Plenary lectures

The plenary lectures scheduled during the Congress


Christian Greco


Director of the Foundation Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Torino

I obtained my master in Egyptology in 2007 at Leiden University and the PhD in 2008 at Pisa University. In 2009, I was appointed by the Egyptian section of National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, Netherlands, the fifth most important collection of Egyptian Antiquities in the world. As a curator, I took part in excavations in Syria, Egypt and Sudan, publishing my researches in over 30 papers and books. I was in charge for many exhibitions in the Netherlands and abroad (Japan, Scotland, Spain, Finland). In 2011 I was director of the Dutch archaeological expedition at Saqqara. In 2012 I was lecturer in courses of "Egyptian funerary Archaeology" and of "Archaeology of Nubia and the Sudan" at the University of Leiden. In 2014 I become Director of the Foundation Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Torino. Since June, 2014 I am member of the Scientific Committee for Archaeological Heritage of MIBACT (Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo).

Title: Water management in Theban archaeology

Baldi lecture:

Rick Battarbee


Environmental Change Research Centre,
University College London, UK

Rick Battarbee is Emeritus Professor of Environmental Change at University College London, and was the director of the Environmental Change Research Centre (ECRC) at UCL from 1991 to 2007.  He has also held research positions at Uppsala University (Sweden), Ulster University (Northern Ireland), Joensuu University (Finland) and the University of Minnesota (USA).
Throughout his career he has been interested in the way lake sediment records can be used to reconstruct lake ecosystem change through time.  In particular he has pioneered the use of diatoms as indicators of water quality, developing techniques that are now used routinely throughout the world.
With his colleagues in the ECRC he has successfully applied those techniques to problems of eutrophication, surface water acidification and climate change.  In the 1980s he and his group demonstrated that “acid rain” was responsible for causing the acidification of surface waters in the British uplands, research that helped to persuade the UK government to recognise international protocols on the reductions of sulphur dioxide emissions from power stations. His research on upland waters continues, and now focuses on recovery from acidification, especially the role of climate change in modifying recovery processes.
He has received numerous awards for his work, most notably he was elected a Foreign Member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in 1991, and he became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2006. He received the Ruth Patrick Award from the American Society for Limnology and Oceanography in 2009, and the Victoria Medal from the Royal Geographical Society in 2010.  In 2012 he became an Einstein Professor in the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He was awarded the James Croll Medal of the UK Quaternary Research Association in 2013 and was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Paleolimnology Association in 2015.

Title: Coaxing lakes to conduct experiments: palaeolimnology and the acid rain debate

Download the abstract Batterbee_SIL2016_abstract.pdf

Kilham lecture:

Ole Seehausn


Eawag Center for Ecology, Evolution & Biogeochemistry;
Institute of Ecology & Evolution, University of Bern;

I am an evolutionary ecologist. I am keen to understand the evolutionary processes and ecological mechanisms by which biological diversity arises, those by which it is maintained and those by which it is lost. I am studying natural and sexual selection, gene flow and interspecific hybridisation, species interactions, evolutionary constraints and historical contingency. I want to know how these affect variation within populations and between populations, phenotypic polymorphisms, speciation, adaptive radiation, species assemblages and macro-ecological patterns. I also want to know how better understanding these processes can benefit nature conservancy.
Using cichlid fish, stickleback, salmon-like fish and other species, students and Postdoctoral researchers in my research group address conceptual issues of broader relevance to the understanding of causes of variation in biodiversity. Such issues include the manifold interactions between historical contingency and ecological determinism that make biology so different from physics and chemistry, the role of interspecific hybridization, and the effects of speciation and adaptive radiation on ecosystems. To address these issues we combine methods from ecology, behavioral biology, experimental genetics, molecular population genetics and population genomics, phylogenomics and comparative methods.

Title: Ecological isolation despite physical connectedness:evolution-dependent species richness in large and deep lakes

Download the abstract Seehausen_SIL2016_abstract.pdf

 Plenary lectures:

  • Esteban Balseiro

    foto_balseiro.jpgDepartment of Ecology, University of Comahue, Argentina,
    CONICET INIBIOMA (Instituto de Investigaciones en Biodiversidad y Medio Ambiente)

    Esteban Balseiro is a Full Professor at the Department of Ecology at the University of Comahue, Argentina, and CONICET Researcher of INIBIOMA, an institute for the research on biodiversity and the environment both at Bariloche, Patagonia, Argentina. His research interests are ecological stoichiometry and climate change, particularly how climate change affects elemental balances in oligotrophic lakes of Patagonia. He has been working in planktonic food webs, nutrient recycling and how high C:P ratios affect zooplankton species distribution. Stressors as UVR were also analyzed in the context of elemental imbalances. More recently the effect of glacier recession on these ultraoligotrophic lakes and the elemental ratios were also considered. Currently, Dr Balseiro is analyzing the elemental imbalance affecting the response of organisms to stressor like UVR and the changes in the lake transparency due to climate changes.

    Download the abstract Balseiro-SIL-2016.pdf

  • Thomas Bell
    foto_bell.jpgImperial College London
    Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Life Sciences (Silwood Park)
    Buckhurst Road, Ascot, Berkshire, United Kingdom

    Aquatic microbial ecology often takes one of two approaches. The first approach is to make observations of natural ecosystems and then try to infer causal relationships from these observational data. This approach is hampered by the difficulty in distinguishing cause and effect. The second approach is to conduct experiments under controlled conditions, usually using microcosms in the lab. This approach sacrifices realism for control, and is able to link cause and effect. However, it is often unclear whether the results have relevance for natural ecosystems. My research has tried to bridge the gap between messy observations and simplified experiments by conducting lab and field experiments that are able to bring some real-world complexity without sacrificing control. Much of this research has used "natural microcosms" as test beds of ecological and evolutionary theory. I have used naturally occurring, miniature aquatic communities to understand the linkages between microbial communities and ecosystem functioning. Experiments using rain-filled tree-holes have revealed a complex interplay between ecological and evolutionary processes. My research has focused on how complex inter-specific interactions alter ecosystem functioning, and how these interactions are shaped over ecological and evolutionary timescales.

    Download the abstract Bell-SIL-2016.pdf  

  • Núria Bonada

    Department of Ecology
    University of Barcelona, Catalonia/Spain

    Núria Bonada is an "Serra Húnter" Associate Professor at the University of Barcelona (Catalonia/Spain) and member of the Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM) research group. Her research interests mainly focus on the biodiversity, ecology, and conservation of freshwater ecosystems. In particular, she has been working on large-scale spatial patterns of aquatic macroinvertebrates and their responses to past, present, and future disturbances, combining community and population approaches. She has conducted her research mainly on mediterranean climate rivers of the world, where intermittent rivers are part of the daily landscape and have triggered many evolutionary adaptations of species.

    Download the abstract Bonada_et_al_SIL_-_2016.pdf

  • Kendra Spence Cheruvelil

    Associate Professor, Lyman Briggs College

    Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
    Michigan State University, United States of America

    Dr. Kendra Spence Cheruvelil is an Associate Professor at Michigan State University, U.S.A. She is a freshwater ecologist who works to better-understand what drives heterogeneity among lakes both across space and through time. She addresses questions that advance scientific understanding and that are directly applicable to freshwater ecosystem management and policy. Dr. Cheruvelil's collaborative research has helped define the emerging field of landscape limnology that is grounded in landscape ecology and limnology. She has also worked with natural resource agencies to apply landscape limnology principles to problems facing freshwater ecosystems, such as lake nutrient standards, and has published papers on how to increase the effectiveness of collaborative research teams and how to change the academic culture to better reflect the importance of such teams for solving environmental issues. She is co-director of the Landscape Limnology Research Group ( and is co-PI on an interdisciplinary U.S. NSF-funded project that has compiled and harmonized lake nutrient datasets from 17 U.S. states spanning 1,600,000 km2 into a multi-scaled geospatial lake and landscape database (LAGOS; in order to conduct limnology research at unprecedented scales (

    Download the abstract Cheruvelil-SIL_2016.pdf

  • Frances R. Pick

    foto_Pick.jpgFaculty of Science, Biology
    University of Ottawa, Canada
  • Frances Pick is a Professor of Biology and Environmental Science at the University of Ottawa (Canada) with a laboratory located in its Center for Advanced Research in Environmental Genomics. She obtained her PhD in Botany from the University of Toronto specializing in limnology with a minor in biochemistry.  At the undergraduate level, she teaches courses in ecosystem ecology, algae and fungi, and wetland science; at the graduate level, she steers the Collaborative Programme in Chemical and Environmental Toxicology involving six science departments across two universities.  Her research focuses on the factors affecting the structure and function of primary producers (cyanobacteria, algae, macrophytes) in lakes, rivers, urban ponds and wetlands. These factors and how they interact to affect primary producers include nutrients, hydrology, pesticides, food web alterations and invasive species. Over the past decade she has been studying how climate change is affecting these interactions in aquatic ecosystems. Cyanobacteria from picocyanobacteria through to bloom-forming and toxin-producing taxa are of particular interest and these are studied in natural and man-made systems as well as in pure cultures using classical limnological/phycological methods and more modern methods in analytical chemistry (cyanotoxins) and molecular biology (microbial DNA). Outreach work includes organizing talks in science and engineering for Canada’s parliamentarians and advising community groups on lake and river stewardship for which she has been recognized by Ontario Conservation Authorities. In 2014, she received the Frank Rigler Award from the Society of Canadian Limnologists for achievements in limnology in Canada.  

    Download the abstract Pick_SIL2016_abs.pdf

  • Jeremy (Jay) Piggott

    foto_jeremy.jpgUniversity of Otago, New Zealand

    Winner of SIL Student competition

    Dr Piggott is a Research Fellow at the University of Otago in New Zealand, and a Visiting Fellow at Imperial College London (UK), Kyoto University (Japan) and Peking University (China). His research centers on understanding gene to ecosystem level responses to climate change and multiple stressors in freshwaters, with the aim to improving the management and conservation of freshwater biodiversity and ecosystem services in the face of global change.  He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Applied Ecology and journal Limnology, Advisor to the EU funded MARS Project(Managing Aquatic ecosystems and water Resources under multiple Stress;, and a Lead Author of the forthcoming Regional Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for Asia and the Pacific for the Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES; For more information see:

    Download the abstract Piggott_SIL_Abstract.pdf

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