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XIII European Carabidologists' Meeting

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Back to the roots or back to the future?

The XIII European Carabidologists' Meeting - XIII ECM - was held in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria from August 20th to August 24th, 2007. The motto of the Meeting was "Back to the roots or back to the future? Towards a new synthesis between taxonomic, ecological, and biogeographical approaches in carabidology". Almost ninety participants from 20 countries (including representatives from Canada, Israel, Russia, the Ukraine, and the USA) attended the meeting, with many young carabidologists among them.

The Meeting was opened with the plenary lecture held by George E. Ball who presented an interesting account of his own career and work on Nearctic Carabidae. Thorsten Assmann then announced the Carabidologists’ Awards, and in a following invited talk highlighted the need of bringing different approaches together towards a common synthesis of carabidology. A large-scale analysis of the demographic structure of carabid populations that led to new insights about the evolution of biennial life cycles in ground beetles of Western Palearctis was presented by Andrey Matalin, and later Erik Arndt demonstrated the important role of carabid beetles in various research projects within the framework of the EU Natura 2000 network (particularly in the habitats directive). Finally, Gabor Lovei closed the invited talks slot with a talk about the various concepts and theories of indication and their misuse in carabid beetle research - a contribution that led to heated debate among the interested carabidologists thereafter.

Many interesting presentations (counting more than 50) followed during the next days within the talk sections "Taxonomy, molecular studies and biogeography", GLOBENET - The carabid beetles in urban environment", "Biology and conservation", and "Carabids and habitats".

At the poster session more than 35 posters were displayed and at the end, the best poster award went to Andrea Matern from the Institute of Ecology and Ecological Chemistry at the University of Luneburg for her (co-authored) poster dealing with a newly-proposed red-light technique for direct observation of nocturnal carabid beetles and its application in a study of the endangered semi-aquatic Carabus variolosus.

Altogether, the presentations and posters covered a wide range of topics: from taxonomy and biogeography to molecular phylogeny and genetics, and from methodology and larval development to landscape ecology and habitat management.

Along the intriguing scientific programe, several social events were organised as well. These included a get-together wine-tasting party, a dinner with traditional folklore music and dance arranged in a not-less traditional bulgarian restaurant (=mehana), and a farewell beer party. A one-day excursion to the marvellous medieval town of Melnik and the nearby Rozhen Monastery, completed with wine-degustation directly in the shady sandstone winery and a traditional lunch, was organised as well. On the road to Melnik, the excursion participants had the opportunity to travel through the beautiful Kresna gorge, known as the main route for penetration of Mediterranean biotic elements into the north.

All the abstracts of both talks and posters were included in a 104-page booklet (Penev 2007), the proceedings volume should follow shortly with the full contributions included.

Ivailo Stoyanov

Created by ymutafchiev
Last modified 23.12.2007 15:43

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