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Logo of the conference. Big colorful PEC letters. P is red and inside it sits a bird, probably a male long-tailed widowbird Euplectes progne ("sacabula", wikłacz olbrzymi). The letter E is green and inside it is a DNA double helix. The letter C is blue and inside it is a symbolic cladogram. Under the letters there is an extension of the conference's abbreviated name: Polish Evolutionary Conference.

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Ecology and evolution of microbes and microbial communities

Organizer: Dominika Włoch-Salamon

This session focus on bacteria, archaea, viruses, fungi, prions, protozoa and algae, that collectively known as 'microbes'. Microorganisms and their activities are vitally important to virtually all processes on Earth. Microorganisms matter because they affect every aspect of every live on the planet – they are in, on, and around all living organisms. It is important to understand how ecosystems with microbes and of microbes evolve over time, and how they are shaped by the interactions taking place between individual microbial cells, and the role of its environment. We welcome researchers using various methodologies and their combinations including:  field and laboratory experiments, evolutionary genetics, and genomics, mathematical modeling, bioinformatics and computer simulations.

Key words: microorganisms, evolution, environment

Global Environmental Issues in Comparative Studies

Organizer: Joanna Rutkowska

What strategies do living organisms use to cope with an environment that is changing rapidly and in increasingly unpredictable ways? In this session we would like to explore the range of different mechanisms that organisms use to cope with environmental change. We invite presentations of systematic reviews, meta-analyses and comparative studies that examine the effects of environmental factors on phenotypic and evolutionary change in any species.  Meta-analyses and comparative studies can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of different mechanisms used by organisms to cope with environmental change. We hope that the results presented during this session will stimulate new research directions, help predict how species may adapt in the future, and inform conservation efforts to protect biodiversity.

Key words: systematic review, meta-analysis, and comparative study

Effects of thermal and oxygen conditions on ectotherms in a changing world

Organizer: Marcin Czarnołęski

Over large geographic and temporal scales, life on Earth constantly experiences changes in thermal and oxygen conditions, but these effects are accelerated by human impacts on global climate and local habitats. Ambient temperature and access to oxygen affect the functioning of ectotherms in ecosystems, directly influencing physiological rates by altering metabolic demand and supply, and indirectly by altering ecological interactions between species (predation, parasitism). The ability to survive and reproduce under these challenges depends on evolved existing physiological limits, physiological tolerance and plastic developmental responses, but also on the ability of local populations to adapt to the changing environment through microevolutionary processes. The session aims to bring together research from different areas of ectotherm biology, including ecology, evolution, physiology, cell biology, to create a broader and thus balanced view of the complex nature of the links between physiology and life history traits of ectotherms living in changing environments.

Keywords: Climate change, adaptation, physiology, life history traits, tolerance

Making evolution happen

Organizers: Ryszard Korona and Paweł Koteja

Experimental evolution – employing either natural or artificial selection under controlled conditions - is a straightforward and methodologically sound approach to test hypotheses concerning plasticity and heritability of phenotypic traits, general properties of evolutionary processes (such as their repeatability, contribution of standing genetic variation vs. new mutations, etc.), correlated evolution of complex behavioral or morpho-physiological adaptations and other fundamental issues. It also provides unique opportunities to study biochemical and molecular mechanisms underlying developments observed at the organismal level. Underappreciated for more than a century, it has rapidly gained recognition in the last few decades. This symposium will provide a platform to discuss the outcome of experimental evolution on organisms ranging from microorganims to vertebrates.

Keywords: Experimental Evolution; Artificial selection; Laboratory natural selection

Open: Evolution and Ecology

Organizer: Agata Plesnar-Bielak and Aleksandra Walczyńska

There will be several small open sessions on ecology and evolution. These sessions will cover the full range of evolutionary topics and will therefore include those talks and poster presentations that don't fit into the specific sessions. As much as possible, talks will be organized together with similar topic groups/themes, with each set of talks acting as its own small session. This is therefore an interesting and important part of the scientific programme, with high-quality presentations from across the spectrum of evolution and ecology. The session is open to all areas of evolutionary research and to speakers of all levels of experience. We particularly encourage presentations from students and early career researchers.

Keywords: Evolutionary Biology; Ecological Evolution; Adaptation; Ecology

In this session, PhD students from the project ATUT PhD Programme in Biology (Active Skills Training for the PhD Programme in Biology), No. POWR.03.02.00-00-I017/17, co-financed from the European Union funds as part of European Social Fund - will present their results and discuss them with the invited speakers.