SMBE Satellite Meeting on Evolutionary Rescue


We are currently living in the Anthropocene and thus an era shaped by human impact. The environmental conditions imposed by these human-driven rapid environmental changes exert selective pressure on natural systems and can result in an evolutionary mismatch between slowly evolving organisms and their new environment, and rapid adaptation of many short-lived species. Evolutionary rescue, which occurs when populations subjected to stress avoid extinction by adaptation through natural selection, is relevant to both consequences: it can help to overcome the evolutionary mismatch and is at the basis of rapid evolution of pathogens.

In this SMBE Satellite meeting we aim to focus on evolutionary rescue in three main fields: species conservation, agriculture, and medicine. These three main fields currently face unforetold challenges due to evolutionary processes invoked by the dramatic human-mediated changes of the Anthropocene, including:

  • Risk of species extinction and thus dramatic reductions in biodiversity due to an evolutionary mismatch caused by climate change, globalization, and pathogen evolution
  • Risk of dramatic yield reductions in food production due to an evolutionary mismatch caused by climate change, globalization, and pathogen evolution
  • Major threats to human health because of rapid pathogen evolution and increased pathogen spread due to globalization
  • Rapid evolution of pathogens, parasites, and pest species and especially fast evolution of resistance to chemotherapy and pesticides

By incorporating diverse perspective from multiple fields, we hope to identify knowledge gaps and putative novel research directions in the context of evolutionary rescue in the Anthropocene.


  • Registration and submission of poster contributions deadline: July 11
  • Registration for virtual attendance: August 29
  • Contributed posters will be selected from among the submitted abstracts.
  • Travel fellowships (including free registration fees) are available upon application.

Looking forward to welcome you in Kiel,

Tal Dagan
Reid Brennan
Hildegard Uecker

Conference website: