13th EOU Congress 2022

Giessen, Germany
March, 15, 2022

Phenotypic variation symposium

photo: Pablo Capilla-Lasheras

Causes and consequences of phenotypic variation in anthropogenic environments

Online symposium, 14th March

10am (UTC -4) Montréal / 2pm (UTC +0) London / 3pm (UTC +1) Amsterdam


Conveners: Pablo Capilla-Lasheras1, Megan Thompson2 and Pablo Salmón3


1University of Glasgow, UK

2Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionelle et Evolutive, CEFE, CNRS-UMR, France & Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada

3University of Basque Country, Spain


In the last century, human activity has changed the world at an unprecedented pace and its influence is virtually present in every ecosystem. Bird species living in anthropogenic environments face the novel challenge of coping with ecological conditions that their evolutionary history did not prepare them for. Despite significant effort made to understand the overall response of birds to anthropogenic stressors, the causes and consequences of individual variation in these responses are not fully understood. For example, recent studies evidence a higher degree of phenotypic variation for certain traits in populations dwelling in anthropogenic environments in comparison with those in more natural environments. What are the causes and implications of this increase in phenotypic variation? Answering this and other related questions will require to study the response to anthropogenic disturbances at the individual level. However, challenging, investigating individual variation in the context of adaptation to anthropogenic stressors will shed new light on the mechanisms underpinning evolutionary responses to current environmental change and the resilience of avian populations in the “Anthropocene”.


The aim of this symposium is to highlight the importance of anthropogenic environments in shaping individual variation and the potential role of individual variation in promoting adaptation to these novel environments, including contributions from a broad range of biological processes to provide an integrative overview of the field, with emphasis on novel avenues of research and collaboration. We further aim to highlight the eco-evolutionary importance of the study of variation (not only mean trait values) and to promote collaboration between several European teams working on the effects of anthropogenic stressors in avian systems. This symposium would be well-timed to encourage sharing of knowledge and to foster new collaborations, which is crucial given the global significance of human-driven ecological change.


Symposium registration

Everyone is welcome to this symposium. If you are attending, please, register for the symposium here:


With thanks to our local partners

Sponsor / Exhibition