The 21st International Congress of Zoology (ICZ)


The Future of Animal Evolution under the Human Aegis

A Panel Discussion during the 21st International Congress of Zoology

Sunday, September 2nd 2012, Wise Auditorium, Safra Campus, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Human civilization has deflagrated a crisis in animal evolution. It is more profound than the collective effect of the man-induced environmental changes. We are living through either one of the main extinction events of history, or one of the major thresholds of evolution. The process may be accidental and reversible, or creative and historically irreversible. A panel discussion during the 21th ICZ   led by Joseph Heller (Jerusalem) will try to approach various aspects of this problem of zoological philosophy. A number of key speakers of the panel will open the discussions on September 2 in Jerusalem, at the Hebrew University Safra Campus. The discussions will then proceed during the sittings of the Congress in Haifa. The key speakers and their subjects are sketched-out briefly as follows:

Marvalee Wake (Berkeley) We have new evolutionary knowledge to enhance the lives of species on our planet. For example, the use of new methods to reverse the decline of amphibians and controversies around those methods.

Sandro Minelli (Padova) Humankind and the endangered species. From victim to mutualistic symbiont-culture-driven evolution of the endangered species.

Jean-Marc Jallon (Paris Sud) While foods and planes travel more, animal and human pests change habitats and adapt. Drosophila studies show that changes of functioning of temperature sensitive genes and enzyme cascades allow fruitflies to modify the structure of their cuticle and become more robust in new environments. 

Simon Conway-Morris (Cambridge) The history of life clearly shows a biosphere that has become increasingly complex, and irreversibly so. So, too, the outcomes of evolution are far more predictable than is generally realized. One inevitable outcome is intelligence. So what's next?
Dieter Ebert (Basel) Rapid parasite evolution in a changing world. Our worst enemies – parasites and pathogens – tend to adapt with ease, eluding human measures to control disease.
Juergen  Heinze (Regensburg) Social evolution in the times of global change. The genetic bottlenecks associated with the accidental introduction of ant colonies into new habitat has led to so called ‘unicolonial’ societies, in which the borders between individual colonies have vanished.
 Francis Dov Por (Jerusalem) We are living the first phases of the ‘anthropozoic’, a new eon in the thermodynamic history of the biosphere, in which the evolution of authentic free animals is restricted, and different type of animal cultigens, new biological entities, are enhanced.

Discussants from the floor will have up to ten minutes to present their own points of view to the panel and are invited to pre-register now with This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   and cc This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , giving only name and institution.

Yossi Heller          Dov Por


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