‘Evolving Urban communities’, symposium in Amsterdam on Wednesday January 24th 2024

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‘Evolving Urban communities’, symposium in Amsterdam on Wednesday January 24th 2024

January 24 @ 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

CUE2 & NLSEB co-organise the very first symposium on urban ecology and evolution in the Netherlands, entitled ‘Evolving Urban communities’ , in Amsterdam on Wednesday January 24th 2024.

The symposium marks the official kick-off of our CUE2 network and is jointly organised with the Netherlands society for evolutionary biology (NLSEB). With the symposium we like to highlight the scientific opportunities and challenges associated with urban environments and explore future directions for both applied and fundamental research. This CUE2 day will be held at the auditorium of the O|2 building on the VU-campus at De Boelelaan 1108 in Amsterdam which is within walking distance from NS train station Amsterdam Zuid. Lunch and drinks will be provided for those who register before January 10th using this form.

There are two opportunities to contribute to the symposium. Either by pitching yourself and/or project on a single slide, which we will showcase for 1-minute at the start of the day, with the specific aim to get to know who-is-who working on urban ecology and evolution. In addition, you can also present some of your past or ongoing work in the field during one of the two programmed sessions. You can use the same registration form for signing up for these opportunities.


  • 10:15 coffee/tea
  • 11.00 Welcome and intro
  • 11.10 Chris Thomas: “Evolution begets evolution: levels of adaptation in a human-modified world”
  • 12.10 1 slide – 1 minute Dutch project pitches
  • 12.30 lunch break
  • 13.00 Contributed talks (confirmed)
    • Andrew Cronin: “Urbanization as a driver of phenotypic changes across multiple life stages”
    • Katrien De Wolf: “Spider city life: a closer look at the adaptability of the European garden spider to urban stressors.”
    • Peter Moran: “Genomic footprints of urban life in túngara frogs”
    • Eva Drukker: “An ecosystems perspective on the development of biodiverse green roofs.”
  • 14.00 Caroline Isaksson: “From macro-to microscale: The impacts of urban greenery, pollution and nutrition on birds’ performance”
  • 15.00 coffee break
  • 15.15 Contributed talks (confirmed)
    • Emily Burdfield-Steel: “Signalling in the city – the effects of urbanisation on insect anti-predator strategies”
    • Koen Verhoeven: “Adaptation of common dandelion to the urban heat island effect”
    • Joschua Beninde -“Evolutionary Potential in the Anthropocene and the Amsterdam Macrogenomics Project”
  • 16.15 Wrap up & future directions
  • 16.30 drinks

Keynote speakers:


Caroline Isaksson (Lund University, Norway) 
Her main interest lies in how human-induced stress, such as pollution, influences population dynamics of wild vertebrates. She is principal investigator of the strategic research area among Lund University and University of Gothenburg that comprises more than 200 researchers working on a better understanding of the impacts of climate change and land use decisions on terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity.

Chris D. Thomas (University of York, UK)
Chris is director of the transdisciplinary Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity.  He and his research group are interested in understanding how humans have transformed the biological world, and how humans might protect the world’s remaining biodiversity. 

We hope to see you all in January!



January 24
11:00 am - 5:00 pm


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
View Organizer Website


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Noord-Holland Netherlands + Google Map
View Venue Website