A full program is planned for the symposium 28 August - 2 September, 2023. The proposed sessions include

  • Marine/Freshwater Palaeoenvironments
  • Biomarkers and Proxies
  • Ecological Assessment and Metabarcoding
  • Computer Vision
  • Marine/Freshwater Diatom Taxonomy and Ecology
  • Biogeography
  • Phylogeny and Evolution
  • Ultrastructure and Life Cycles
  • Invasive Diatoms
  • HABS
  • Molecular Biology
  • Technology and Applications

Keynote Speakers

Michael Kloster, Diatoms and Computer Vision

Michael Kloster is a research associate at Bánk Beszteri’s Phycology Lab at the University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany). After a professional career outside academia mostly focusing on software development and computer technology, he received an M. Eng. in Applied Life Sciences from the University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer 2013, and his PhD in Biology in 2018 from the University of Bremen. In the last ten years, his research has mostly addressed the development and application of digital and automated methods for high-throughput light microscopic analysis of diatoms. During these activities, he has made use of conventional as well as deep learning-based image processing to address questions ranging from diatom paleoceanography and life cycle ecology to microdiversity and community ecology.

Ken Sawada, Diatom Proxies and Biomarkers

Ken Sawada is a Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in the Faculty of Science of Hokkaido University (Japan), where he studies biomarker organic biogeochemistry. In particular, his research focuses on the palaeoenvironmental and palaeoecological reconstruction of Neogene sediments from central and northern Japan using diatom-derived alkanes and steroids. In collaboration with Japanese diatom taxonomists and physiologists, he is also involved in the search for novel diatom biomarkers using algal cultures. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Department of Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Sciences at Nagoya University, studying the palaeothermometry of haptophyte-derived biomarkers and their applications to the palaeoceanographic reconstruction of deep-sea cores from the Northwest Pacific off central Japan. In the last ten years, his research has mostly addressed the development and application of palaeoclimatic proxies, including the palaeothermometry of diatoms and related microalgae using a group of diatom-derived biomarkers, called long-chain alkyl diols.

Kálmán Tapolczai, Diatoms and Metabarcoding

Kálmán Tapolczai is an experienced research fellow at the Department of Aquatic Botany and Microbial Ecology Research Group of the ELKH Balaton Limnological Research Institute in Hungary. His research interests primarily focus on the ecology and biodiversity of planktonic and benthic algal communities in both river and lake ecosystems. He earned his PhD at the Université Grenoble Alpes in France, where he conducted research at the UMR CARRTEL, Center of Limnology INRAE USMB. During his time there, he investigated the applicability of trait-based and molecular methods in diatom biomonitoring. Following his PhD, he continued his research using DNA metabarcoding techniques to investigate diatom communities and their potential in bioassessment, including the development of conventional and new ecological quality indices in line with the European Water Framework Directive. His ongoing research interests include exploring trait-based approaches to studying algae community structures. His research on diatom DNA metabarcoding covers lacustrine and riverine habitats across Europe but he also worked on tropical habitats, including the French overseas department, Mayotte. Today, he conducts his studies with a special focus on Lake Balaton, a large shallow lake in Europe. Aside from his research work, he is also involved in lecturing at the University of Pannonia, Hungary.

Megumi Saito-Kato, Freshwater diatoms and Palaeoenvironmental Analysis

Megumi Saito-Kato is a palaeontology-based diatomist. She started her academic career in Quaternary geology and shifted her interests to diatom responses to environmental change. Her earliest diatom study focused on the taphonomy of coastal diatoms using sediment trap and sediment core materials with the collaboration of the Department of Fishery in Nagasaki University, Japan. She obtained her Ph.D., on the diatom analysis of short core samples from Lake Biwa and Lake Suigetsu, from the Department of Geography in Tokyo Metropolitan University. Since moving to the National Museum of Nature and Science, her challenges have extended to longer cores and deeper times. Thereafter, she has worked as a curator and researcher in the Department of Geology and Paleontology in the museum for over 10 years. Through these multifaced experiences, she has gained unique insights into the evolutionary history of diatoms, which cannot be known through laboratory cultures or field observations of modern diatoms.