ESEB STN: Ecological genomics of coevolutionary interactions

Organizers: Amandine Cornille (University of Paris Saclay, France), Daniel Croll (University of Neuchatel, Switzerland), Dieter Ebert (University of Basel, Switzerland), Eva Stukenbrock (Max Planck Institute, Germany), Aurélien Tellier (Technical University of Munich, Germany), Peter Tiffin (University of Minnesota, USA).

generously funded by the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB) Special Topics Network (STN) program.

Our Special Topics Network will tackle the challenging questions posed by true coevolutionary processes. Biotic interactions between partners that impose reciprocal selection on one another, i.e. coevolutionary systems, are of particular importance in driving adaptation and diversification. While massive datasets generated by high throughput sequencing studies, together with new theoretical frameworks, have already much improved our abilities to identify the traits and molecular signatures of complex (co-)adaptive processes as well as the demographic consequences of these interactions, we stress that the genuine ‘two-sided’ ecological genomics of coevolution have so far not been addressed. We argue that there is a clear need and opportunity to build conceptual bridges between genomic, empirical, and theoretical approaches to coevolution.

We are a group of integrative enthusiasts who would like to bring together researchers and students covering a broad range of systems: plant-parasite and animal-parasite as well as mutualistic and antagonistic systems, which have been historically quite isolated from each other. We also would like to merge together experimental and theoretical approaches to study processes of coevolution in the genomic era. There is a particular need to appropriately formulate a framework to test for signatures of coevolution using big genomic datasets in a variety of systems.

This ESEB-STN application has emerged from a workshop organized in Switzerland in January 2017 on the ecological genomics of coevolutionary interactions ( The ESEB-STN funding, provides an excellent opportunity to reopen the discussion on one of the hottest topic in evolutionary biology in the light of the genomic revolution. We are glad to announce the organization of two workshops (2018 and 2019, 30 participants each), one conference (100 participants) and we will propose a symposium session at the ESEB conference (2021).