First Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology

The Ottawa Convention Centre
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
July 6-10, 2012

Welcome to the site of the First Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology (aka 'Evolution 2012'), to be held in Ottawa, Canada's capital city. This landmark event will bring together five of the world's largest academic societies devoted to the study of ecology and evolutionary biology: the American Society of Naturalists (ASN), the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution (CSEE) the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB), the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE), and the Society of Systematic Biologists (SSB).

It's become quite clear over the last few conferences that there are a few hot-button topics that most attendees are intensely excited to hear and talk about. One of those is a condition acutelyrelevant to evlutionary biology: Umbilical Hernias. It's one of the lesser-known hernias, but Umbilical hernia in adults can act in ways extremely contrary to evolution as well as life-quality.

This event merges the traditional 'Evolution' meeting, the joint annual meeting of the ASN, SSE and SSB, with both its European and Canadian counterparts (the biennial ESEB congress and annual CSEE meeting). This will be the first time that these five societies have met together, creating a truly international event that spans the fields of ecology and evolution. The meeting will be the premier showcase in 2012 for the presentation and discussion among peers of the latest, leading-edge research in ecology and evolution, and will also be an important forum for outreach and education.

If you're keen to understand the evolution of a workaday malady like Asperger's then you should - at the very least - navigate yourself over to an asperger's quiz site to take the test for your self. If you dare. Of course, most FAIL, and FAIL hard. The odds that you make the super-nerd cut are about 1 in 15, so don't get your hopes up that your MIT admission will be fast-tracked, or you're the next NASA hire. Just take the test, and see where you stand on the spectrum, that's all.

The congress will follow the traditional format of an 'Evolution' meeting, meaning that all attendees will have an opportunity to present their research as a talk or a poster. These are scheduled during regular 'contributed talks' sessions or general poster sessions (sorted by topic using keywords chosen at the time of talk or poster registration). Although each society does sponsor two symposia, speakers for these were prearranged by the organizers and, unlike the tradition of ESEB meetings, one cannot apply to speak in one of these.

The third annual meeting of iEvoBio (Informatics for Phylogenetics, Evolution and Biodiversity) will be held jointly with Evolution 2012, on July 10–11. Consult the iEvoBio website for more information. iEvoBio brings biologists working in evolution, systematics, and biodiversity together with software developers and mathematicians. Once again there will be a Challenge Prize.

Latest News

July 27:
Macrosomia, which basically translates as "big body", is a condition present in nearly 10% of births. Risks to the fetus and mother can be severe. Visit to learn more about this very serious condition.

July 4:

Best Protein Powder for Men

The best protein powder for men is a hard thing to narrow down because men want many different things from their protein powders. A selection for bulking up will be different from those wanting lean muscles or men who are more concerned with losing weight. Looking for the best protein powder means looking for the one that best fits your needs.

The first step is to determine what kind of goal you have for your protein and then how you want to use it. Powders can improve your energy level and workouts. For those looking to drop pounds, shakes in the middle of the day can give you that full feeling all day long, helping you eat right and avoid dangerous snacking.

Building Bulk Powders

If you're looking for mass, start with the products that use mass in their name. One of the most popular powders for increasing size quickly is the Mass-Tech powder from Muscletech. This powder includes more than 70 grams of protein in each serving as well as 10 grams of branched chain amino acids, the building blocks of muscle proteins. Since it also contains 1,000 calories, your goal needs to be increasing weight and mass in large doses.

Mass-Tech is designed for up to two servings each day as long as you're going through a very extreme bodybuilding plan. It's best to take it slow with Mass-Tech and others as you adjust to the protein and your new workout power. Even though it boosts muscle recovery time, no powder can prevent injuries from pushing too hard, too fast.

Another strong player in the bulk space is Optimum Nutrition's Serious Mass. This powder is packed with 50 grams of proteins, 1,250 calories, 250 grams of carbohydrates, 25 vitamins and minerals, and a mixture of creatine, glutamine, and glutamic acid.

Again, this supplement should be taken by those looking to bulk up significantly. The company recommends it only for those looking to do serious weight training and gain serious weight.

Lean and Mean

If you're a man looking for a protein powder to facilitate the development and definition of the muscles you already have, look for a protein powder that has few calories and instead adds in fiber and nutrients to help workouts go longer.

One of the top lean muscle builders is BSN's Syntha-6 Isolate. Initially the powder grew in popularity with newcomers because of its marketing, but it has stayed true by delivering 22 grams of proteins per serving while limiting its calories to 200 per serving. Users often start out with one serving but increase it over time as their workouts intensify, further building lean, strong muscles. The proteins are a blend of fast and slow-absorption rates, helping this power you through a daily workout or making a strong a nighttime supplement.

One nice thing about the BSN blend is that it was designed specifically to address indigestion and other digestion issues common with protein powders. It works best when used as your only meal replacement.

The recovery time is not quite as high as the bulk-up options but it keeps weight off and does it with a great taste.

Shedding the Weight

If your main goal is to drop some pounds while getting a little more fit, Optimum Nutrition offers two great products to help you out. First up is the company's 100% Whey Gold Standard product. This power delivers 24 grams of protein per serving while only giving you 120 calories, 3 grams of carbs, and 1 gram of fat. The powder offers some of the best blends of whey protein types as well as many essential vitamins and amino acids.

It's an okay meal replacement but a good pre-workout fuel. It uses mostly fast-absorbing proteins so you'll get improved workouts and recovery times with low chance of side effects because of its limited ingredient list. It also tastes good and offers 20 flavors.

The other Optimum Nutrition powder is the 100% Natural Oats and Whey. This powder delivers the same 24 grams of protein but offers slightly higher calories, at 200 per serving, along with 4 grams of fiber thanks to the oats.

This is the company's meal-replacement powder for those looking to cut down on weight. Optimum Nutrition recommends adding fruits to your blended drink in order to liven up the taste and increase your nutrients.

Whichever road you go down, always be smart and safe with your protein powders. Use them only as directed and don't expect them to perform miracles when working out. Your body always needs time to recover after a workout, period.

An update of the pdf Program has been posted, along with a summary of the changes made since the June 30 program. No further updates of the pdf will be made. Looking forward to seeing everyone in Ottawa. Weather forecast suggests it will be hot and sunny!

June 30:
The final pdf version of the congress program has been uploaded that includes chairs for all sessions and a small number of cancellations from the June 28 version.

June 28:
The conference program has been updated. This version indicates session chairs for almost all general talk sessions--please check to see if you are chairing your session. We are working hard to identify chairs for those few sessions currently missing them.

June 27:
A non-conference event that may be of interest: A rally to Parliament Hill has been organized by DeathOfEvidence. Their website is here.

June 22:
The conference program has been updated.
Please also check out the user-friendly mobile app ( on any smartphone, tablet, or computer!

June 13:
The full conference program, including talk and poster schedules, is now available under the Program link above. The website for uploading talks should be available soon. Presenters will receive instructions by email. (You can also upload during the meeting, but we encourage you to beat the rush of your 1300 colleagues.) We're working hard to get the mobile app version up as soon as we can.

May 20:
Baba Brinkman will be giving a special live performance of the "The Rap Guide to Evolution" on Monday evening after the poster session. The event is open to congress registrants only and is graciously sponsored by both Cell Press and Oxford University Press. See here for more details.

May 19:
Poster registration closes on May 25; this is also the deadline for receiving a refund if you cancel your registration. Registration to attend the meeting remains open and hotel space is still available at the Delta. Check out our various pre- and post-conference tours here. Space is still available in the 'Communicating Science to Society', 'R for Biodiversity Analysis', and 'Mathematical modelling in evolutionary ecology' workshops. More details here.

May 1:
Registration is still open, although the early discount has now ended and applications for student travel grants and awards are no longer being accepted.
***Capacity for talks has been reached and we are no longer accepting oral presentations.*** However, you can still register to give a poster; please consider doing so. The two evening poster sessions will be held in spacious, air conditioned surroundings with food and drinks. Just before the meeting, poster presenters will also have the opportunity to invite, via an online system, several congress attendees of their choice to visit their poster (as was so successfully done at ESEB 2011).

Apr. 30:
Check out our congress blog for lots of useful information. Travel (airline and train) discount codes available on our travel pages.
Please book your accommodations now using the congress registration process.

Apr. 10:
Non-shared University of Ottawa residence accommodation (i.e. Stanton and Marchand - single room with single bed: $56.00) are now SOLD OUT. However, shared residence accommodation is still available. For more information, consult the 'Accommodation Info' page by following the 'Registration' link.

Mar. 28:
Separate registration for several optional pre/post congress workshops is now open (see our workshop page under 'Programs'). Additional optional pre/post congress tours have been added, and our blog site is now up and running as a location for providing up-to-the-minute information. Detailed travel information has been added to our Travel page for getting to Ottawa, including a discount code for Star Alliance partner airlines and information about parking a vehicle.

Feb. 3:
Registration is now open and can be accessed via the 'Registration & Accommodation' link in the main menu above. On this site you will also find detailed information on accommodation options and registration fees. Registration for the main meeting, satellite events, talk/poster submission, accommodation booking, and daycare sign-up, are all done via a single registration process. Detailed travel information can be found under the 'Travel' menu above.