Registration and Abstract Submission

Please REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE before submitting an abstract

Registration is FREE for BPS members and closes on Tuesday 15 December 2020 

UPLOAD AN ABSTRACT for an oral/ poster presentation using the formatting in the example abstract template (MS Word document). 

The closing date for abstract submission is Friday 13 November 2020

Student prizes


Students are invited to compete for

  • The £250 Manton Prize, in honour of Irène Manton (1904-1988)  awarded for the best oral paper by a postgraduate student. 

  • The British Phycological Society Student Poster Prize of £150 for the best poster by a postgraduate or undergraduate student.

Presentations competing for the prize will take place in the Student Showcase on 4 January 2020. You can indicate your intention to enter into one of these competitions in the abstract submission form. 

Both events are assessed by a panel of BPS members from across the entire field of phycology for both science and style. The Irene Manton Prize is assessed by the criteria below:

1. Scientific concept: introduction to the subject of the talk; gaps in knowledge; aims of the investigation.
2. Scientific content: practical approach taken and results obtained.
3. Discussion of results and justification of conclusions arising.
4. Style of oral presentation: clarity, speed of delivery, engagement with audience.
5. Visual presentation: use of visual aids; clarity of presentational style.
6. Timing of oral delivery: high importance given to keeping within the allotted time.
7. Responses to questions arising.

Abstract submission guidelines

Use the same abstract structure and submission procedure for a oral and poster presentations (preferences can be selected within the system). The abstract should preferably be submitted as a word document (or pdf) using the example template as a guide for formatting. 


  • Title: 12 words maximum

  • Abstract: 350 words maximum


Abstracts can be submitted to a General Phycology Special session, or to ONE of four special sessions described below.

A maximum of ONE abstract submission per lead author is permitted.

Special sessions

Special session 1: Applied Phycology

Session Chair:

  • Ellis O'Neil (University of Nottingham)


Invited Speakers:

  • Prof Rob Field (Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, The

                                       University of Manchester, UK): Sugars, natural products and

                                       harmful algal blooms on the Norfolk Broads

  • Prof Alison Smith (Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, UK) : Coming into the light - from synthetic biology in the lab to growing transgenic algae at scale in the Algal Innovation Centre


The industrial importance of algae is increasingly recognising, from growth as a food source and sustainable biofactories, to disruption of marine resources. Algae are being explored for the production of novel materials, as food supplements and for the environmentally friendly production of chemicals. Live algae are being used to treat waste water and in bioremediation, whilst algal extracts are used as food ingredients and in healthcare. New technologies can be used to increase productivity or to prevent formation of harmful algal blooms (HABs). Genetic engineering of algal species has allowed the introduction of new traits and the production of valuable chemicals, and the diversity of potentially useful algal species presents new opportunities. This session will explore all aspects of applied phycology, ranging from cyanobacteria, to microalgae and seaweeds. We invite contributions on the exploitation of algae, including biotechnology, genetic modification and harmful algal blooms, from lab research to industrial scale and including new tools and novel applications.

Special session 2: Phycology in palaeoenvironmental research: insights into the past


Session Chairs:

  • Claire Allen (British Antarctic Survey, UK)

  • Heather Moorhouse (Lancaster University, UK)

  • Savannah Worne (British Geological Survey, UK)

  • George Swann (University of Nottingham, UK)


Invited Speakers:

  • Prof Jasmine Saros (University of Maine, USA): Refining  

                            paleoclimate inferences by coupling algal ecology with lake

      sediment records

  • Dr Matthew Waters (Auburn University, USA): Ancient HABs:

       Comparing historic and modern cyanobacteria dynamics in the

       tropics and subtropics over the last 5000 years

  • Dr Marianne Ellegaard (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) & Dr Sofia Ribeiro (Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenalnd, Denmark): Multiproxy marine sedimentary records of climate and environmental research: protist resurrection, microfossils and DNA

Sediment records across the globe contain an unparalleled archive of the Earth’s system response to different past climate and environmental states. A wide range of sediment proxies can be are used to understand the impact of natural and anthropogenic forcings in different environmental settings, yielding unique information on topics ranging from water management and landscape evolution to carbon storage and ocean dynamics. Central to this research are analyses of the biological and chemical remains of algae preserved in lake and marine sediments. Through an understanding of the modern phycological processes of these algae, palaeolimnological and palaeoceanographic studies can provide quantitative and qualitative information on the evolution of the Earth system through geological time to the modern day. This session welcomes contributions that demonstrate the wealth of environmental data that can be reconstructed using algal fossils and chemical signatures in aquatic systems, from equatorial to polar regions. Submissions are welcome that consider time intervals ranging from the Anthropocene to deep geological time, as well as established and novel analytical methods that range from taxonomic assemblage analyses through to algal biomarkers, pigments, DNA and other techniques.

Special session 3: Algae in the cold

Session Chairs:

  • Chris Williamson (University of Bristol, UK)

  • Anne Jungblut (Natural History Museum, UK)


Invited speakers:

  • Prof Thomas Mock (University of East Anglia): Sequence-led

          research with polar diatoms: from single species to complex

          microbiomes under conditions of environmental change

  • Prof Rachael Morgan-Kiss (Miami University, Oxford, Ohio)  

Permanently cold ecosystems are one of the last unexplored frontiers of our world, with the organisms that thrive in these extreme habitats poorly understood. Algae are often dominant primary producer, drive food webs and support establishment of ecosystems in marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments, and thus contributing to biodiversity and productivity, and undertaking globally significant cycling of carbon and nutrient resources. The aim of this session is to encourage discussion across the vast diversity of algae and the methodological approaches applied to improve our understanding on their diversity and ecology in permanently cold environments. This may include studies on the identification of new species, evolution, biogeography, biological and mineral interactions, environmental drivers of community assemblages, responses/interactions-with environmental change, cold adaptation, and natural product discovery. The session invites contribution of studies on all taxonomic groups of algae ranging from cyanobacteria, and microalgae to seaweeds in permanently cold freshwater, marine, ice and terrestrial environments across the three Poles of Arctic, Antarctica and alpine environments. We also invite contributions on experimental and applied research on psychrotolerant and psychrophilic algae.

Special session 4: Protist parasites of microalgae (Protistology UK- BPS joint session)
Session Chairs:
Jackie Parry (Lancaster University, UK)
Dave Bass (Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, UK) 

Invited speakers:

  • Dr Claire Gachon (Scottish Association for Marine Science, UK)

  • Dr Sigrid Neuhauser (University of Innsbruck, Austria)

  • Dr Aurelie Chambouvet (Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer, France)

  • Dr Sebastian Hess (University of Cologne, Germany)

Parasites are significant components of aquatic ecosystems and play a role in shaping food web structure, facilitating energy transfer, and controlling disease. In freshwater environments, zoosporic fungi (Chytridomycota) and fungi-like organisms (including oomycetes, labyrinthulids, thraustochytrids and phagomyxids) are well known parasites of microalgae. However, far less is known about the other eukaryotic parasites such as filose amoebae (e.g. Vamparellids, Phytomyxids) and alveolates (e.g. Sindinids). This session addresses current knowledge on these protist parasites and stresses the importance of understanding their abundance, evolution and biodiversity in order to fully appreciate their role in microalgal population dynamics in aquatic systems.

Ciliates; Protistology UK

Sediment coring; James Shilland

Euglena; Ellis O'Neil

Glacier algae bloom on Greenland Ice Sheet;

Chris Williamson

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