Saturday, December 3, 2011

SESBE: Spanish Society for Evolutionary Biology

 Last week I went to Madrid to attend the 3rd congress of the Spanish Society for Evolutionary Biology (SESBE). This is a relatively new (7 years) society that embraces evolutionary biology as a whole, from palaeontology and systematics, to evolutionary genomics and darwinian medicine. Thus, the meetings are very diverse and one can listen to the most diverse talks, always with the common ground of evolutionary theory as a framework of analysis.

Due to other commitments, I could only stay two days but it was worth and enjoyed most of the talks and, most of all, meeting colleagues around Spain. I would highlight here the talk of Nick Lane, on the evolution of eukaryotes and the role played by mitochondrial endosymbiosis. Nick, who is also a prolific writer of popular science books, gave a very nice talk that seduced the whole audience, including me. I had the opportunity to discuss with him, and it was nice to discuss again on big theories on the evolution of eukaryotes, a big theme that I am passionate.

This year, the SESBE elected a new board, in which I will stand as a secretary. Not that I am very keen on holding such a position, but I was asked and I think one should be prepared to contribute his two cents to noble causes, such as that of this society promoting the study of evolution and its transmission  to society in our country. 

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