In 2018 the Willi Hennig Society meeting will be coming for the first time to the Mediterranean!

Barcelona welcomes you all to the XXXVII Annual Meeting of the Willi Hennig Society. The congress will be held on September 16th to 20th 2018 at the landmark building of the Museu Blau, home of the Natural Sciences Museum of Barcelona, within walking distance to the four-kilometer long sandy beaches that merge the city with the ancient sea.

Barcelona is an open city, a harbor where new ideas, modern arts and architectural styles, and technological advances have first entered the Iberian Peninsula. Because of this, Barcelona has historically played a leading role in the development and advancement of politics, science, technology and arts at the western end of Europe.

To honor Barcelona’s long tradition of open-mindedness and eclecticism, we propose a meeting where all perspectives and approaches to modern systematic research can be presented and discussed.  The Willi Hennig Society was formed with the explicit purpose of “advancing the science of phylogenetic systematics in all its aspects of theory, principles, methodology, and practice, for both living and fossil organisms, with emphasis on areas of common interest to all taxonomists regardless of individual specialization”. In alignment with the goals of the WHS will welcome all classic and new, integrative and interdisciplinary theories and methodologies that may help us to better understand the diversity of life, across time and space and at multiple hierarchical levels. We especially would like to encourage the participation of women in a plea for a most needed gender equality.

The Willi Hennig Society meeting in Barcelona will provide an arena for exchanging ideas, sparking collaborations, developing new vocations and training the next generation of systematic biologists.

We will announce in the next weeks the scientific program, which will include plenary talks and symposia, as well as the social activities, ice-breaking parties, guided visits to the city and the customary congress banquette.


Zoological Systematics and Evolution Research Group, Universitat de Barcelona logo
Institut de Biologia Evolutiva CISC-UPF
Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona logo


Symposium Understanding diversity through space

Plenary lecture

From gradual change to catastrophic events: new integrative models to disentangle what promotes spatial diversification
Isabel Santmartín
Real Jardín Botanico de Madrid – CSIC (Madrid, Spain).

Isabel Sanmartín plenary lecture

Bio: Isabel Sanmartin is a senior researcher at the Real Jardin Botanico, CSIC (Spain). Her research interests include the development of analytical tools in biogeographical inference– especially model-based approaches –  and applying these methods to identify evolutionary processes that have shaped the distribution of biodiversity over time.

Symposium The rhythms of Life

Plenary lecture

What can macroevolutionary analyses tell us about the causes of global biodiversity gradients?
Dan Rabosky
University of Michigan (Michigan, USA)

Dan Rabosky plenary lecture

Bio: Dan Rabosky is an evolutionary biologist and biodiversity scientist at the University of Michigan. His research program spans a range of themes relating to the origin and maintenance of species diversity at both evolutionary and ecological timescales. His work includes (1) synthetic analyses to understand the causes of evolutionary radiations and global biodiversity gradients, (2) the development of methods for studying biodiversity dynamics in time and space, and (3) ecological, evolutionary, and systematic studies of several of the world’s most species-rich reptile and amphibian communities. Ultimately, he hopes to understand a range of loosely connected phenomena, ranging from ecological controls on evolutionary radiations to the uneven distribution of species richness across the Earth’s surface.

Symposium Understanding diversity through time

Plenary lecture

Fossils, time-trees and arthropod phylogenetics
Greg Edgecombe
Natural History Museum (London, UK)

Greg Edgecombe plenary lecture

Bio: Greg Edgecombe investigates the evolution of arthropods, with a focus on the early fossil record as revealed by sites of exceptional preservation.  He received his PhD from Columbia University in 1991, researching the ontogeny and phylogeny of trilobites at the American Museum of Natural History.  After a NSERC (Canada) post-doc at the University of Alberta, he worked as a Researcher at the Australian Museum in Sydney from 1993-2007, with a major focus on the systematics of Southern Hemisphere centipedes. Since then he has been at The Natural History Museum (London), where he is a Merit Researcher.

Symposium Big questions, big data

Plenary lecture

Large scale inference of gene and species phylogenies
Christophe Dessimoz
Université de Lausanne (Lausanne, Switzerland)

Christophe Dessimoz plenary lecture

Bio: Christophe Dessimoz obtained his Master in Biology and PhD in Computer Science from ETH Zurich, Switzerland. After a postdoc at the European Bioinformatics Institute near Cambridge (UK), he joined University College London as lecturer, then Reader. In 2015, he joined the University of Lausanne as SNSF professor, retaining an appointment at UCL, where part of his lab remains active. Since 2016, Christophe is also a group leader at the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics.