September 5th to 8th 2022
University of Cologne
„Reference genomes for biodiversity“
International Symposium on
What to expect
The International Symposium on “Reference genomes for biodiversity” aims to interconnect experts in the field of biodiversity genomics and discuss knowledge gained in pioneering studies on reference-quality de novo sequencing of organisms challenging for genome sequencing and assembly.

Intended as Open Community event, this symposium aims at strengthening and extending the scientific network of the biodiversity genomics community in Germany (DeRGA - Deutscher Referenzgenom Atlas) in close interconnection with the ERGA Consortium (European reference Genome Atlas), bringing together stakeholders from universities, research centres, museums and NGS competence centres.

The symposium will be held in person at the University of Cologne in Germany,
September 5th to 8th 2022.
Comments and Discussion
Speeches from experts
Coffe and Catering
Keynote Speakers
Dr Rosa Fernandez
IBE Barcelona, Spain
Rosa's research focuses on phylogenomic approaches to understand (i) how animals are related to each other, (ii) how they reshaped their genomes to generate their inmense diversity and (iii) how they adapted to new environments - such as during terrestrialization or adaptation to life in caves. Her favourite creatures are terrestrial invertebrates (mainly arthropods and annelids), but she is now expanding her research to other lineages as well to have a better picture of animal evolution at a macroevolutionary scale.

Dr. Rebekah Oomen
University of Osla and University of Agder, Norway
Rebekah is a marine evolutionary ecologist working on how organisms respond to environmental change, including how adaptation to local environments in the past influences contemporary plastic responses and future environmental adaptation. She combines experiments with genomics and eco-evolutionary modelling to investigate these questions in fishes and is broadly interested in how we can harness genomic data to forecast population responses to environmental change.
Prof. Dr. Mark Blaxter
Darwin Tree of Life Project Leader, Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK
Mark is leading the Darwin Tree of Life Programme (DToL) at the Sanger Institute in the UK. DToL’s goal is to generate high quality genomes of all species on the British Islands.
Mark has been a pioneer for second generation sequencing approaches at his previous post at the University of Edinburgh, where he helped establishing and leading Edinburgh Genomics. Focussing on nematodes and other tiny invertebrates Mark has published extensively about genome evolution.
Prof. Dr. Axel Meyer
University of Konstanz
Axel Meyer studies several fundamental issues in evolutionary biology. Particularly interested in the evolution of biodiversity, and specifically the genesis of genomic, developmental and morphological diversity as well as their evolutionary interconnections he has extensively published about Cichlid fish in the past decades.
As a member of the national academy of sciences in Germany, the Leopoldina, Axel Meyer is one of the leading proponents of evolutionary biology in Germany.
  • comparative genomics / phylogenomics
  • giant genome sizes
  • pangenomes and symbiotic communities
  • polyploid genomes
  • microeukaryotes and tiny invertebrates
Confirmed invited speakers
Outline of focus sessions



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