Symposium > Keynote speakers


S.A.L.M. (Bas) Kooijman

Keynote title: "What did we learn from the Add-my-Pet data base?"

Emeritus professor at VU University Amsterdam.


Developing, testing and applying a consistent, coherent as well as quantitative theory on uptake and use of substrates by individual organisms, from start of development till death. The theory, called DEB theory, respects energy, mass, isotope, and time conservation, as well as stoichiometric constrains on transformations. It deals with aging and environmental stressors, such as temperature, substrate limitations, toxicants, anaerobic conditions. DEB theory is formal, so based on a set of explicit assumptions, mechanistic, so the assumptions concern first principles only, and applies to all living organisms, so micro-organisms, animals and plants. It includes sub-organismal, population and ecosystem consequences, symbioses and other syntrophic interactions and patterns in the co-variation of parameter values among species all in an evolutionary perspective. Considerable attention is given to links between models implied by DEB theory and existing empirical models. The testing and application of DEB theory involves innovations in e.g. parameter estimation, and the setup of a database for animal energetics, which presently has more than thousand entries.




Roman Ashauer

Keynote title: "Physiological modes of action are the key to (almost) everything"

Associate Professor at University of York, York, United Kingdom.


In my team we investigate the fate and effects of synthetic chemicals in the environment with an emphasis on ecotoxicological effect models and aquatic systems. By systematically studying toxic effects of pollutants we derive general principles and use those to develop tools for the environmental risk assessment of chemicals. Our research consists of modelling, field work and lab experiments. Current research questions are:
  • Why do organisms differ in their sensitivity to chemicals?
  • What are the general principles that govern toxicity of different chemicals?
  • How do critical transitions propagate from cells to organisms and ecosystems?
  • How to do quantitativein-vitro to in-vivo toxicity extrapolation?
We are particularly interested in the development of ecotoxicological effect models, for example toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic models. In order to develop, parameterise and test these models we carry out experiments, mostly with aquatic invertebrates. In recent and on-going projects we have investigated pesticides, industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals and engineered nano-materials. Our research has also led to the development of new tools for the risk assessment of chemicals. For example methods for the assessment of time-variable exposure that we developed are currently being applied in the risk assessment of pesticides and more recent work that links in-vitro to in-vivo toxicity data via models has great potential.




Brian Helmuth

Keynote title: "When do the details matter? DEB as an integrator of environmental variability multiple stressors and time history effects"

Professor at Marine Science Center, Northeastern University, Boston, USA


My research explores the effects of climate and climate change on the physiology and ecology of coastal marine organisms. Specifically, I use thermal engineering techniques, including a combination of field work, remote sensing and mathematical modeling, to explore the ways in which the environment determines the body temperatures of coastal marine animals such as mussels and seastars. Combined with energetics models and measurements of physiological performance, this approach provides a quantitative method of mapping patterns of growth, reproduction, and survival in economically and ecologically important coastal species. My most current research explores the role that environmental heterogeneity in space and time plays in driving “rescue effects” following extreme events, and explores the idea that climate refugia at very small scales may ultimately contribute to much larger-scale, biogeographic patterns. A major goal of these approaches is to inform decision makers with scientifically accurate and useful forecasts, and my lab group also examines cutting-edge methods of communicating science and climate adaptation strategies, for example using virtual reality methods.




Craig White

Keynote title: "The evolution of metabolic rate"

Professor at Monash University, Australia.


I am an evolutionary physiologist interested in describing and understanding the causes and consequences of physiological variation in animals. My group studies a range of traits, with an emphasis on body size, metabolic rate, water loss, and breathing patterns, and employs a range of approaches including manipulative experiments, comparative studies, experimental evolution, and quantitative genetic analyses. My group work predominantly on insects, but have collected physiological data for over 60 species, including marine invertebrates, aquatic and terrestrial arthropods, and vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals).
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