Plenary Speakers

Robert Cerny

Czech Republic

Robert Cerny is associate professor of zoology at the Charles University in Prague. Trained in morphology and experimental embryology in axolotl and lamprey fields, he has studied the evolution and development of vertebrate jaw, teeth, and mouth. More recently, his lab has worked on ancestral patterns of vertebrate embryogenesis in the context of the New vertebrate head.


Paola Oliveri

Italy & UK


Stephanie S.M.H. Höhn


Stephanie is a physico-biologist with an interest in the evolution and mechanics of multicellularity and tissue development. She has been exploring cell sheet folding and morphogenesis in the flagellated alga Volvox and its relatives and is currently working as a senior researcher at the Dept. of Applied Maths and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP), University of Cambridge, UK.


Chelsea D. Specht


Chelsea is fundamentally interested in the developmental processes that result in the evolution and diversification of form and function in plants. Her research incorporates elements of systematics, developmental genetics and molecular evolution to explore the patterns and processes that promote plant speciation and diversification. Members of her lab take advantage of living and preserved natural history collections to advance their research in plant systematics, biogeography, and developmental evolution in charismatic plant lineages such as Zingiberales (banana, ginger), Allium (onions), mariposa lilies (Calochortus), and cycads.