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International Symposium on Women in Tunicate Biology

Organized by Anna Di Gregorio and Marie Nydam

March 28-29, 2023

On March 28 and 29, 2023, scientists from across the globe met in an online symposium aimed at celebrating the contribution of women to research on different aspects of tunicate biology. Major fields of tunicate biology were represented, including developmental and stem cell biology, regeneration biology, ecology and taxonomy. During the first day, the participants honored women scientists who had either passed away or retired. The second day was dedicated to scientific presentations on ongoing research in the field.

The proceedings of this symposium will be published in a special issue of genesis, the journal of Genetics and Development, and will include a meeting report, the biographies of the scientists who were celebrated, and presentations that encapsulate each scientist’s research focus. Please check out the complete Special Issue here: 

Please check our Proceedings page for videos of the talks: 


All times below are West Coast U.S./East Coast U.S.


Tuesday, March 28th, 2023


          6:00-6:15 am/9:00-9:15 am  


          Anna Di Gregorio 


                       6:15-6:45 am/9:15-9:45 am

                       Women from the early days of tunicate research

                       Anna Di Gregorio  


                      6:45-7:15 am/9:45-10:15 am

                       Giuseppina Ortolani

                       Fiorenza De Bernardi   


          7:15-7:45 am/10:15-10:45 am

          Giovanna Zaniolo

          Lucia Manni  


                       7:45-8:15 am/10:45-11:15 am

                       Ascidian studies in Aotearoa New Zealand

                       Megan Wilson


          8:15-8:45 am/11:15-11:45 am

          V.K. Meenakshi

          Jhimli Mondal 


          8:45-9:15 am/11:45-12:15 pm

          Gretchen Lambert

          Marie Nydam


           9:15-9:45 am/12:15-12:45 pm

           Retired researchers from the Stazione Zoologica “Anton Dohrn”        

           Mena Ristoratore and Annamaria Locascio


Wednesday, March 29th


                        6:00-6:15 am/9:00-9:15 am 


                        Marie Nydam


                       6:15-6:45 am/9:15-9:45 am

                       Two distinct motifs for Zic-r.a drive specific gene expression in two cell lineages

                       Izumi Oda-Ishii


                       6:45-7:15 am/9:45-10:15 am

                        Botryllid ascidians from the Turkish coastlines                   

                        Arzu Karahan


                       7:15-7:45 am/10:15-10:45 am

                       Ascidian and microbial symbiont diversity in North Carolina, USA

                       Susanna López-Legentil


                       8:15-8:45 am/11:15-11:45 am

                       Stem Cell aging in Botryllus schlosseri

                        Ayelet Voskoboynik


           8:45-9:15 am/11:45-12:15 pm

           Inspirations from Women Scientists for a Career studying Tunicates

           Billie J. Swalla


           9:15-9:30 am/12:15-12:30 pm

           Concluding remarks: Anna Di Gregorio


                       9:30 am/12:30 pm 

                       Informal Conversation

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