Plenary speakers

ESEB2019 – European Society for Evolutionary Biology

Plenary speakers

Anna-Liisa Laine (Helsinki University)

Plant-pathogen evolution, evolutionary epidemiology, trophic interactions


Anna-Liisa Laine is an evolutionary ecologist who is broadly interested in the eco-evolutionary feedback loops that drive species interactions. She is a professor of ecology at the University of Zurich, and a visiting professor at the University of Helsinki. She received her PhD at the University of Helsinki in 2005 and continued to do post doctoral research at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and CSIRO Canberra. Much of her work is focused on uncovering the mechanism that enable coexistence of host and their parasites in natural populations, and the mechanism which maintain diversity in host-parasite interaction traits. Currently, her work is addressing these questions within a community ecology framework.

Rasmus Nielsen (UC Berkley/Copenhagen)

Human adaptation in time and space

Sinead Collins (Edinburgh)

Microbial evolution

Pat Monaghan (Glasgow)

Life-history evolution; long and short term resource allocation trade-offs


Pat Monaghan is an evolutionary ecologist, based at the University of Glasgow, where she holds the Regius Chair in Zoology.  She did her PhD at Durham University on seabird ecology, followed by work on the interactions between seabirds and fisheries management.  She then began research on the effect of early life conditions in shaping individual life histories, involving studies at many different biological levels from physiology and molecular biology to ecology and behavioural biology. Her work is mainly on birds, with related work in other taxa. A current major focus is on telomere dynamics, and the extent to which this system of genome protection influences life history evolution and ageing patterns.

David Queller (Washington)

Social selection


David Queller is a professor at Washington University in St. Louis.  His dissertation investigated sexual selection and kin selection in plants. He subsequently worked for many years, together with Joan Strassmann, on social insects, showing the importance of relatedness in both cooperation and conflict. They later switched to studying social amoebas, especially the evolution of cheating in and its control by high relatedness, kin discrimination, pleiotropy, and resistance. His theoretical work includes methods for estimating relatedness, models of kin selection and other social forces, the evolution of eusociality via demographic advantages, evolutionary conflict, and fundamental theorems of natural selection.