Five computational evolution meetings in a row with just one female speaker

28 Nov

Annoyed by the announcement of yet another mostly male meeting, and inspired by Jonathan Eisen’s recent posts about male-biased meetings, I decided to look at the series of meetings in France on Mathematical and Computational Evolutionary Biology of which the recently announced meeting is a part. Mathematical and computational evolutionary biology is exactly my field and the meetings take place in lovely places in the south of France, so initially, I was interested. But then I looked at the lists of invited speakers and found that in the last five instances of the meeting, there was exactly one female speaker each year. Wow. How sad!

Here are a few suggestions for the organizers to invite more women. This list is obviously far from complete, just women PIs who I happen to know and who came to my mind immediately: Sally Otto, Katia Koelle, Hanna Kokko, Doris Bachtrog, Katrina Lythgoe, Emilia Huerta, Sarah Cobey, Melissa Wilson-Sayres, Joanna Masel, Anna-Sophie Fiston-Lavier, Mercedes Pascual, Pardis Sabeti, Kate Hertweck, Amy Williams, Sohini Ramachandran, Angela McLean, Lindi Wahl, Maria Servidio, Hua Tang, Sally Blower. This list doesn’t include the many female postdocs in the field. Also doesn’t include the women who were invited by the MCEB organizers.

[Also Florence Débarre, Deborah Charlesworth, Maria Orive, Paulien Hogeweg, Charlotte Hemelrijk.]

Anyways, here are the data:

MCEB 2015 1 woman, 6 men (14%)

[Note added: the announcement says that this list is preliminary]

David Bryant (University of Otago, NZ)
Jukka Corander (Bayesian Statistics Group, University of Helsinki, FI)
Asger Hobolth (Bioinformatics Research Center (BiRC), Aarhus University, DK)
Philippe Lemey (Rega Institute, Clinical and Epidemiological Virology, BE)
Bernard Moret (Laboratory for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, EPFL, CH)
Ludovic Orlando (Center for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, DK)
Molly Przeworski (Columbia University, New york, USA)

MCEB 2014 1 woman, 7 men (13%)

Rampal Etienne (University of Groningen, NL)
Daniel Huson (Center for Bioinformatics (ZBIT), Department of Computer Science, Tuebingen University, DE)
Nicolas Lartillot (Laboratoire de Biologie et Biométrie Évolutive, Lyon, FR)
Arne Mooers (Simon Fraser University, CA)
Hélène Morlon (Ecole polytechnique, FR)
Rasmus Nielsen (University of California, Berkeley, US)
Adam Siepel (University of California, Santa Cruz, US)
Mike Steel (University of Canterbury, NZ)

MCEB 2013 1 woman, 9 men (10%)

Sebastian Bonhoeffer (ETH Zürich, CH).
Bastien Boussau (University of California, Berkeley, US).
Alexei Drummond (University of Auckland, NZ).
Ian Holmes (University of California, Berkeley, US).
Steven Kelk (Maastricht University, NL).
Darren Martin (University of Cape Town, SA).
Erick Matsen (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, US).
Tanja Stadler (ETH Zürich, CH).
Niko Beerenwinkel (ETH Zürich, CH).
Gil McVean (University of Oxford, UK).

MCEB 2012 1 woman, 10 men (9%)

Cécile Ané (University of Wisconsin, US).
Michael Blum (CNRS – TIMC, FR).
Oliver Eulenstein (Iowa State University, US).
Arnaud Estoup (INRA – CBGP, FR).
Asger Hobolth (Aarhus University, DK).
Vincent Moulton (University of East Anglia, UK).
Noah Rosenberg (University of Michigan, US).
Alexandros Stamatakis (Heidelberg, DE).
Mike Steel (University of Canterbury, NZ).
Edward Susko (Dalhousie University, CA).
Asger Hobolth (Aarhus University, DK).

(2010 meeting link is broken)

2008 1 woman, 15 men (6%)

Elisabeth Allman: University of Alaska, US.
Vincent Berry: CNRS, FR.
David Bryant: University of Auckland, NZ.
Frantz Depaulis: CNRS, FR.
Laurent Duret: CNRS, FR.
Nicolas Galtier: CNRS, FR.
Olivier Gascuel: CNRS, FR, chair.
Junhyong Kim: University of Pennsylvania, US.
Mike Hendy: Massey University, NZ.
Daniel Huson: University of Tübingen, DE.
Vincent Moulton: University of East Anglia, UK.
David Posada: Universidad de Vigo, ES.
Allen Rodrigo: University of Auckland, NZ, co-chair.
Noah Rosenberg: University of Michigan, US.
Charles Semple: University of Canterbury, NZ.
Mike Steel: University of Canterbury, NZ.

2005 3 women, 12 men (20%)

Walter FITCH, University of California at Irvine, USA.
Anne BERGERON, Université du Québec, Montréal, Canada.
David BRYANT, Mc Gill University, Montréal, Canada.
Nicolas GALTIER, CNRS-Université Montpellier II, France.
Ziheng YANG, University College London, UK.
Susan HOLMES, Stanford University, USA.
Mark PAGEL, University of Reading, UK.
David SANKOFF, Université de Montréal, Canada.
Li-San WANG, Austin University, USA.
Nadia EL-MABROUK, Université de Montréal.
Bernard MORET, University of New Mexico, USA.
Mike HENDY, Massey University, New-Zealand.
Vincent MOULTON, The Linnaeus Centre for Bioinformatics, Uppsala University .
Mike STEEL, University of Canterbury, New-Zealand.

2003 4 women, 17 men (19%)

Hugues Roest Crollius, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris
Laurent Excoffier, University of Bern
Allen Rodrigo, University of Auckland
Joe Felsenstein, University of Washington
Rose Hoberman, Carnegie Mellon University
Matthew Spencer, Dalhousie University
Nicolas Salamin, University of Washington
Elizabeth Allman, University of Southern Maine
Vincent Daubin, Université de Lyon
Mike Steel, University of Christchurch
Carolin Kosiol, European Bioinformatics Institute
Vivek Gowri-Shankar, University of Manchester
Emmanuel Douzery, Université de Montpellier
Arne Mooers, Simon Fraser University
Bret Larget, University of Wisconsin
Dan Gusfield, University of California Davis
Cecile Ané, University of Wisconsin
Michaël Blum, Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique, Grenoble
Eric Bapteste, Dalhousie University
Charles Semple, University of Christchurch
Daniel Huson, University of Tuebingen


2 Responses to “Five computational evolution meetings in a row with just one female speaker”

  1. Maricela Prado November 29, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

    I propose that Dr. Pleuni re-create the MCEB-Future!!! Women should be involved and not for diversity but for their brilliant and great work and success and unmeasurable efforts… Looking at the trend of MCEB meetings, I can’t help to wonder…Was it a computer flaw? Or a mistake on the theme? Was it gender specific? Lets have a MCEB-related to the topic, work field and discovery!!!


  1. More women at French mathematical biology conference this year (200% increase) | Being A Better Scientist - January 24, 2017

    […] years ago, I was annoyed about a conference (Mathematical and Computation Evolutionary Biology Meeting) on an island near […]

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