Symbiomics Workshop 2014


Symbiomics Workshop 2014




funding agenciesEuropean CommissionSeventh Framework Programme (FP7)Marie Curie Actions - Promoting passionate People with permit from the National Park Tuscan Archipelago to access the Island of Pianosa


2. International Field Workshop on Shallow-Water Symbioses: "From the Genome to the Environment and Back"

From 28 May to 07 June 2014 the Second International Field Workshop in the framework of the Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) "SYMBIOMICS - Molecular Ecology and Evolution of Bacterial Symbionts" took place at the HYDRA Field Station on the Island of Elba. Project leader Prof. Dr. Nicole Dubilier, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen/Germany had invited 16 of the most important experts in the field of chemoautotrophic marine symbioses, as well as 17 students and young scientists to Elba, to do research together, to discuss and to exchange knowledge and ideas.



(back row, from left to right) Freddy Cadera (HYDRA), Pete Girguis (Harvard University), Jessica Panzarino (Havard University), Manuel Liebeke (MPI Bremen), Dan Distel (Northeastern University), Reuben Shipway (Northeastern University), Chuck Fisher (Penn State University), Mike Hadfield (University of Hawai'i at Manoa), Mario Schimak (MPI Bremen), 

(middle row, standing, from left) Nicole Dubilier (MPI Bremen), Margret McFall-Ngai (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Boris Unger (HYDRA), Miriam Weber (HYDRA), Jofi Fischer (HYDRA), Niko Leisch (Uni Vienna), Jörg Ott (Uni Vienna), Hannah Marchant (MPI Bremen), Christian Lott (HYDRA), Miriam Brandt (MPI Bremen), Julian Rau (HYDRA), Colleen Cavanaugh (Harvard University), Manuel Kleiner (MPI Bremen), Simon Niederbacher (HYDRA), Brandon Seah (MPI Bremen), Johanna Wiedling (HYDRA), Harald Gruber-Vodicka (MPI Bremen), Rich Dannenberg (Penn State University), Joey Pakes (Harvard University), Julia Kesting (Uni Vienna), Doro Makarow (HYDRA), Marie Wolff (HYDRA),

(middle row, sitting) Marcel Kuypers (MPI Bremen), Silvia Moriano Gutierrez (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Anne-Christin Kreutzmann (MPI Bremen), Florian Scharhauser (Uni Wien), Ned Ruby (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Oliver Jäckle (MPI Bremen), Nadine Lehnen (MPI Bremen),

(front) Kristina Stemmer (HYDRA), Monka Bright (Uni Wien), Jingchun Li (Harvard University), Rebecca Ansorge (MPI Bremen), Andie Chan (Penn State University), Juliane Wippler (MPI Bremen), Hanna Kuhfuß (HYDRA), Matze Schneider (HYDRA). Missing: Dirk de Beer (MPI Bremen).


Topics and work groups

The participants gathered in work groups with the following topics that were investigated in the laboratories and at study sites around Elba and its neighbouring island of Pianosa:

Biogeochemistry of the sediments at Sant‘ Andrea: sources and dynamics of H2/CO; H2/CO micro-gradients, nutrient distribution and possible sources of electron donors
Manuel Kleiner, Dirk de Beer, Chuck Fisher, Anne-Christin Kreutzmann, Manuel Liebeke, Pete Girguis, Marcel Kuypers, Hannah Marchant

Ecology - interaction with the environment 1: Biochemical characterisation of meiofauna of Sant‘Andrea; The role of different storage compounds in symbioses
Manuel Liebeke, Hannah Marchant, Marcel Kuypers, Harald Gruber-Vodicka, Manuel Kleiner, Andie Chan, Rich Dannenberg, Julia Kesting, Oliver Jäckle

Ecology - interaction with the environment 2: Migration of O. algarvensisin the presence of different compounds – incl. cucumber smell“; Distribution of O. algarvensis and geochemical setting – "crest vs. trough"
Mario Schimak, Chuck Fisher, Niko Leisch, Manuel Liebeke, Juliane Wippler

Symbioses in marine environments 1: Where are and who has symbionts? Pre-PCR/FISH: Microscopic observation and characterisation of symbiotic and free-living bacteria
Colleen Cavanaugh, Jingchun Li, Joey Pakes,

Symbioses in marine environments 2: Bacterial symbionts of Trichoplax adhaerens
Mike Hadfield, Margret McFall-Ngai, Oliver Jäckle

Symbioses in marine environments 3: Bioluminescent bacteria: screening of environmental samples and cephalopods
Ned Ruby, Margaret McFall, Juliane Wippler, Miriam Brandt, Silvia Moriano Gutierrez, Rich Dannenberg

Symbioses & Physiology: Symbioses in wood-feeding (xylotroph) clams
Dan Distel, Reuben Shipway, Dirk de Beer, Peter Girguis, Anne-Christin Kreutzmann, Jessica Panzarino, Florian Scharhauser, Rebecca Ansorge

Molecular ecology in the field: disruption and re-establishment of the symbiosis of giant ciliates
Monika Bright, Brandon Seah

Meiofauna of Elba and Pianosa
Jörg Ott

More Information about the Marie Curie Initial Training Network "SYMBIOMICS - Molecular Ecology and Evolution of Bacterial Symbionts" and the program of the 2. International SYMBIOMICS Workshop on Elba you will find here.




Some impressions ....

For the whole duration of the workshop the weather and sea conditions were ideal for any snorkeling, diving and boating activities. Here Manuel K. is sampling sediment and porewater.

Andi is coordinating the planned snorkeling exploration of the bay with Dan, Nadine and Brandon. Jing, Joey and Juliane are happy about their first samples.

Anne-Christin is incubating seagrass rhizome to be later analysed for metabolic rates at the gas chromatograph. Brandon hunting symbiotic ciliates under the microscope.

Jörg explains to Julia the extraction of meiofauna from the collected sand samples. Mike, the "Hawai'ian Trichoplax hunter", shares a sample with Jörg.

Johanna and Anne-Christin prepare sediment cores for further analysis. Colleen is diluting a suspension of symbionts from a clam gill to count them under the microscope.

Sepiola cf. affinis, one of the model organisms to study the symbiosis of bacteria and marine animals. Margret, Ned and Nicole prepare the projects with luminescent bacteria in the laboratory.

Pete has to repair some transport damage to the vacuum pump of the in-situ mass spectrometer. Andie prepares samples for the GC-MS on search of metabolites.

Hanna and Johanna take care of the sediment cores. Manuel K., Anne and Manuel L. adjusting the gas chromatograph.

Niko and Mario set up the observation cuvettes in the optode lab in order to record the migrations of gutless worms. Oli is sorting out mouthless flatworms.

Another model system: wood-boring bivalves, so called "shipworms". Dan is giving an introduction to shipworm dissection to Flo, Rebecca, Jessica and Joey.

Dirk is calibrating the microsensors before the first field samples arrive for analysis. Julia, Reuben and Manuel L. at the GC-MS. The group scanned more than 150 samples during the workshop.

Rich, Reuben, Hannah, Brandon and Oli preparing for the round-table discussion. Harald, Chuck and Pete discussing in the coffee corner.

Mario and Niko in a briefing at the terrace. Ned goes through results of the luminous bacteria project with Silvia, Juliane, Miriam B. and Rich.

Vinegar-and-oil still life with scientific poster in the background. For the breaks there are already snacks waiting for the participants in direct vicinity to the poster contributions from the young scientists.

Niko explains his research to Colleen, while the others continue their discussions on the terrace over lunch.

Jörg and Harald at the presentation of their proposed projects. Marcel is presenting the research his group has been doing on the symbiosis of a cyanobacterium and a unicellular alga.

Nicole leads one of the sunset round-table discussions. Students first: Margret, Monika and Chuck still have to wait with their comments.

Ned is also lucky with the weather for "his" round-table. Pete is giving the late-night talk on the hotel terrace.

Monika's morning lecture (in classic style) about the theory of co-operation woke us up immediately ... and kept us awake until the evening round-table discussion!

Matze's barbecue art provided us with fabulous steaks and also kept off mosquitoes.