Mark your calendar

6th Annual ELSI International Symposium: Building Bridges from Earth to Life:
From Chemical Mechanism to Ancient Biology
9-11 January, 2018 – Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo – Japan

Understanding the transition from the Earth’s earliest geochemistry, to the later emergence of life, requires a synthesis of knowledge across an unprecedented range of scales of size, time, and complexity. We need both empirical data, and the ability to synthesize, compute, and reason at levels linking elementary mechanisms in organic geochemistry and catalysis, available energy systems, the assembly and roles of intermediate-scale structures, and reaching all the way to molecular and ecological systems evolutionary biology. Recent advances in several areas bring us close to connecting all the links in a chain needed to reason from micro to macro, from geochemistry to nascent biochemistry. The goal in this symposium is to hold a collaborative conversation, among speakers and participants, to sketch the form of this emerging bridge, and to point out both the most compelling opportunities and the most urgent needs.

2018 Origins of Life – Gordon Research Conference under the theme “The Prebiotic Milieu Building the Evolution of Early Life”
14-19 January, 2018 – Hotel Galvez (2024 Seawall Boulevard) in Galveston, TX, US

This forthcoming Gordon Research Conference will explore new work in the origins field from planetary sciences to biochemistry and paleontology, covering the first billion years of the earth’s history. The sessions will provide a state-of-the-art update of the field, while also providing room for discussion and debate on some of the larger outstanding questions in our understanding of the origin of life. Sessions will attempt to provide the basic constraints on the starting material for the origin of life, and how the first biological material arose: the transition point from prebiotic chemistry to biochemistry. It will also cover habitable worlds and the search for life elsewhere, the innovation that comes from origins research, environments amenable to polymer formation, and the role of minerals in prebiotic chemistry.
The GRC will integrate with the preceding GRS (Gordon Research Seminar) both by asking the latter to report on exciting research forthcoming from new researchers, and by promoting active discussion to the conference. Funding is being sought to allow partial travel and registration support for both the GRC and the GRS for graduate students and postdoctoral scientists who participate as presenters in the Gordon Research Seminar.
Applications for this meeting must be submitted by December 17, 2017. Please apply early, as some meetings become oversubscribed (full) before this deadline.

2018 Astrobiology graduate conference (AbGradCon 2018)
4-8 June, 2018 – Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Applications will open in December, with a deadline in early February. The Proposal Writing Retreat (PWR), formerly known as the Research Focus Group (RFG), will take place at from June 1-4, 2017. Applicants for AbGradCon will be able to apply for PWR at the same time as they submit their AbGradCon application. Funds are available to support a limited number of participants.

2018 Annual Meeting of the Society for Molecular Biology & Evolution (SMBE)
8-12 July, 2018 – Yokohama, Japan

Proposals should span the range of interests of SMBE members, including exciting new scientific developments, and represent the geographic and gender diversity of our membership. For each accepted symposium, SMBE will provide partial financial support to help attract outstanding invited speakers. The deadline for proposal submission is *October 31, 2017*. Successful applications will be confirmed by the middle of November. For questions, please email

COSPAR 2018: 42nd Scientific Assembly of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) and Associated Events
14 – 22 July, 2018 – Pasadena, CA – USA

COSPAR Secretariat, 2 place Maurice Quentin, 75039 Paris Cedex 01, France
Tel: +33 1 44 76 75 10
Fax: +33 1 44 76 74 37

Host Organization: Caltech, home of JPL
Scientific Program Chair: Prof. Thomas Prince, California Institute of Technology
Abstract Deadline: 9 February 2018

Approximately 125 meetings covering the fields of COSPAR Scientific Commissions (SC) and Panels:
– SC A: The Earth’s Surface, Meteorology and Climate
– SC B: The Earth-Moon System, Planets, and Small Bodies of the Solar System
– SC C: The Upper Atmospheres of the Earth and Planets Including Reference Atmospheres
– SC D: Space Plasmas in the Solar System, Including Planetary Magnetospheres
– SC E: Research in Astrophysics from Space
– SC F: Life Sciences as Related to Space
– SC G: Materials Sciences in Space
– SC H: Fundamental Physics in Space
– Panel on Satellite Dynamics (PSD)
– Panel on Scientific Ballooning (PSB)
– Panel on Potentially Environmentally Detrimental Activities in Space (PEDAS)
– Panel on Radiation Belt Environment Modelling (PRBEM)
– Panel on Space Weather (PSW)
– Panel on Planetary Protection (PPP)
– Panel on Capacity Building (PCB)
– Panel on Education (PE)
– Panel on Exploration (PEX)
– Panel on Interstellar Research (PIR)
– Special events: interdisciplinary lectures, round table, etc.

Selected papers will be published in Advances in Space Research and Life Sciences in Space Research, fully refereed journals with no deadlines open to all submissions in relevant fields.

The 2nd Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology
19-22 August, 2018 – Montpellier, France

Note that this meeting is distinct from the 22nd Evolutionary Biology Meeting in the same town one month later (see below). 

Joint Congresses take place every six years and bring together four of the world’s largest academic societies in the field of evolutionary biology. The very first edition took place in Ottawa, Canada in 2012. The conference in Montpellier will host a large number of thematic symposia and all contributed talks will be selected based on their fit to the symposia of their choice. Submissions for symposium proposals are now invited. These will be processed through our website, currently at:
Meeting web site:

Please consider submitting an abstract to participate in the symposium, Multi-level selection and the origins of life, which will be taking place as part of the Evolution / ESEB congress in Montpellier. The hope is to expose the evolutionary biology community at large to the origin of life research community and vice versa. Travel awards are available for graduate students.  Web site:


22nd Evolutionary Biology Meeting at Marseilles

25-28 September, 2018 – Montpellier, France

Note that this meeting is distinct from the 2nd Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology in the same town one month earlier (see above). 

The Evolutionary Biology Meeting at Marseilles is an annual congress which has gathered high level experts in evolutionary biology since its creation in 1997.

The following subjects will be discussed: (1) Evolutionary biology concepts and modelisations for biological annotation; (2) Biodiversity and Systematics; (3) Comparative genomics and post-genomics (at all taxonomic levels); (4) Functional phylogeny; (5) Transposon evolution; (6) Convergent evolution; (7) Environment and biological evolution;  (8) Origin of Life and exobiology; (9) Self non – self evolution; (10) Non-adaptative versus adaptative evolution;  (11) The « minor » phyla: their usefulness in evolutionary biology knowledge. 

Meeting web site:


XIXth International Conference on the Origin of Life
The XIXth International Conference on the Origin of Life will take place on August 2-7, 2020, in Quito, Ecuador. More details will follow soon!


Past meetings

2017San DiegoNiles LehmanOrigins 2017
2014NaraSandra PizzarelloOrigins 2014
2011MontpellierDavid DeamerOrigins 2011
2008FlorenceJanet Siefert
2005BeijingAntonio Lazcano
2002OaxacaAntonio Lazcano
1999San DiegoBill Schopf
1996OrléansAndre Brack
1993BarcelonaJames Ferris
1989PragueJuan Oró
1986BerkeleyStanley Miller
1983MainzC.A. Ponnamperuma
1980JerusalemFugio Egami
1973BarcelonaAlexander Oparin
1963Wakulla Springs