About Our Conference

The AVW is an international collective of virologists working in aquatic systems around the world, which first coalesced 20 years ago in Bergen, Norway as a small group of scientists working on various aspects of algal virology. Since those early days, the AVW (initially the Algal Virus Workshop) has met approximately biennially. After the first five meetings, the group expanded the interest range to include all viruses of aquatic microbes. Now we gather for the AVW9 in Lincoln, Nebraska with a special set of topics outlining the scientific program: The Five Great Questions of Aquatic Virology. Additionally, we are celebrating one of the founding members of the AVW in his 80 the year, James Van Etten, and a special set of talks will allow for reflections on career and professional development. The longstanding goal of the AVW is to gather as colleagues and friends, discuss our common scientific interests and latest exciting results, and provide a nurturing environment for developing scientists who will carry this fascinating realm of investigation into the future.

Important Dates Coming Up

May 20

Abstract Due Date

April 16 - May 31

Registration

June 1 – June 18

Late Registration

Conference Week Overview

october 28, 2018 - november 3, 2018

sun28
mon29
tue30
wed31
thu1
fri2
sat3

No Events

Click on Date to see events

Five Great Questions of Aquatic Virology

Our Guiding Principles

What is an aquatic virus?

How do aquatic viruses move?

How do aquatic viruses replicate?

What are the consequences of aquatic virus infections?

Why are aquatic viruses successful?

Featured Speakers

Guillaume Blanc

Presentation: Fertilization of eukaryotic genomes by viruses

Guillaume Blanc

Professional affiliation:
Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography Aix-Marseille Université France

Bio:
My main research interest is the study of marine protists and their interactions with their viral and bacterial environments. I combine genomics, bioinformatics and molecular evolution studies to decipher how microbial communities function and evolve. I am currently developing a research project drawing on paleovirology (i.e., the study of fossils of viral genetic fragments which were integrated into host genomes) to explore the hidden diversity of Nucleo-Cytoplasmic Large DNA viruses (NCLDV) and their contribution to the evolution of eukaryotes.

Steven Wilhelm

Presentation: Resolving Virus-Host Relationships From Environmental Metatranscriptomes

Steven Wilhelm

Professional affiliation:
The Aquatic Microbial Ecology Research Group, Department of Microbiology, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

Bio:
Steve is the Kenneth and Blaire Mossman Professor & Associate Head of the Department of Microbiology. In 2016 he became a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology as well as a Sustaining Fellow of ASLO. In 2018 he was also named a James R. Cox Professor at the University of Tennessee. His group studies synergies between microbial communities and biogeochemical cycles in lakes and oceans. Lab members use biomolecular tools – DNA and RNA sequencing, metabolomics, and PCR-based quantitative analyses – to study viruses, bacteria, cyanobacteria and algae.

Corina Brussaard

Presentation: Two decades of algal viral ecology

Corina Brussaard

Professional affiliation:
*Research Leader, Dept. Marine Microbiology and Biogeochemistry, NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research & Univ. Utrecht, The Netherlands
*Professor Viral Ecology, IBED, University of Amsterdam (UvA)
NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research PO Box 59, 1790 AB Den Burg, Texel, The Netherlands

Bio:
Corina Brussaard is a biological oceanographer whose research focusses largely on the ecological role of viruses in, the microbes dominated, marine biomes. Her research contributed crucial developments in novel algal virus isolations, virus enumeration and virus-induced mortality rate measurements that established not only the qualitative but also the quantitative importance of viruses for biogeochemical cycling and the functioning of the ecosystem. Her latest research revolved around the influence of environmental factors on microbial host-virus interactions, with particular emphasis on the effects of global climate change-induced alterations. Her research in microbial oceanography allows her to perform her exciting research literally from pole to pole. Her research has made key improvements to our understanding of how globally important viruses are as drivers for biodiversity and overall ecosystem productivity. Brussaard is currently president-elect of the International Society for Viruses of Microorganisms (ISVM), and secretary of the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR).

Jean-Michel Claverie

Presentation: Giant viruses: a paradigm change?

Jean-Michel Claverie

Professional affiliation:
Director, Structural & Genomic Information Laboratory
Head, Mediterranean Institute of Microbiology (CNRS- Aix-Marseille University)
Professor of Medicine – Genomics, Bioinformatics, Public Health – Aix-Marseille University School of Medicine

Bio:
Jean-Michel Claverie is Professor of Genomics and Bioinformatics at the School of Medicine of Aix-Marseille University, director of the Mediterranean Institute of Microbiology, and head of the Structural and Genomic Information Laboratory, a joint unit of the French National Research Center (CNRS) and Aix-Marseille University he founded in 1996. Following the serendipitous discovery of Mimivirus, the first “giant” virus in 2003, he focused on the search for more giant and/or unconventional viruses in increasingly exotic environments. In the last ten years, his laboratory described four new families encompassing the largest known viruses in terms of particle and genome sizes: the Megaviruses, the Pandoraviruses, the Pithoviruses, and Mollivirus, the latter two revived from 30,000-year-old Siberian permafrost. Besides exploring new environments for more exotic viruses, his laboratory is increasingly involved in deciphering the biology and mode of evolution of these giant viruses that may represent a legacy of the pre-LUCA era and of vanished ancestral proto-cellular lineages.

Nigel Grimsley

Presentation: Prasinovirus infection is firstly furtive, then furious, but phytoplankton fight.

Nigel Grimsley

Professional affiliation:
CNRS UMR7232 BIOM (Integrative Biology of Marine Organisms) Laboratory
OOB, Avenue de Pierre Fabre

Bio:
Nigel Grimsley received his MA (Natural Sciences) in and PhD (Genetics) from the University of Cambridge, UK, finishing in 1978. During this period and his first post-doctoral studies with the Royal Society and BBSRC fellowships in at the Universities of Mainz (Germany) and Leeds (UK) he developed the moss model Physcomitrella patens, before becoming very interested in plant-microbe interactions. After a short stay at the Max-Planck Institute un Cologne (Germany) he went on with an EMBO fellowship to collaborate with scientists at the Friedrich-Miescher Institute in Basel (Switzerland) for before moving to the Plant-Microbe Interactions Laboratory (LIPM) near to Toulouse in France in 1990, winning a position in CNRS. He moved to the Integrative Marine Biology Laboratory (BIOM) at the Sorbonne University Marine Station of Banyuls sur Mer in 2005, and has since been working on host-virus interactions in the Mamiellales, a widespread group of eukaryotic phytoplankton.

Ruth-Anne Sandaa

Presentation: Reluctant affairs – algal virus-haptophyte relationship in the ocean

Ruth-Anne Sandaa

Professional affiliation:
Department of Biology – University of Bergen

Bio:
Ruth-Anne Sandaa is a professor at the University of Bergen, Norway. She has more than twenty-five years of knowledge of microbial ecology focusing on microbial population dynamics and biodiversity. The last 15 years her research has focused on marine viruses and mechanisms controlling host-viral relationships and understand how this interaction regulates host -viral dynamics and diversity, viruses infecting phytoplankton, the role of viruses in the Arctic microbial food web.

Matt Sullivan

Presentation: Tracking viruses in nature: Patterns, processes and paradigms

Matt Sullivan

Professional affiliation:
Department of Microbiology and Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering, The Ohio State University

Bio:
Sullivan’s research aims to quantitatively explore the roles of microbial viruses in global ocean biogeochemical cycling, thawing permafrosts and humans. As a Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Investigator, he has helped lay the foundation for modern, quantitative viral ecology. Specifically, he has helped develop a quantitative viral metagenomic sample-to-sequence pipeline and community-available informatics platforms to analyze such data, significantly expanded our understanding of the global virosphere through illuminating ‘viral dark matter’, and pioneered numerous experimental and informatic approaches to link and explore virus-host interactions. Sullivan is recognized as a senior editor at Nature Publishing Group’s ISMEJ, as well as a Kavli Frontiers in Science Fellow, a Fulbright Fellow, a Beckman Foundation undergraduate mentor, and a Beckman Foundation post-doctoral mentor.

Curtis Suttle

Presentation: The Life Aquatic – A Journey Through the Virosphere

Curtis Suttle

Professional affiliation:
Departments of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences, Microbiology & Immunology, and Botany, and The Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, University of British Columbia

Bio:
Curtis Suttle is one of the World’s leading marine virologists, and is among a small group of researchers credited with launching the field 25 years ago. His research focuses on aquatic viruses, their diversity and the roles that they play in the global system. His studies have shown that viruses are the most abundant and among the most genetically diverse lifeforms, and are major agents of mortality, killing an estimated 20 % of the living material in the oceans, by weight, each day. He has been a leader in the development and use of new approaches to estimate the diversity and impact of viruses in nature, and many of these techniques have become standard tools in the field.

Karen Weynberg

Presentation: Back to the Future: Aquatic Virology in the 21st Century

Karen Weynberg

Professional affiliation:
CSIRO/ School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, University of Queensland

Bio:
Karen completed her PhD in virology at the University of Warwick and Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK, where she discovered novel prasinoviruses that infect marine microalgae. More recently, Karen was an ARC Super Science Fellow at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, where she researched coral reef-associated viruses on the Great Barrier Reef. Her research helped to reveal some of the roles viruses play in coral health, bleaching and the adaptation of corals to climate change. In August 2017, Karen began a CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science fellowship, held jointly at CSIRO and the University of Queensland. This new research will use synthetic biology to develop phage therapy for the control of antibiotic-resistant bacterial biofilms. She also recently entered an online competition for funding for women scientists in STEM in Australia.

Click to see her entry in the online competition

Jim Van Etten

Presentation: Four Decades Of Following The Unusual Genes Of Giant Viruses

Jim Van Etten

Professional affiliation:
Department of Plant Pathology and the Nebraska Center for Virology
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, Nebraska, NE, USA

Bio:
The Van Etten laboratory works on a wide range of topics associated with the molecular biology, biochemistry, physiology and bioinformatics of viruses that infect certain unicellular, eukaryotic chlorella-like green algae. Chloroviruses are found in freshwater all over the world and they have many interesting and unexpected properties. One property is that the chloroviruses are among the largest viruses known, containing as many as 16 tRNA genes and 400 protein-encoding genes, including many not previously seen in viruses, e.g., genes encoding DNA restriction and modification enzymes, hyaluronan biosynthetic enzymes, polyamine biosynthetic enzymes, and ion channel and transport proteins. The proteins encoded by many of these viruses are either the smallest or among the smallest proteins of their class. Consequently, some of the viral proteins are the subject of intensive biochemical and structural investigation.

Contact Us

If you are ready to register, click the button below to get set for
AVW 9 June 17-21, 2018. If you still have questions feel free to
click the button below to contact us.

Contact Us

If you are ready to register, click the button below to get set for
AVW 9 June 17-21, 2018. If you still have questions feel free to
click the button below to contact us.