Smbiosis in context


Event location

Wildbad Rothenburg
Rothenburg o.d.T.


Symposium Overview

Symbioses - the lasting interactions between living organisms - can range from mutually beneficial relationships to harmful pathogenic effects. This interdisciplinary meeting will explore symbiotic interactions in ecological, evolutionary, chemical, spatial, and methodological contexts, ranging from deep mechanistic studies to broader surveys. Our primary objective is to unite researchers and establish new interactions between symbiotic systems and fields. We hope this serves as an incentive to generate new ways of thinking in established fields and spur new directions in symbiosis research.

Invited Speakers

Waldan Kwong

Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC)
Oeiras, Portugal

Juliana Almario

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
Lyon, France

Christine Bemelmanns

Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research

Jillian Petersen

University of Vienna, Austria

Jean Keller

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
Toulouse, France

Gabriel Giger

Zurich, Switzerland

Felix M. Key

MPI for Infection Biology

Nancy Obeng

CAU Kiel

Louis Cohen

Imperial College
London, UK

Benedikt Geier

Stanford University
Stanford, California, USA

Registration and Abstract Submission


Registration opens on 1st July 2024!

Full registration is 400 Euros and includes:

  • All lectures and poster sessions (½ day, 2 full days, ½ day)
  • Social activities
  • Accomodation is included in the registration fee and includes a shared double room for the nights of the 7th, 8th, and 9th October. If you require additional nights before or after the event, please arrange booking of your own hotel room.
  • Food and drinks (3x Breakfast, 3x Lunch, 3x Evening meal and drinks)
  • Electronic program
  • Wi-Fi access

Cancellation policy:

Refunds can be provided if the notice of cancellation is received by at least 7th September 2024.

The symposium is limited to 100 participants. Registration will close when we reach 100 registrations.


The deadline for abstract submission is 7th August 2024

Applicants will be notified of abstract outcome by 9th September 2024

Guidelines for abstracts:
  • All abstracts must be submitted and presented in English.
  • The abstract is limited to 200 words (excluding title, authors, and affiliations).
  • Figures, graphs, images, diagrams, and references cannot be included.
  • You can submit more than one abstract with the same presenting author. However, please note that only one oral presentation can be allocated to one presenting author.
  • The authors are responsible for the content and the language quality of the abstract.
  • If changes need to be made to your submitted abstract, please contact us at any time before the deadline. Please do not submit the abstract more than once.
  • Authors will be notified of the acceptance via e-mail.
  • To submit an Abstract, authors must be registered for the event.

Abstracts have to be submitted by email to using the form below.


The meeting will start at 12:00 noon on October 7, 2024 and end at 1:00 pm on Ocober 10, 2024.

Full program to be announced soon!

Session Topics

Ecological context: What are the consequences of symbioses for the partners and other organisms?
  • Waldan Kwong
    (Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC), Oeiras, Portugal)

  • Juliana Almario
    (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Lyon, France)

Host context: What chemical and molecular communication mechanisms are employed by symbiotic partners?
Methodological context: What are cutting-edge methods in symbiosis research and how are they applied across systems?
  • Jean Keller
    (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Toulouse, France)

  • Gabriel Giger
    (ETH, Zurich, Switzerland)

Evolutionary context: which partners engage (repeatedly) in symbiotic interactions and how did they change during short or long-lasting associations?
  • Felix M. Key
    (MPI for Infection Biology, Berlin)

  • Nancy Obeng
    (CAU Kiel)

Spatial context: In biofilms, host tissues, or intracellular environments - what consequence does spatial localization have on individual organisms?
Early Career Session

This session is dedicated to student talks from any field of study.


Symbiosis in Context 2024 will take place at Wildbad Rothenburg, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany. The facility is located just outside the historic city walls of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a picturesque town in northern Bavaria. Due to its exquisitely preserved medieval architecture and fully intact medieval city wall, it is a well-known highlight of the “Romantische Straße” (Romantic Road) through southern Germany.


By Train [Recommended!]

The Venue is within walking distance (2km) of the Rothenburg main train station or with the assistance of bus 817 or 856.

By Car

The venue is just 4km from exit Rothenburg odT on the A7.

By Plane

The nearest major airport is Nuremberg Airport.


You will find further information on travel and accommodation options here shortly.


Are you interested in also supporting the event? Please get in touch with us: