COS Symposium 2024

Life in Context:

Organismal sensing and adaptation in the natural environment

The Centre for Organismal Studies (COS) at Heidelberg University is hosting its biennial symposium ‘Life in Context – organismal sensing and adaptation in the natural environment’. Life has a prodigious ability to adapt. Organisms interact with their environment at levels from molecules to cells, tissues, and behaviour and over time scales from milliseconds to years. Consequently, organisms are not just defined by their genomes, but equally by their environment. The symposium will bring together speakers who investigate the impact of the environment on organisms and how they adapt to it, from the genomic, cell-biological, developmental, behavioural and evolutionary perspectives. Topics include environmental sensing, inter-organismal interactions, and adaptation across scales. The symposium will also introduce new experimental systems for integrative biology and cover organismal responses in the context of anthropogenic environmental change. The COS welcomes all interested to attend the symposium in Heidelberg on 22nd-23rd of July 2024. 

Program download

July 22-23, 2024

Venue: Ludwig von Bertalanffy Lecture hall
Centre for Organismal Studies – Heidelberg University
Im Neuenheimer Feld 230


Registration and Contribution


Free Registration


Master, PhD and postdoctoral researchers are encouraged to submit an abstract to present their research. Poster presentations will be selected by their scientific excellence.

Submissions should include a list of authors and their institutes. Abstracts should contain a brief description of background, experimental question, methods and/or a summary of the main findings. Abstracts should be submitted online as single-spaced text. The main body of the abstract should not exceed 350 words.
Abstract submission is not mandatory but if registrations exceed the number of available spaces, preference will be given to applicants who have submitted an abstract.

A0 size, vertical posters. Further details will be provided to accepted applicants by email.


  • Kasper van Gelderen
  • Gáspár Jékely
  • Kevin Urbansky 
  • Angelika Wunderlich

For contact details see the red contacts tab to the right. 

Image credits: Sanja Jasek, Kelp and Diatom illustrrations: Jane Thomas, Tracey Saxby (CC-BY-SA 4.0)