The following speakers have agreed to give plenary lectures at 4th CSBSP, following the theme of parasites and infectious diseases in a changing world; they cover a range of interests from the emergence of new diseases (Groschup) and the ecological conditions favouring this (Guégan), through to the origins and continued evolution of some ancient human pathogens (Rollinson, Sharp and Easterday) which still have the capacity to cause problems in the developed and developing world..
Plenary speaker biographies
Professor emeritus Odd Halvorsen
O. Halvorsen finished his Dr. philos. in parasitology at Zoological Museum (ZM), University of Oslo (UiO), in 1970, and was elected professor in ecology/zoology at University of Tromsø (UiTØ) in 1972. In UiTø he hold numerous leading, advisory and representative positions as for example pro-rector during three years. In 1988 Halvorsen returned to ZM as professor. The same year he was elected head of the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), and later NINA-NIKU. He has been deputy director in the Board during the establishment of the Norwegian Artsdatabanken in 2004, and have taken part or governed a number of professional committees in biology. He has been president in the European Federation for Parasitology (EFP) and the Scandinavian Society for Parasitology (now SBSP), and is honorary member of both societies. He is elected a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters from 1987. In all years since the mid-60ies he has been active in parasitological research, and supervised numerous students. His research yields also clues about the spread of infectious diseases through a host population under variable conditions, of interest to all involved in wildlife disease epidemiology.
Dr. David Rollinson, UK
David Rollinson is a senior researcher within the Natural History Museum, London, where he is head of the Biomedical Research Group. He has worked on schistosome parasites of man and animals for more than 30 years, and is best known for his work on the evolutionary biology of this group, in relation to the evolution of both the snail and vertebrate hosts. He is currently involved with EU funded control and surveillance projects in sub-saharan Africa, and in studies of the interactions between the genomes of Schistosoma mansoni and its host Biomphalaria glabrata. He is, however also based in a museum setting, and has a keen appreciation of the uses and limitations of helminthological collections for biomedical research.
Professor Paul M. Sharp, UK
Paul Sharp has been professor of genetics at the University of Edinburgh, UK, since 2007. He was one of the first population geneticists to take an evolutionary perspective in studying the molecular variation of bacteria and viruses, and is best known for his work on HIV evolution. However, he has wider interests in co-evolution and the transfer of pathogens from wild animals to humans, and most recently has turned his attention to the evolution of Plasmodium falciparum from ancestral lineages infecting gorillas. His work on codon usage in an evolutionary context will be of interest to all concerned with parasite phylogenetic research.
Dr. W. Ryan Easterday, Norway
W. Ryan Easterday has an interest in evolution of bacteria infecting humans in relation to interactions with vectors. After research into genome evolution of anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) at the University of Arizona, he is now a member of the Centre for Ecology and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES) of the University of Oslo, where he is researching the relationship the evolution of plague in relation to its flea vectors in the deserts of Kazakhstan. He is particularly interested in questions concerning the acquisition of novel genetic material by the plague bacterium, as a result of association with the flea vectors and their primary hosts, wild gerbils.
In addition a number of other speakers have agreed to give presentations to particular conference sessions. These include:
Other Invited Speakers
Professor Arne Skorping, Department of Biology, University of Bergen, Norway
Title: Evolutionary effects of intensive farming on parasite life histories and virulence
Dr. Audun Stien, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), Tromsø, Norway
Title: Host-parasite dynamics in the terrestrial high Arctic ecosystem of Svalbard
Professor Kurt Buchmann, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Title: Susceptibility and resistance of salmon to Gyrodactylus salaris infections: which molecules are involved?
Dr. Solveig Haukeland, Bioforsk, Ås, Norway
Title: Use of bacterial infected nematodes to combat insects and slugs
Magister Christoph Hahn, Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Norway
Title: New specimens for old; mining natural history collections to recreate parasite biodiversity patterns