Microbial life cycles in a changing ocean

Organizers: Miguel Frada (Israel), Anke Kremp (Germany), Marina Montresor (Italy), Conny Sjöqvist and Sanna Suikkanen (Finland)

Tvärminne Zoological Station (Finland) 

10-14 October 2022

Link to venue


Funded by Walter and Andree de Nottbeck Foundation

Unicellular organisms play a key role in the functioning of aquatic ecosystems, forming the base of the food web and being the main drivers of biogeochemical processes. Their life histories are characterized by distinct phases and stages and represent a central framework selected over long evolutionary time-scales underlying the ecology and biogeochemical impact of these organisms. One of the goals of research in ecology and evolution is to understand the selection forces and the demographic mechanisms that drive population dynamics and influence fitness. This includes the recognition of inherent life histories, which is widely accepted for multicellular organisms, but considerably less in focus for unicellular ones. The overarching aim of this workshop is to present our current understanding of the ecological and evolutionary significance of microbial life cycles in changing aquatic ecosystems and identify avenues of future research.

The workshop will include presentations from four invited speakers, selected oral presentations and posters by participants. The participation to the workshop will be limited to ca 30 participants. We would like to stimulate scientific discussion in a pleasant and relaxed environment. 


Preliminary schedule

10-14 October 2022


Arrival to Tvärminne Zoological Station

Arrival of participants in Helsinki

Transport to Tvärminne by bus


Introduction to the workshop


Workshop day

Session 1 Ecology and population dynamics (Key note + 4 contributed talks)

Session 2 Population genetic structure (Key note + 5 contributed talks)

Sauna by the sea


Workshop day

 Session 3 Small-scale evolution and adaptive potential (Key note + 4 contributed talks)

Session 4 Life cycle in a genomic era (Key note + 5 contributed talks)

Poster session


Workshop day

“Brainstorm sessions”

"Walk-and-talk sessions"

Night snack and free-running discussion


Travel day

Departure to Helsinki.

Practical information

Arrive to Helsinki airport on October 10th

We have organized your transport from Helsinki airport to Tvärminne (by bus, ca 2.5h) on Monday 10th and back to Helsinki on Friday 14th. 
This transport, accomodation and food is included in the 100€ participation fee.


Contributions that address the following aspects are welcome

  • Diversity of microbial life cycles in different habitats and environments

  • Regulatory and cell signaling mechanisms involved in life phase transitions

  • Life cycle processes generating and maintaining genetic diversity in haploid and diploid organisms. The role of sexual reproduction, clonal replication and dormancy in evolution

  • ’Omics’ resources providing new tools for the study of molecular mechanisms and regulatory pathways driving life cycle transitions

  • Ecological implications of resting stages and dormancy for survival of individuals and stability of populations and communities in a variable environment

  • Novel experimental approaches and advanced observation and imaging systems overcoming the challenge of ‘observing’ life cycle stages and transitions in the environment​

  • Modelling approaches to study different aspects of the life cycles of unicellular key organisms and examine their implications for ecosystem function


Submit your abstract to mlcc2022workshop@gmail.com at latest by July 1st 2022

Abstracts of max. 3,000 characters should include the name and e-mail address  of the presenting author

Welcome to Tvärminne!


Keynote speakers


Mariella Ferrante

Among my main interests is the study of the molecular mechanisms and gene networks controlling life cycle transitions in diatoms. I use different functional genomics approaches to understand how diatoms regulate the balance between vegetative divisions and sexual reproduction, how they determine their mating type and how they can tell their size and their sexual competence. We use the planktonic diatom Pseudo-nitzschia multistriata as a model to address different questions, ranging from epigenetic and transcriptional controls and pheromone signalling pathways to genome variation in natural strains and population genetics and dynamics.