15-20 March 2015

Four Points Sheraton / Holiday Inn Express, Ventura, USA


Ulf Dieckmann, Evolution and Ecology Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria weblink

Vice Chair:

Åke Brännström, Evolution and Ecology Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria & Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden weblink


Gordon Research Conferences (GRC), West Kingston, USA weblink
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg, Austria weblink

Speciation is responsible for creating the world’s biological diversity. Attempts to understand and explain speciation date back to Darwin’s seminal work ‘On the origin of species’ (1859). Yet, even today, more than 150 years later, fundamental scientific questions about how genetic, geographical, ecological, evolutionary, and environmental factors interact to create species remain wide open. These questions are now being addressed, with recently increasing vigor, at the forefront of biological research. While classical theories of speciation emphasize geographical isolation and often relegate ecological factors to the background, modern theories tend to highlight, in addition, the important roles of ecological interactions and sexual selection. Many other issues, concerning the roles of spatial structure, hybridization, genetic drift, pleiotropy-based constraints, mate choice, and environmental change are also still unresolved. Fueled by new developments in genomic studies, comparative approaches, and mathematical modeling, the last decade has brought an unprecedented surge in speciation research. Topical challenges for the future include the integration of genomics with ecological speciation research, and the integration of speciation research with ecosystem science.

Against this backdrop of burgeoning research activities and intensified scientific discussions, the new Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on ‘Speciation’ will serve as an inroad into the field of speciation research for a new generation of young researchers and at the same time enable senior scientists to develop connections outside their immediate area of expertise. A major focus of the conference will be to facilitate bridge-building among disparate approaches to speciation research and between the European, North American, and Asian communities of speciation researchers. We will therefore promote lectures surveying fields of contemporary speciation research and encourage geographically balanced contributions and discussion sessions of an integrative nature.

The Gordon Research Conference on ‘Speciation’ will build on, and greatly enhance, the impacts and international outreach of recently intensified scientific networking in speciation researchers across Europe, which included the organization of two major international speciation conferences and proved very successful for establishing collaborations and catalyzing discussions across disciplinary divides in speciation research.

Confirmed invited speakers:

Jenny Boughman, Michigan State University, USA
Åke Brännström, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria & Umeå University, Sweden
Reinhard Bürger, University of Vienna, Austria
Roger Butlin, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
Ulf Dieckmann, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria
Michael Doebeli, University of British Columbia, Canada
Rampal Etienne, University of Groningen, Netherlands
Jeffrey Feder, University of Notre Dame, USA
Sergey Gavrilets, University of Tennessee, USA
Peter Hammerstein, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
Richard Harrison, Cornell University, USA
Chris Jiggins, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Kerstin Johannesson, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Rees Kassen, University of Ottawa, Canada
James Mallet, Harvard University, USA
Rupert Mazzucco, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria
Hans Metz, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria & Leiden University, Netherlands
Axel Meyer, University of Konstanz, Germany
Leithen M'Gonigle, Florida State University, USA
Leonie Moyle, Indiana University, USA
Anna Qvarnström, Uppsala University, Sweden
Michael Rosenzweig, University of Arizona, USA
Glenn-Peter Sætre, University of Oslo, Norway
Rebecca Safran, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA
Akira Sasaki, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), Japan
Dolph Schluter, University of British Columbia, Canada
Ole Seehausen, University of Bern, Switzerland
Erik Svensson, Lund University, Sweden
Xavier Thibert-Plante, Umeå University, Sweden

Conference agenda

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Last edited: 17 September 2015


Åke Brännström

Research Scholar

Evolution and Ecology, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313