Dr. David Aldridge

Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

David Aldridge is a senior lecturer and head of the Aquatic ecology group in the Zoology Department at the University of Cambridge. His research spans many different fields within applied ecology, with a special emphasis on freshwater bivalves, this includes conservation of rare species in threatened ecosystems, the biology and control of invasive species, and the development of sustainable remediation and monitoring programmes for degraded waterbodies.  His research often involves collaboration with the water industry, NGOs, and government agencies around the world, Dr Aldridge is also the co-founder and director of BioBullets Ltd. a company that has developed a novel and environmentally friendly way of controlling zebra mussels and other invasive pests. Additionally, he is a member of the Cambridge Global Food Security Research Centre as part of the of Food Landscapes and Food and health subject groups.

Dr. Carla L. Atkinson

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alabama, USA

Dr. Carla L. Atkinson is an assistant professor in aquatic ecology in the Department of Biological Sciences. She earned a B.S. in Biology from Missouri State University, a M.S. in Ecology from the University of Georgia, a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Oklahoma, and received post-doctoral training in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University. Her research in the field of aquatic ecology is strongly oriented towards the advancement of both basic scientific understanding as well as better conservation prioritization of biodiversity and ecosystems, encompassing a broad set of long-standing questions in ecology such as the linkages between community structure and ecosystem function, food web structure and dynamics, landscape-scale patterns dictating community assembly, and the importance of interactions between ecology and evolution for community and ecosystem processes. To address these questions, her lab employs a combination of observational approaches, field experiments, mesocosm, and laboratory studies. The fundamental theme linking these diverse topics in both basic and applied ecology is her deep interest in the role biodiversity plays in ecological function.

Professor Robert A. D. Cameron

Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom

Robert Cameron is an honorary Professor of Evolutionary Biology at Sheffield and an honorary Research Associate at the Natural History Museum, London. He earned a BA in zoology at the University of Oxford and a PhD from the University of Manchester. He worked successively at the Universities of Portsmouth, Birmingham and Sheffield and has continued research at Sheffield in an honorary capacity since retirement. Robert Cameron’s research has had three strands: the ecological genetics of polymorphic land snails, the structure and composition of forest snail faunas in relation to ecology, biogeography and evolutionary history, and the diversity of island land mollusc faunas in relation to within-island and within-archipelago evolution and their interaction with environmental history. His work has involved collaboration with colleagues from many countries, most significantly from Poland, Czechia, Greece and Portugal, in the last case primarily on Madeira and the Azores. Current interests concern the relationships between taxonomic differentiation and functional diversity within and among island and other land mollusc faunas.

Dr. Camilla Della Torre

Department of Biosciences, University of Milano, Italy

Camilla Della Torre is an Assistant Professor in Ecology at the Department of Biosciences, University of Milan. She teaches “Community and Ecosystems”. “Conservation of marine biodiversity” and “Laboratory of Ecotoxicology”. Her field of research is Aquatic Ecotoxicology. The main objective of her research is to look at mechanisms of action and toxicity of legacy and emerging pollutants and other stressors in aquatic species under both laboratory and natural exposure conditions. The effects are studied at different levels of biological complexity from the first molecular interactions to the effects at the organism level, through the application of a wide range of analytical tools. Specifically: omics techniques for evaluating changes in the protein and metabolome pattern in response to stress. Enzyme assays for evaluating the activity of proteins involved in the metabolism/detoxification of contaminants, cyto-genotoxicity, oxidative stress and neurotoxicity biomarkers, and behavioural and reproductive endpoints. Over the last year, her research has focused on studying the mechanisms of tolerance to environmental disturbances in invertebrate species. She is a member of the editorial board of Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology. She authored more than 50 papers in peer-reviewed. journals.

Dr. Mandë Holford

Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, CUNY Hunter College, United States

Mandë Holford is an Associate Professor in Chemistry at Hunter College and CUNY-Graduate Center, with scientific appointments at The American Museum of Natural History and Weill Cornell Medicine. Her research, from mollusks to medicine, combines -omic technologies with chemical biology to examine venoms and venomous animals as agents of change and innovation in evolution and in manipulating cellular physiology in pain and cancer. She is active in science education, advancing the public understanding of science, and science diplomacy. She co-founded Killer Snails, LLC, an award winning EdTech learning games company.

Professor Michal Horsák

Department of Botany and Zoology, Masaryk University, Czech Republic

Michal Horsák is a professor of zoology at Masaryk University (Brno, Czech Republic). He likes to study the ecology of land mollusc communities and the effect of contemporaneous environmental conditions and historical processes for shaping their diversity. He is interested in the role of niche-based and dispersal-based processes for metacommunity structuring in both terrestrial and aquatic systems. His passion is to explore the historical development of selected habitats or landscape since the full glacial based on land-mollusc fossil records and modern analogies.

Dr. Ivan Jarić

Institute of Hydrobiology, Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences and Department of Ecosystem Biology, University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic

Dr. Ivan Jarić is a researcher at the Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences and the University of South Bohemia. He earned a B.S. in Ecology and Environmental Protection from the University of Belgrade, a M.S. in Management of Biological Diversity from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, a Ph.D. in Environmental Management from the University of Belgrade, and received post-doctoral training at the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries in Berlin. Dr. Jarić’s research spans diverse topics, but mainly the field of aquatic ecology and conservation, fish ecology and fisheries management, population modeling and extinction risk assessments, biological invasions and the development of novel model-based risk assessment approaches. He is also involved in research related to conservation culturomics and iEcology, two emerging research areas focused on the use of digital data and culturomics tools within the fields of ecology and conservation science. He is also actively promoting these research areas as a board member of the newly established Conservation Culturomics Working Group of the Society of Conservation Biology.

Dr. Nicole Limondin-Lozouet

Laboratoire de Géographie Physique, CNRS, Meudon, France

Nicole Limondin-Lozouet is a senior researcher in Quaternary malacology at CNRS in the Laboratoire de Géographie Physique (UMR CNRS 8591). She earned a Ph.D. in Prehistoric Archaeology at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and received a post-Doctoral training in the Department of Zoology at Cambridge University (UK). She is co-Head of the LGP, teaches graduate courses at Paris 1 University and the National Natural History Museum of Paris and trained Ph.D. students working on Quaternary palaeoenvironmental reconstructions inferred from bioproxies. Her research in the field of Quaternary palaeoenvironments focuses on land-snails from the Palaearctic domain. Her research encompasses questions on palaeobiodiversity evolution during interglacial periods, patterns of malacological recolonization of continental Europe during late-glacial times, species extinctions and modification of snail geographic ranges in response to climatic and anthropogenic impacts. Her methodological approach includes fieldwork, the study of taphonomical processes and multidisciplinary comparisons.

Dr. Manuel Lopes Lima

CIBIO/InBio – Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, University of Porto, Portugal

Manuel Lopes-Lima is a researcher in CIBIO/InBio – Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, University of Porto. He is also the (IUCN/SSC) Coordinator of the Red List Authority on Freshwater Bivalves within the Mollusk Specialist Group. He earned a B.Sc. in Biochemistry and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Biodiversity, Evolution, and Genetic Resources, all from the University of Porto. His research interests are related to the global conservation of freshwater mussels including phylogeny, genetic diversity, and ecophysiology. He has multiple freshwater conservation projects in three different continents and is also an active promoter of international research efforts around this faunistic group.

Dr. Jeffrey C. Nekola

Department of Zoology and Botany, Masaryk University, Czech Republic

Jeff Nekola has established an internationally recognized research program ranging from community ecology, macroecology and large scale biodiversity analyses to phylogenetics and macroevolution through an integration of theory and empirical data across multiple scales in both contemporaneous and paleo-environments. While now based out of Masaryk University in the Czech Republic, the great majority of his published works (one book and 82 peer-reviewed papers with over 7000 total citations) is based on research centered on North America.

Dr. Vincent Prié

Institut Systématique et Biodiversité, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle – Paris, France

Vincent Prié works on freshwater mollusks, mainly freshwater bivalves, and subterranean Hydrobioids, with a focus on taxonomy, phylogeny, and conservation. Scuba diver and speleologist, he loves to explore unfamiliar, obscure and overlooked environments. He has recently developed eDNA-based metabarcoding methods for freshwater bivalves surveys in Western Palearctic and South America and is now exploring gastropods eDNA metabarcoding in order to investigate more deeply into caves.

Professor Rui Rosa

Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, University of Lisbon, Portugal

Rui Rosa graduated in Marine Biology from the Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon (FCUL), in 1999 and completed a Ph.D. degree in Biology from the same institution in 2005. Subsequently, Rosa carried out his post-doctoral activities at Univ. Rhode Island (USA). Rosa has authored 206 papers in international peer-reviewed journals, 3 books, 12 book chapters, and was the main editor of 2 books. His group seeks to understand how future environmental changes, such as climate change and ocean acidification, affect marine biodiversity, especially cephalopod molluscs. Future changes in ocean’s chemistry, temperature, and oxygen levels (hypoxia) are predicted to dictate deleterious physiological responses at organism-level, and drive, at community-level, profound impacts on cephalopod diversity and biogeography. Concomitantly, his research team is also studying bathymetric and global-scale patterns of marine biodiversity and their causes. Marine biodiversity research lags that on land, with only 10% of overall biodiversity research devoted to marine biodiversity and exhibits general neglect of developments in general ecological theory.

Professor Ronaldo Sousa

Department of Biology, University of Minho, Portugal

Ronaldo Sousa has broad interests in aquatic conservation combining empirical and theoretical approaches. Research topics include biological invasions, biodiversity, and ecosystem functioning, biogeography and conservation mainly using invertebrates as surrogate species. R Sousa received a Ph.D. from the University of Porto (Portugal) in 2008 and since September 2009 he is a Professor at the University of Minho (Portugal). R Sousa published more than 100 scientific papers (31 as first author) in international peer-review journals (including Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Biological Reviews and Fish and Fisheries), with more than 6000 citations (h-index=36) in Google Scholar. R Sousa completed the supervision of 3 post-doctoral, 2 Ph.D. and 18 MSc students and he is currently supervising 6 Ph.D. and 3 MSc students. He is Associate Editor for the journal Biological Invasions (since 2016) and a member of the IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (since 2013)

Dr. Frankie T. Thielen

natur & ëmwelt / Fondation Hëllef fir d’Natur, Luxembourg

Frankie Thielen is a project leader at the nature conservation organization natur & ëmwelt / Fondation Hëllef fir d’Natur in Luxembourg. He earned his master degree at the University of Karlsruhe in Germany in zoology and botany and thereafter made his Ph.D. at the Institute of ecology & parasitology from the same University. After a short research stay at the University of Duisburg Essen at the institute of aquatic ecology, Frankie started to work for natur & ëmwelt. One of his first tasks was to set up a rearing facility for endangered freshwater mussels. After several years of research in ecological parasitology, mainly working with fish parasites, the work of Dr. Thielen Frankie became a more applied orientation during his work on two LIFE nature project. Restauration and monitoring of stream habitats, as well as the propagation of freshwater mussels, were part of these projects. To foster and improve the freshwater mussel culture, Frankie keeps up the regular exchange between breeding facilities, with the aim to conserve some of our highly endangered mussel populations. Freshwater mussel monitoring and especially environmental education are aspects treated recently in his work.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Wilke

Department of Animal Ecology and Systematics, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany

Tom Wilke graduated with a diploma in Biology from the Potsdam College and Humboldt University, Berlin. He received his doctorate in Zoology from the University of Potsdam and habilitated in Zoology at the Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main. He held positions at the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia and at The George Washington University Medical Center, Washington DC, before taking a full professorship at Justus Liebig University Giessen. There he is currently head of the Systematics and Biodiversity Group. His malacological research focusses mainly on evolutionary processes in microgastropods (Hydrobiidae s.l.). His particular interest is in the timing and the biotic and abiotic drivers of diversification in isolated ecosystems, which are often characterized by species-rich and unique endemic faunas. There, incipient speciation and non-adaptive radiations often hamper the precise identification and delimitation of closely related species, requiring the application of modern genetic, morphological and ecological tools. Recently, he has become interested in the introduction of -omics techniques to malacology as a basis for efficient and accurate species identification and delimitation using machine-learning approaches and automated species identification systems.