GGBN Conference 2018

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22. May 2018 – 25. May 2018, Vienna

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Dear colleagues,

Biological diversity, or biodiversity, is broadly defined as the variety of life on Earth. Almost two million species have now been identified worldwide, but the actual number of species is estimated to be between 10 and 30 million. This vast amount of biodiversity is an essential provider of ecosystem goods and services. However, despite the important role biodiversity plays in our lives, it is currently experiencing severe genetic erosion due to our unsustainable activities. The exponential loss of genetic diversity throughout the world has led to initiatives to conserve biodiversity inside (in situ) and outside (ex situ) their natural habitats. Particularly the latter is an important strategy, since very often original habitats are also under threat.

Formed in October 2011, the Global Genome Biodiversity Network (GGBN) is an international network of 68 institutions that share an interest in long-term preservation of genomic samples representing the diversity of non-human life on Earth. GGBN provides a platform for biodiversity repositories from across the world to collaborate, ensuring quality standards for DNA and tissue collections, standards for genomic samples, improving best practices for the preservation and use of such collections, and harmonizing the exchange of material in accordance with national and international legislation and conventions. The preservation of the genomic diversity of the Tree of Life is a monumental and interdisciplinary task, grander than any one institution can manage alone. GGBN meets this challenge through a worldwide network of biodiversity repositories.

With its third international conference “GGBN 2018” taking place in Vienna from May 22nd to 25th, GGBN along with the accompanying organizing institutions will focus on topics related to the exploration of the wealth of diversity that is currently stored in biodiversity biobanks worldwide. Sessions will cover agricultural, forest, animal and environmental biodiversity and their characterization by state-of-the-art genomic, phenomic and molecular tools. This characterization process is a substantial part of any long-term strategy to ensure the preservation of biodiversity and thereby to secure the foundation for subsistence of mankind.

Additionally diverse social events like guided tours through Zoo Schönbrunn, the oldest zoo in the world, or through Vienna’s Museum of Natural History, or the city center will be offered. The conference dinner will be held at Town Hall.

The GGBN international conference will be of interest for different stakeholders ranging from academia to industry and the public sector. We hope that you will join this international event to discuss the most recent findings on biodiversity conservation, analysis and function. We look forward to welcoming you in Vienna from May 22nd to 25th, 2018.

Eva M. Sehr

On behalf of the Organizing Committee


Biodiversity – current challenges, future chances

Forest biological diversity – losses and gains

Why agricultural diversity matters

The hidden biodiversity

Amazing animals ex and in situ

Biodiversity Biobanks: Sampling & Preservation

Biodiversity Biobank Data and Analytics

ABS & Nagoya protocol



Beate Berger: Gene bank for rare livestock breeds, HBLFA Raumberg-Gumpenstein, AT

Andreas Börner: Conservation Management and Evaluation of the Genebank, IPK Gatersleben, DE

Michael Bruford: The Frozen Ark, Cardiff University, UK

Philippe Desmeth: BCCM, Belgian Coordinated Collections of Microorganisms, BE

Fulvio Ducci: Forest Genetic Resources Management, CREA, IT

Kathryn Garforth: CBD Secretariat, CA

Jan Habel: Ecology and Ecosystemmanagement, TU München, DE

Maria Holzmann: Foraminifera biodiversity, Université de Genève, CH

Marlys Houck: Frozen Zoo, San Diego Zoo, US

Sandy Knapp: NHM London, UK

James Macklin: Biodiversity informatics, Ottawa Research and Development Centre, CA

Birgit Mitter: Holobiont hypothesis, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, AT

Anne Willems: Bacterial diversity, BCCM/LMG Bacteria Collection, Gent University, BE

Breda M. Zimkus: Biodiversity and conservation of amphibians and reptiles, Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology, US


Congress Office

Alexandra Khassidov (Coordination)
Birgit Putz (Secretary)
Walter Glaser (Website & IT)

Austrian Association of Molecular Life Sciences and Biotechnology (ÖGMBT)

Helmut-Qualtinger-Gasse 2, Stiege 2, EG L.01

1030 Wien


Please write an E-Mail with any general congress related queries.

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