on the study of the 4 families of giant viruses currently described, the Mimiviridae and the Pandoraviridae on one hand, and the Pithoviridae and Mollivirus whose first representatives were isolated from permafrost samples more than 30,000 years old. Their discoveries are challenging the concept of virus as well as their origin, their evolution and the role they could have played in the emergence of the cellular life.
Phil Hugenholtz, The University of Queensland, Australia
From a PhD in 1994 at the University of Queensland, Phil Hugenholtz developed a career in microbiology and genomics in the USA and in Australia. His last position in the USA was as Staff Scientist (2004-2010) at the DOE Joint Genome Institute. In late 2010 he returned home to establish the Australian Centre for Ecogenomics, now comprising over 50 research and support staff. The Centre conducts culture-independent sequence-based research across a wide range of environmental, engineered and clinical ecosystems underpinned by a genome-based evolutionary framework.
Yoichi Kamagata, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan
Yoichi Kamagata is a senior researcher and Deputy Director-General of the Life Science and Biotechnology Department, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan. His main research interests are ecology and physiology of methanogens, strictly anaerobic bacteria and their syntrophic relationships. His group has been intensively cultivating yet-to-be cultured microbes to deeply understand their important roles in a variety of ecosystems. Recently he is also interested in a classical question in microbiology: why most of microbes do not like grow on agar media. He believes that addressing this old question would contribute to the contemporary issues in microbial ecology.
He was Director of Bio-production Research Institute at AIST from 2006 to 2014. He was Professor of the IFO endowed laboratory of microbiology, Hokkaido University from 2009 to 2015. He became a Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology in 2015. He was a group leader of environmental microbiology laboratory from 2001-2014. He was researcher at Center for Microbial Ecology, Michigan State University in 1993-1995.
Jan-Roelof van der Meer, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
Jan R. van der Meer studied Environmental Sciences at the Agricultural University in Wageningen, The Netherlands. He performed his PhD research with Alexander Zehnder and Willem de Vos as advisors, still at the Wageningen Agricultural University. After a postdoc at the Dutch Dairy Institute, he became Junior Group Leader in Environmental Microbiology at the Swiss Federal Institute for Aquatic Sciences (Eawag). In 2003, he moved to the University of Lausanne, in Switzerland. Since 2011, Prof. van der Meer is Head of the Department of Fundamental Microbiology at the University of Lausanne. His research interests are genetic adaptation mechanisms in bacterial communities under pollution stress, as well as applications of bacteria for environmental benefits, for example, as biosensors or for community engineering.
Antje Boetius, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Germany
Jim Tiedje, Michigan State University, USA
and Tiedje Award Winner Michael Wagner, University of Vienna, Austria