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EMBO Workshop

Establishing state-of-the-art mollusc genomics

28 – 31 May 2024 | Namur, Belgium

  • Registration Deadline
  • 15 December 2023
  • Abstract Submission Deadline
  • 15 December 2023
  • Chosen Participants Will Be Notified By
  • 31 January 2023
  • Payment Deadline
  • 31 March 2023

Apply now!

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About the Workshop

Workshop illustration

Molluscs, the second largest animal phylum after arthropods, are a fascinatingly diverse group. With an evolutionary history spanning more than 500 million years, their >90,000 extant species include some of the most behaviourally complex animals (e.g. octopus), classic evolutionary models (e.g. Cepaea colour polymorphism), worm-like deep sea species (Aplacophora), and economically damaging invasives (e.g. zebra mussels). Genome-wide comparisons within and among these groups are essential to understanding adaptive divergence, species decline, taxonomy, and more.

Despite this, genome sequencing lags behind other taxa. This is in part due to longstanding technological challenges, from high-quality DNA extraction to assembling genomes that may be highly heterozygous or repeat-rich. Some researchers are finding ways to overcome these challenges, yielding new methods and exciting results. This means that now is the perfect time to come together to share successful work, discuss remaining challenges, establish a network for collaborative work, and advance sequencing methods for everyone.

This hybrid workshop will bring together researchers from diverse fields of study who use whole-genome sequencing of molluscs. We invite presentations to share work that is completed, ongoing, or even hindered by the challenges mentioned above. This will create an opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences, learn more about state-of-the-art methodology, and build collaborative networks for the future. We especially encourage presentations from students and early career researchers.

Please note: In-person attendance is limited to 50 people. If registration exceeds this number, participants will be chosen based on how well their submitted abstracts (talks or posters) match the topic, and to maximize both gender and geographical representation. There is no limit to the number of people who can attend virtually (at a drastically reduced price).

Header image credit: Kara Layton
Small image credit: Alice Dennis

About EMBO Courses and Workshops

EMBO Courses and Workshops are selected for their excellent scientific quality and timelines, provision of good networking activities for all participants and speaker gender diversity (at least 40% of speakers must be from the underrepresented gender).

Organisers are encouraged to implement measures to make the meeting environmentally more sustainable.







  • Registration Deadline
  • 15 December 2023
  • Abstract Submission Deadline
  • 15 December 2023
  • Chosen Participants Will Be Notified By
  • 31 January 2023
  • Payment Deadline
  • 31 March 2023



Registration includes:

  • All lunches and coffee breaks throughout the conference
  • Conference dinner and excursion on the last day

Accommodation is not included.

Registration cost for virtual attendees will be used for extra staff who will manage the streaming and ensure questions and discussions from virtual participants are included.


Payment will be made through the University of Namur’s payment portal. Because space is limited, we will send these details to attendees who are accepted. This information will come by the end of January, with a payment deadline in the end of March.

Selection criteria

Participants will be chosen based on the content of their scientific abstract, and thus we will give preference to participants with a contributed talk or poster. We especially encourage early career and under-represented participants. Selections will be made to be inclusive of all ages, genders, and geographic regions.

Abstract guidelines

Please include a (maximum) 300-word scientific abstract, and indicate whether you would prefer an oral or poster presentation. Abstracts will be selected based on suitability for the workshop, so be sure to include how your work is linked to genomics.

Poster specifications

A0 posters in portrait format

Travel grants and registration fee waivers

Travel grants and registration fee waivers are available for participants.

Selection of awardees is handled directly by the organizers. EMBO travel grants and registration fee waivers are allocated on the basis of the quality of the submitted abstract.

Applicants do not need to apply separately for these but should indicate on the registration form if they wish to be considered.

Additional travel grants are available for EMBC Associate Member States Chile, India, Singapore and Taiwan.

Special travel grants and registration fee waivers

A limited number of travel grants and registration fee waivers are availablefor scientists working in Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovenia and Turkey. Grants are allocated on the basis of the quality of the submitted abstract.

A maximum of 700 Euros per participant are available to cover registration fees, travel, and accommodation (no additional subsistence costs can be covered). To apply, please indicate the itemized amount requested in the travel grants section of the registration form.

Child care grants

EMBO Courses and Workshops offers grants to offset additional childcare costs incurred by participants or speakers when participating at any EMBO Courses and Workshop funded meeting. Eligible costs include fees for a caregiver or child-care facility, travel costs for a caregiver, or travel costs for taking the child to the meeting etc. Please indicate on the registration form whether you would like to be considered for the grant. Please also describe how you intend to use the childcare grant and specify the sum that you will need.

Sustainability measures at your meeting

We strongly encourage participants to travel by train when possible. Belgium has excellent connections to cities throughout Europe and it is only a short walk to the conference from the Namur train station. Participants arriving by public transportation will be eligible for a special raffle (please save your ticket for this!).

Once you are here, there is no need for a car, as everything is within walking distance.

Catering at the meeting will mainly be vegetarian.

Code of conduct

Anti-harassment and non-discrimination policy

At EMBO, we believe that harassment and discriminatory behaviour are unacceptable in any setting. EMBO's code of conduct is applicable for all participants of this EMBO meeting and can be found here.



Alice Dennis

Phone: +32 81 72 44 14




Most events will take place at “Quai 22”, a cultural space and auditorium at the University of Namur (#26E on the campus map).

Rue du Séminaire, 22
5000 Namur


Recommended hotels:

1. Hôtel des Tanneurs can offer the following prices for the conference:

  • 2 Small standard rooms for €70/night (“petite standard”)
  • 6 standard rooms for 85€/night (“standard”)
  • 7 superior rooms for 110€/night (“supérieure”)
  • 7 luxury rooms for 130€/night (“petite luxe”)
  • 7 suite rooms for 150€/night (“grand luxe”)
  • 4 studios for 150€/night (“studio”)

All rooms include breakfast. A tax of 1.30€/person/night still applies.

To reserve one of these rooms, please send an email to and mention the code UNAM0524 to benefit from the reduction.

2. B&B Hotel. This newly opened hotel in Namur includes rooms with bunk beds, for those who might be traveling in groups or with families.

3. The Royal Snail. This is a small hotel on the river. It is a slightly longer walk to the venue, but must be included because of its name.

More detailed information on hotels will be updated here in the future.


By train to UNamur
Access to Namur by rail is excellent. On weekdays, trains run twice an hour to/from Brussels, Luxembourg, Liège and Charleroi. From Brussels, you can connect to direct, fast trains to many European cities, including Paris, Amsterdam, Marseille, Frankfurt, Lyon, Rennes, Cologne, and Lille. Overnight trains run several times/week to connect Berlin and Vienna. Please note in your planning that if you arrive on the Sunday the train times will be different from during the week.

By plane to UNamur
Brussels National Airport (Zaventem) offers easy access to Namur thanks to a direct train line to Namur every hour. Brussels-South Airport (Note: in Charleroi, not Brussels) enables you to reach Namur via a bus to Charleroi station, then a train to Namur. If you are coming from farther away, you might find that there are good air-train combinations, which allow you to fly into Amsterdam or Paris, and then connect to the train to Belgium on a single ticket (offered by KLM and other airlines).

By car to UNamur
Namur is at the crossroads of the E411 (Brussels-Luxembourg) and E42 (Liège-Mons) motorways. The UNamur visitor car park is located Rue Henri Lemaître (#48 on the campus map: You need to display an authorization sticker (this must be requested a minimum of 2 months in advance of the conference. Contact the organizers for more information).

From Namur train station to UNamur
To reach the University from the station, you can either walk 10 minutes (see the campus map) or take a taxi (available at the station).

More information can be found here.

About the Area

Namur is in the heart of Wallonia, which has many interesting sites to visit, from hiking to historical sites.

Molecular Systems Biology