What future for orchids?

 General information

On behalf of L’Orchidée en France and the Scientific Committee in charge of the event, we are pleased to announce the organization of a scientific conference associated with the 18th European Orchid Council Conference and Exhibition, which will be held in Paris on March 23–25, 2018.

This international conference is deliberately oriented toward the future, in order to highlight cutting-edge orchid research and to predict developments in the immediate future. It is therefore entitled What future for orchids? The conference is open to everyone interested in orchids, including scientists, researchers, students, managers, professionals and hobbyists. Ensuring a secure future for orchids also requires the emergence of a new generation of researchers. We therefore especially welcome PhD students and post-docs, not only to present some of the talks but also to offer posters.

Conference organization and facilities

The conference will open on Friday 23rd March 2018 at 9.00 am and close on Sunday 25th March at 6.00 pm.

The EOC conference consists of two successive meetings. The first, on Friday will deal with a Master Class on New trends in orchid cultivation and the second, on Saturday and Sunday will be the scientific meeting.

A catering service will be available for lunch within the Paris Event Center area and a gala dinner will be held on Saturday evening. Lunches and dinners are not included in the registration fees.


Master Class New trends in orchid cultivation

Download the Master Class program

This Master Class will provide modern practice in orchid growing for both professionals and hobbyists. English and French languages will be accepted. Slides are recommended to be composed mostly in English when the talk is to be given in French or in French when the talk is to be given in English.

Scientific meeting

Download the conference program

The scientific meeting will include both oral communications and poster presentations. English is the single official language of the meeting. It is organized into four provisional sessions covering a wide range of topics :

– Conservation and restoration in a changing world – Keynote speaker: Tiiu Kull, Estonian University of  Life Sciences, Tartu (Estonia)

Global change and other human-induced pressures increasingly threaten attempts to conserve orchids, their genetic diversity, habitats and emergent niches – how can we best respond to these challenges?

Orchids in the era of genomics – Keynote speaker: Barbara Gravendee, University of Applied Sciences Leiden and Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden (Netherlands)

Knowledge of orchids has benefited greatly from new technologies that promote research areas such as proteomics, transcriptomics, genome sequencing and phylogenomics – what big pictures of orchid biology, ecology and evolution are now emerging?

Ecology of mutualism. – Keynote speaker: Marc-André Sélosse, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris (France)

Orchids have fascinating and vital interactions with soil fungi (mycorrhizae) and insects (pollination), ranging from mutualistic to cheating (parasitic) – how do these intimate relationships shape population dynamics and structure, adaptation and distribution?

Biotechnology and breeding – Keynote speaker: Hong-Hwa Chen, National Cheng Kong University, Tainan City (Taiwan)

Advances in molecular biology, genomics, and in vitro culture are together stimulating approaches to orchid breeding that allow better control of desired traits – can we predict future trends in the nature of cultivated orchids and the way we cultivate them?

Each session deals with both temperate and tropical species of orchids and will be opened by an invited keynote speaker, who will be followed by several contributed communications. Oral communications will take place in a conference room close to the exhibition, allowing attendees easy access to the orchid show. Contributors are invited to submit their communication for oral or poster presentation (see instructions below).


Download the list of posters

Posters will be presented during the complete duration of conference in the exhibition hall allowing also visitors to see them. Authors will be invited to present them at poster sessions, on Saturday afternoon (odd numbers) and on Sunday afternoon (even numbers). Authors of the three awarded posters will be offered a five-minute talk on Sunday afternoon.

To register as a congressist, please click here

After sending your request, you will receive a confirmation e-mail.

Keynote speakers

Tiiu KULL, PhD (1997, University of Tartu). Head of the Department of Botany in the Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences, professor since 2007. Main study areas are population biology of rare plant species, especially orchids. In addition to orchid population biology her research interests include reproductive biology and distribution of vascular plants and the biodiversity conservation. Prof. Kull has also participated in the compilation of the Flora of the Baltic Countries, Red Data books and the Atlas and Key-Books of Estonian plants. She has published more than 50 papers and three books, edited several publications, Orchid Biology: Reviews and Perspectives VIII, IX, X included. She is an editor of the Proceedings of Estonian Academy of Sciences and currently leader of several research projects, e.g.: (1) Non-additive impact of border-richness to biota (2) Moth pollinators in semi-natural grasslands (3) Establishment and management of long-term biodiversity experiments (4) Natue tourism impacts on natural communities. T.Kull has been active in several EU projects EU-wide monitoring methods and systems of surveillance for species and habitats of Community interest (EuMon), and European Platform for Biodiversity, An innovative tool for improving the competitiveness of community based tourism (Comcot), etc. In 2004 the team lead by her organized the 3rd international workshop on orchid biology and conservation in Haapsalu, Estonia. Prof. Kull has lead or co-lead Estonian Orchid Protection Club for more than 25 years.

Marc-André SELOSSE (born in Paris in 1968) is professor at Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (Paris), at University of Gdansk (Department of Plant Taxonomy and Nature Conservation, Poland) and invited professor at University of Viçosa (Brazil). He got his PhD (1998) and Habilitation (2002) at Université Paris-Orsay. His teams’ researches focus on the ecology and evolution of mycorrhizas, a major symbiosis between soil fungi and plants roots, with a focus on orchids’ mycorrhizal fungi and on the fungal taxa Sebacinales, Laccaria and Tuber (truffles). He published >130 research papers. His three teams in Poland, Brazil and France have an interest in fungal populations and communities, with a specific focus on mycorrhizal networks, and in orchid nutrition physiology, in both temperate and tropical ecosystems. He belongs to the researchers who discovered mixotrophy in orchids. President of the Société botanique de France since 2010 and member of the French Academy of Agriculture, he is editor of Symbiosis, New Phytologist and Botany Letters. He is very active in popular science and his many papers and outreach essays are freely available (Marc-Andre-SELOSSE home web page).

Barbara GRAVENDEEL, after obtaining a Ph.D. in orchid systematics at Leiden University, she gradually developed into an allround orchidologist, who helped dating the orchid family and discover the important role that tropical mountains play in the origin of orchid endemics. She currently holds a chair in Biodiversity at the Science and Technology Faculty of the University of Applied Sciences Leiden and Naturalis Biodiversity Center (The Netherlands), where she investigates orchid evolution together with undergraduate and doctorate students from all over the world. Her main research interest lies in unraveling the genetic basis of specialised orchid organs responsible for reproductive isolation and speciation.

Hong-Hwa CHEN, Professor at National Cheng Kung University for 23 years, she has transformed herself from a virologist into a researcher engaged in orchid basic research for the past two decades. She has been to France, United States, South Korea and mainland China for short-term study visit several times. So far, she has published 57 academic journal articles with high impact factor with 3060 times citations. In addition, she has published 114 Symposium Abstracts/articles, edited three special books, 14 book chapters, eight domestic and foreign patents, and two technology transfer. In addition, with her efforts and international cooperation, the whole genome sequencing of Phalaenopsis equestris has been completed and published in Nature Genetics in 2015. Her research has accumulated enough research energy to have outstanding contributions on the subsequent orchid research. In addition to basic research dedicated to orchids, Professor Chen also focuses on the matchmaking industry and academia, so that academic research energy can be applied to industry, to enhance the international competitiveness of orchid industry in Taiwan. She has founded “Orchid Biotechnology Industry-University Alliance” and “Orchid Research and Development Center” at NCKU, combining cross-cutting and the upper, middle and lower reaches of academia chain, establishing inter-institution alliances for capacity utilization to enhance orchid biotechnology. This is a positive active role for a university faculty and it is rare. It is recommended for her to be encouraged. She is eligible for the Outstanding Research Award of the Ministry of Science in 2015 year. Further recognition of her contribution in basic research as well as assistance in orchid industry has prompted her receiving the TECO Award in 2016.

Organising Committee

Daniel Prat

Research scientist in forest genetics after a Ph.D. in plant breeding and then professor at University of Lyon (France) where Daniel Prat is in charge of a training in plant breeding. Interested in orchids since a long time, Daniel Prat is regular member of the French Orchid Society (SFO), editor of some key books published by the association and involved in the management of the web site www.orchisauvage.fr where people can share orchid observations.

Richard Bateman

Having retired by accident from a diverse academic career at the age of 52, Richard Bateman is an independent research scientist who is presently Visiting Professor at the University of Reading, Honorary Research Fellow at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, and long-term President of the UK Hardy Orchid Society. Although his research interests are equally diverse, his largest body of work has used molecular and morphometric methods to explore the systematic biology, evolution and speciation of temperate orchids.

Alain Benoit

Doctor in medicine, specialist in radiology. Growing orchids for thirty-five years, he is in charge for the French Orchid Society (SFO) of tropical orchids and responsible for the SFO of a training in Orchid cultivation. In charge for the LOF of the relationship with orchid producers for the EOCCE.

Pascale Besse

After a Ph.D. at Cirad in Montpellier (France) and a postdoctoral position at CSIRO in Brisbane (Australia), Pascale Besse was appointed at the University of La Reunion in 1997 where she is now a professor in charge of a master’s degree in tropical biodiversity (Master BEE BEST-T) and of a research team in the mixed research unit between Cirad and the Reunion university UMR PVBMT (Peuplements Végétaux et Bioagresseurs en Milieu Tropical). Her research interests are currently focusing mainly on orchids from the Vanilla genus exploring molecular genetics of traits of interest as well as species evolution and population genetics towards preservation of wild genetic resources and breeding of improved varieties.”

Yves Henry

Working for private companies on wheat and barley breeding (1975-1988), Yves Henry has a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding (1983) and since 1988 he was group leader in developmental biology (director of research at the C.N.R.S., France, retired in 2012). He focusses all his present efforts on European orchids with particular attention to the genus Ophrys. He regularly publishes papers concerned with the transmission of knowledge and public education, popularizing orchid research (evolutionary radiation, flower, lusus, chloroplastic DNA, epigenetics, introgressions…).

Jana Jersakova

Jana Jersáková is an Assoc. Prof. at the Faculty of Science of University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic. She has a long-term experience in ecological aspects of life-strategies of terrestrial orchids, focusing particularly on factors affecting orchid distribution, such as dependence on specific mycorrhizal fungi and specialized pollinators. Currently, her research concentrates on techniques of isolation and cultivation of orchid mycorrhizal fungi and their use in restoration of orchid populations on reclaimed habitats.

Ray Ong

Specialist for orchid growing and propagation, Ray Ong has initiated and developed in vitro propagation of various orchid species.

Marc-André Selosse

Marc-André Selosse is professor at Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (Paris) and at University of Gdansk, and invited professor at University of Viçosa (Brazil). His researches focus on the ecology and evolution of mycorrhizas, a major symbiosis between soil fungi and plants roots, with a focus on orchids’ mycorrhizal fungi. His teams have an interest in fungal populations and communities, and in plant nutrition physiology, in both temperate and tropical ecosystems. President of the Société Botanique de France since 2010 and member of the French Academy of Agriculture and of the French Orchid Society (SFO), he is editor of Symbiosis, New Phytologist and Botany Letters. He is very active in popular science and editor of the French popular science journal Espèces.

Tariq Stevaert

Botanist from the Missouri Botanical Gardens, his research activity concerns mostly tropical orchids in Africa, in order to describe, discover their biological features and protect them.