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May 5-7th: ERC Final conference (cancelled)

5 May - 7 May

Final conference of the ERC project: “Immunity, Development, and the Microbiota: Understanding the Continuous Construction of Biological Identity”
Bordeaux, France

May 5-7, 2020

Organized by: Wiebke Bretting & Thomas Pradeu
University of Bordeaux/CNRS

Recent research has shown that the microbiota (all the microbes that live in and on an organism) can have a major impact on the physiology of the host, and potentially on its health and behavior. This final conference of the ERC-funded project “Immunity, Development, and the Microbiota: Understanding the Continuous Construction of Biological Identity” (P.I.: T. Pradeu) will gather biologists, medical doctors, and philosophers who investigate the nature of the host-microbiota crosstalk and its consequences for our understanding of biological individuality and identity.

Questions that will be discussed at this conference include, but are not limited to:

  • How does current research on host-microbiota interactions impact our view about what a biological individual is and how it persists through time?
  • How does the microbiota influence host physiology?
  • How does the microbiota influence host development?
  • How does the host shape the microbiota?
  • What role does the immune system play in host-microbiota interactions? How does this put into question the traditional “self” and “nonself” concepts of immunology?
  • Is it possible to establish a causal link between characteristics of the microbiota and characteristics of the host? Which approaches to causality are better suited to account for this relation?
  • Can health and disease be associated with certain features of the microbiota? Can the microbiota be manipulated to improve health?
  • What kind of benefits and costs for each partner are associated with host-microbiota interactions? How can evolutionary biology shed light on such interactions?
  • Is the notion of “holobiont” useful to better understand the association between a host and its microbiota? Does the “holobiont” constitute an individual, a community, or an ecosystem? Does the concept of a holobiont invalidate the notion of a biological individual?
  • Can concepts and models developed in approaches such as niche construction theory, ecological developmental biology, or community ecology, for example, help elucidate the nature of host-microbiota interactions?

More information & program, here.






5 May
7 May
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