MOL-TOOLS, a VECTORS workshop endorsed by PERSEUS & COCONET

We are pleased to announce the workshop entitled: “Molecular tools for monitoring marine invasive species in European seas” to be held in September 12-14th 2012, in Lecce, Italy.
This workshop is organized within the 2011-2014 European Community project VECTORS (“Vectors of Change in Oceans and Seas- marine Life, Impact on Economic Sectors”) (, and under the endorsements of two new EC projects (2012-2015): PERSEUS (“Policy-orientated marine Environmental Research for the Southern European Seas”) ( and CoCoNET (“Towards COast to COast NETworks of marine protected areas – from the shore to the high and deep sea -, coupled with sea-based wind energy potential) (

The workshop is intended to extend the use of molecular tools by European research groups engaged in monitoring changes in the marine environment as a result of the novel success of invasive alien species or of the spread of native species with increasing competitive performance and outbreak potentials.
The aim of the workshop will be to gather world-wide renowned experts to jointly review scientific issues, existing methods, technical difficulties associated with development of sophisticated tools, and to consider the usefulness of DNA-based technologies for various applications relevant to invasive species monitoring. Participants will learn about recent molecular methods used to identify organisms, investigate population structures and biodiversity changes of marine communities. The workshop will include two days of invited oral presentations, a poster session and discussions. Participation will be limited to the first 80 applicants.
Expected outcomes of the meeting include formulation of recommendations and guidelines for marine organisms and the promotion of a samples bank for research and future reference by the research community. The meeting will also offer an opportunity for discussing future collaborations between groups and submission of joint research proposals. Invited presentations and selected topics from the poster session will be published as chapters of a book or as a special volume in one of the top journals in marine sciences.


Giacomo Bernardi (University of Santa Cruz, CA) – Molecular tools to investigate Lessepsian bioinvasions, past, present, and future

Ferdinando Boero (University of Salento, CoNiSMa) – New threats for marine biodiversity

Gisella Caccone (University of Yale, New Haven) – Using genomic tools to track the evolutionary history and the potential for success of invasive species

Gary R. Carvalho (University of Bangor, Wales) – Molecular markers and marine invasions – Insights from molecular genetic analysis of population and species diversity

Maurizio Casiraghi (Università Milano Bicocca) – DNA barcoding to investigate biodiversity – beyond a simple identification method

John Darling (Environmental Protection Agency, USA) – How can genetic studies best inform the management of marine biological invasions?

Mike Dawson (University of Merced, CA) – Using genetics to understand the causes of jellyfish blooms

Marty Deveney (SARDI, Australia) – Molecular and traditional surveys for marine pests: uncertainties, validation and developing integrated systems for pest surveillance

Bella Galil (IOLR, Haifa) – Exotics in the Mediterranean – Bioindicators for a sea change

Ester Lubzens (Technion University, Haifa) – An “outsider’s” view on molecular research of invasive species – where is it leading us?

Tomaso Patarnello (Università di Padova) – Population transcriptomics: expression profiling in marine species

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Daniel Simberloff (Unviersity of Knoxkville, USA) – “Invasion biology: Where did it come from, where is it going, and how can molecular tools help?”

Filip Volckaert (University of Leuven, Belgium) – Molecular tools for monitoring the impact of marine alien and invasive species in Europe


Registration/abstract submission: June 29, 2012 – Hotel registration: July 7, 2012

– Young scientists applying for financial support: June 29 2012

Notification of financial support: July 5th, 2012


(including entrance pass, welcome reception, coffee breaks, book of abstracts)

Regular (bank money transfer, before deadline) € 100

Late payment: €130


Bank money transfer

(please make sure cost of bank transaction will be NOT subtracted from the registration fee)


CoNISMa – Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Scienze del Mare

CoNISMa bank account:

Banca Popolare di Sondrio

IBAN: IT 25 O 05696 01400 000030000X23


Specify object for payment: MOLTOOLS fee – YOUR NAME

Please send notification of money transfer, together with registration form to:,


The Young Scientist Support Program aims to encourage active involvement and participation of 20 students or young scientists working in the field (up to 35 years age as of September 12, 2012) by covering their registration fees and B&B accomodation (note: travel expenses will be not covered).

Please submit to the following documents as pdf files:

1) Registration form

2) Copy of the applicant’s Passport or ID (birth date visible)

3) Letter of reference by Ph.D. tutor or lab group Principal investigator. Please clearly state your current interest in the topic of invasive species and molecular tools applications.

Note: Priority criteria will also include registration order. Early applications are encouraged.


Lecce is the Baroque masterpiece of southern Italy with a renowned touristic vocation. There are several excellent hotels (5- and 4-stars) reaching high standard of comfort with reasonable prices (75-100 €/day early booking required), but also a great number of cheap accomodations (3-star hotels and lots of B&B, ranging 40-70 €) can be found by a google search. We will provide further information with a list of BB to pre-registered participants. All accomodations are at walking distance (5’-15’) from the venue of the workshop located downtown in the old city center (at the XVII century noble palace Palazzo Turrisi, a step beyond the main Duomo square).

Recommended hotels:

Hotel Patria Palace (5’ walking distance)

Hotel Risorgimento (5’ walking distance)

Hotel Santa Chiara (5’ walking distance)

Hotel Tiziano (20’ walking distance)

Special fares will be reserved to workshop participants. Please contact doris.devito@unisalento to obtain further information for prices and cheap accomodations (B&B).


The nearest airport is BRINDISI CASALE airport, connected by regular flights by ALITALIA with the two main national hubs of Milano and Rome and with direct connection to several European cities by low cost companies (RYAN AIR, EASY JET, TUI, VOLOTEA, HELVETIC, JETAIRFLY).

Shuttle service from Brindisi airport to the hotels and vice versa will be organized.

Hope to see you in Lecce next September, warmest regards

The Organizing Commitee

Stefano Piraino, Esther Lubzens, Bella Galil

Further info:

Registration form