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Keynote speakers

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Dr. Ana Riesgo

National Museum of Natural Sciences, Madrid, Spain

Dr Riesgo is an evolutionary biologist with a soft spot for sponge biology and evolution.She is interested in aspects like the origin and evolution of reproductive

processes, ecological physiology, molecular systematics and evolution, and molecular ecology of marine invertebrates.

Dr. Scott Nichols

University of Denver, USA

Dr Nichols research focuses on the molecular foundations of animal origins. Ongoing projects include the evolution of cell adhesion mechanisms, host-pathogen interactions and the origins of immunity, and the evolution of novel cell types. Our primary research model is the freshwater sponge, Ephydatia muelleri.

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Prof. Shirley Pomponi

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI)- Florida Atlantic University, USA

Prof Dr Pomponi developed the first marine invertebrate (sponge) cell line in 2019. This major accomplishment now forms the basis for continued research to develop sponge cell models, not only for in vitro production of sponge-derived chemicals, but also to study evolution and developmental biology and test hypotheses related to impacts of climate change on coral reef sponges.

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Dr. Paco Cardenas

Uppsala University, Sweden

Dr Cardenas is interested in demosponge systematics, evolution and chemistry, using various sources of data such as morphology, biogeography, genetics/genomics and metabolomics. He is especially interested in the order Tetractinellida, particularly present in the deep-sea.

Thomas Torsten
Prof. Torsten Thomas

University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Prof. Thomas is a microbial ecologist with a particular research interest in microbe-host interactions, including those in sponges. He has used molecular and -omic approaches to study the diversity, function and metabolism of sponge-associated microbes.

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We are very much looking forward meeting you

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