Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy | 9-14 Sept, 2024

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26th International Conference on Subterranean Biology

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6th International Symposium on Anchialine Ecosystems

Confirmed Speakers

Anne Robertson

Professor of Ecology

 University of Roehampton, London United Kingdom

Tillmann Lueders

Chair of Ecological Microbiology

Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research (BayCEER), University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany

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Hans Recknagel

Postdoctoral Researcher

Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Susana Pallarés

Postdoctoral Researcher

 Department of Ecology and Hydrology, University of Murcia, Spain

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Mattia Saccò

Lecturer

Subterranean Research and Groundwater Ecology (SuRGE) Group, Trace and Environmental DNA (TrEnD) Lab, School of Molecular and Life Sciences, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

John W Pohlman

Researcher

US Geological Survey Coastal & Marine Science Center,
Woods Hole USA

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Sara Johansson

Senior Policy Officer: Water Pollution Prevention

European Environmental Bureau

Tim Johns

Researcher

Environment Agency Red Kite House, Howbery Park, Wallingford. Oxfordshire, UK

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Conference Program

Conference Schedule Highlights

  • 9th September (Monday): Registration opens; Morning workshop (DarCO); Afternoon poster session.
  • 10th – 13th September: daily sessions, including plenary lectures and oral presentations.
  • 14th September (Saturday): Choice of social excursions to Santa Barbara’s cave or Bue Marino cave. More info >>

Additional notes – DarCo Workshop

Participants will have the opportunity to decide upon arrival if they wish to attend the DarCO workshop. DarCo is an international research project (more about DarCO) funded by the European Union and Biodiversa+, focusing on the conservation of subterranean ecosystems in Europe. During the DarCo workshop, which occurs at the mid-term of the project, we will first discuss the main advancements of the project so far. Following that, we will have an open discussion on how to move forward in the protection of subterranean ecosystems in Europe, both theoretically and practically.

Preliminary Program

Day 1: Monday, 9 Sept

9:00 – 14:00 Conference registration and poster preparation
9:00 – 13:00 Workshop DarCO
14:30 – 15:00 Opening of the conference, speech of societies presidents, explanation of the program
15:00 – 15:15 Presentation of the project METALCAVE. This study received funding from the European Union – Next-GenerationEU – National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) – MISSION 4 COMPONENT 2, INVESTIMENT N. 1.1., CALL PRIN 2022 PNRR D. .D. 1409 del 14-09-2022 – (METALCAVE) CUP N. E53D23015380001.
15:15 – 15:30 Presentation of the project Sub-BioMon. This study received funding from the European Union, under the program Biodiversa+, Horizon2020
15:30 – 18:00 Poster session + welcome aperitif

Day 2: Tuesday, 10 Sept

9:00 – 9:45 Sara Johansson: EU policies for the management of subterranean water bodies
Tim Johns: Developing the first national monitoring network for groundwater ecology in England
9:45 – 11:00 Oral presentations
11:00 – 11:30 Coffee Break
11:30 – 13:00 Oral presentations
13:00 – 14:30 Lunch Break
14:30 – 15:15 John W. Pohlman: The Octopipi, Osmosamplers and Echosounders: Innovations for conducting safe and effective hydro-biogeochemical research in karst subterranean estuaries
15:15 – 16:00 Oral presentations
16:00 – 16:30 Coffee Break
16:30 – 18:00 Oral presentations

Day 3: Wednesday, 11 Sept

9:00 – 9:45 Mattia Sacco: Environmental DNA in groundwater ecosystems – the ultimate complementary biomonitoring tool?
9:45 – 11:00 Oral presentations
11:00 – 11:30 Coffee Break
11:30 – 13:00 Oral presentations
13:00 – 14:30 Lunch Break
14:30 – 15:15 Anne Robertson: Out of sight out of mind in the Plastisphere?
15:15 – 16:00 Oral presentations
16:00 – 16:30 Coffee Break
16:30 – 18:00 Oral presentations

Day 4: Thursday, 12 Sept

9:00 – 9:45 Tillmann Lueders: Biofilms in caves and mines as a window into exciting and novel microbial ecophysiologies
9:45 – 11:00 Oral presentations
11:00 – 11:30 Coffee Break
11:30 – 13:00 Oral presentations
13:00 – 14:30 Lunch Break
14:30 – 15:15 Susana Pallarés: Assessing the vulnerability of subterranean biodiversity to climate change from an experimental perspective
15:15 – 16:00 Oral presentations
16:00 – 16:30 Coffee Break
16:30 – 18:00 Oral presentations

Day 5: Friday, 13 Sept

9:00 – 9:45 Hans Recknagel: Convergent evolution and genetic mechanisms of cave adaptation in the olm (Proteus anguinus)
9:45 – 11:00 Oral presentations
11:00 – 11:30 Coffee Break
11:30 – 13:00 Oral presentations
13:00 – 15:30 Lunch Break
14:00 – 15:30 Council and committees’ meetings
15:30 – 16:30 Winner announcement and organization of field trips
16:30 End of the Conference
TBD Social dinner

Day 6: Saturday, 14 Sept - Social Trips

  • Santa Barbara’s cave (Iglesias). The cave of Santa Barbara is located inside the mine of San Giovanni di Bindua (Iglesias), in the province of South Sardinia. It was discovered by chance in 1952 by a group of miners during the excavation work of a well, which would have made it possible to bring the extracted material from one level of the mine to another. Until then unknown, because hidden inside the mountain, it opens between the rocky layer of ceroid limestone and silicified yellow dolomite, formations of the lower Cambrian, dating back to about 500 million years ago. The site can be reached through an intricate system of underground tunnels that can be traveled via a small train which, crossing the tunnel located about 150 meters above sea level, after a journey of 700 linear meters from the entrance, leads to an elevator that goes up along a well. The vast cave has among its peculiar characteristics the tabular crystals of dark brown barite that cover the walls and the hemispherical concretions of pure white calcite with stalactites and stalagmites covered by aragonite eccentrics with columns even 25 meters high formed over the millennia.

 

  • Bue Marino cave (Cala Gonone – Dorgali). This sea cave can be visited for about 1 km but is part of a complex that extends for over 70 km inland. It is so called because it was used by monk seals, which the shepherds called “Su Oe ‘e Mare” (sea ox), because they used it as a shelter. The cave is divided into three distinct branches: the southern branch open to the public, the northern branch temporarily reserved for speleological visits and the central or middle branch, for underwater speleologists. The first visits to the cave date back to the 1950s, when shepherds and fishermen accompanied scholars and onlookers inside the north branch. The Grotta del Bue Marino was made famous by the seal colony that populated it until the 1970s, when it was the largest in Italy. But the cave is also interesting for the presence of some petroglyphs dating back to the Ozieri culture, which represent the “Dance of the Sun”. The presence of fresh water inside the cave suggests that it was a sacred place for the ancient inhabitants of these lands. In fact, the meeting point between fresh water and sea water is clearly visible inside the cave.
    Note: To participate in this trip we ask a contribution of 25€

If you have any questions, please contact the organisation team via this contact form

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