Interdisciplinary Workshop on Holobionts

Credit : Megan Diddie

November 6-8, 2017

University of Bordeaux

Organized by: Derek Skillings & Thomas Pradeu
University of Bordeaux/CNRS

Microbes play a significant role in the evolution, development, health, and ecological interactions of multicellular organisms. The importance of microbial interactions is now widely recognized and at the center of many new research initiatives across the life sciences. Part of this emerging research has focused on reconceptualizing all macroorganisms as “holobionts”, defined as a host and all its microbial symbionts, with the genomic complement of all partners becoming the “hologenome”. There has been extensive debate about the importance and need for such a reconceptualization, and how it will shape research and our understanding of the living world moving forward.

This workshop is the second workshop organized within Thomas Pradeu’s ERC-funded project IDEM (“Immunity, DEvelopment, and the Microbiota: Understanding the Continuous Construction of Biological Identity”). It will bring together researchers from diverse disciplines (microbiology, evolutionary biology, ecology, pathology, neuroscience, medicine, philosophy of science) working on holobionts and host-microbe associations, in order to foster interdisciplinary communication, investigate whether there are any particular insights or fruitful general principles that emerge from investigations across fields, and hopefully stimulate collaborative research for the future.


Monday Novembre 1st 2017
Venue: Bordeaux Bastide (PUSG)

9:00-9:10      Thomas Pradeu “Welcoming Remarks”
9:10-9:45      Derek Skillings “Introductory Remarks” + “Holobionts
9:45-10:30      Philippe Vandenkoornhuyse “New understanding of what is a plant from the holobiont concept:
     opportunities and prospects”
10:30-11:00      Coffee Break
11:00-11:45      Camille Clerissi “Deciphering links between oyster fitness and microbiota composition”
11:45-12:30      Eve Toulza “Thermal regime and host clade, rather than geography, drive Symbiodinium and bacterial
     assemblages in the scleractinian coral Pocillopora damicornissensu lato”
12:30-14:30      Lunch near La Bastide
14:30-15:15      Jean-Michel Escoubas “A holistic approach to investigate the establishment and dynamics of the
     blood-microbiota (bacteria, protists and viruses) in a marine invertebrate”
15:15-16:00      Adrian Stencel “Why isn’t slavery a good thing? A detailed look at the ecology of endosymbiosis”
16:00-16:30      Coffee Break
16:00-17:15      Nicolae Morar “The human microbiome: Holobiont? Or organ, or superorganism, or ecosystem? An
     argument for scientific pluralism”
17:15-18:00      John Dupré “Promiscuous individualism”
19:30- ??      Dinner in the historic city center of Bordeaux


Tuesday November 7th 2017
Venue: Morning – Bordeaux La Bastide (PUSG)

9:00-9:45      Thomas Bazin and Lynn Chiu “Protective microbiota: from localized to long-reaching co-immunity”
9:45-10:30      Pamela Schnupf “Co-evolution of an immunostimulatory commensal with its host”
10:30-11:00      Coffee Break
11:00-11:45      Carmen Lía Murall “Vaginal ecology: a community perspective
12:00-13:00      Travel to Saint-Émilion
13:30-15:00      Lunchin historic Saint-Émilion
15:00-16:30      Free time in Saint-Émilion
16:30-17:30      Travel to Château Hôtel Grand Barrail

Tuesday November 7th 2017
Venue: Evening – Saint-Émilion, Château Hôtel Grand Barrail

18:00-18:45      Tim Lachnit “The function of bacteriophages in the maintenance of holobionts
18:45-19:30      Forest Rohwer “How phage create an immune system: BAM immunity & transcytosis”
10:30-11:00      Coffee Break
11:00-11:45      Carmen Lía Murall“Vaginal ecology: a community perspective


Wednesday November 8th 2017
Venue: Saint-Émilion, Château Hôtel Grand Barrail

9:00-9:45      Caleb Hazelwood “Extended evolutionary individuality: revisiting the problem of biological individuality
     within the extended evolutionary synthesis”
9:45-10:30      Antoine Dussault “Of birds, nests, singers and songs: assessing Doolittle and Booth’s replicator account of
     holobiont-level individuality”
10:30-11:00      Coffee Break
11:00-11:45      Tamar Schneider “Interactions within the holobiont: on the holobiont’s interactions of its microorganisms”
11:45-12:30      Kevin Theis “Hologenomics: systems level host biology”
12:30-14:30      Lunch
14:30-15:15      Fermin Fulda “Us and them: holobionts, organisms and agency”
15:15-16:00      Charles Dupras “Ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) of hologenomics: What should we learn from
     recent debates over epigenitics?”
16:00-16:30      Concluding Remarks
16:30-17:30      Return to Bordeaux


This workshop is part of the Immunity, DEvelopment and the Microbiota (IDEM) project, an ERC-funded project located at the interface of philosophy of biology and biology (ERC Grant #637647, PI: Thomas Pradeu).