July 18, 2022 (Casino Center for Urban Culture, Central Park)

9:00am - 10:15am Registration, Coffee & Mingling


10:15am - 10:45am WELCOME Stuart Halse, President of the SIBIOS & The Organizers


10:45am - 1:10pm SESSION I Moderator: Martina Pavlek


10:45am - 11:30am KEY LECTURE: Helena Bilandžija The role of phenotypic plasticity in the evolution of cave-dwelling animals

11:30am – 11:50am R Manenti, G Scarì, B Barzaghi, S Mercurio, S Sherpa, A Melotto, R Pennati, G Ficetola Caves as evolutionary dead end? The journey of the stygobiont isopod Monolistra pavani toward sunlight 

11:50am – 12:10pm W Jeffery Environmental Hypoxia is a Driver of Sonic Hedgehog-dependent Troglomorphic Evolution in Astyanax Cavefish

12:10pm – 12:30pm J Bedek, H Bilandžija Proasellus thrive in the dark – plasticity enabling cave colonisation?

12:30pm – 12:50pm T Hesselberg The biomimetics potential of cave-dwelling animals

12:50pm – 1:10pm E Lunghi, S Mammola, A Martinez, T Hesselberg Convergent behaviours in subterranean species


1:10pm – 2:30 pm LUNCH provided on site


2:30pm - 4:15pm SESSION II Moderator: Raluca Băncilă


2:30pm - 3:15pm KEY LECTURE: Francis Howarth History and significance of tropical cave biology

3:15pm - 3:35pm L Deharveng, A Komericki, S Khela IUCN red-listing of subterranean invertebrates: problems, gaps and the future

3:35pm - 3:55pm T Zepon, J Gallão, ME Bichuette How much we know about Brazilian subterranean aquatic fauna

3:55pm - 4:15pm J Kocot-Zalewska, J Bienias, R Rozwałka, P Sienkiewicz, A Woźnica First data about cave fauna from the Albanian Alps


4:15pm - 6:15pm COCKTAIL time!


July 19, 2022 (Casino Center for Urban Culture, Central Park)

9:00am - 1:00pm SESSION III Moderator: William Jeffery


9:00am - 10:00am KEY LECTURE: Christian Griebler Groundwater food web interactions – state of the art

10:00am – 10:30am Coffee break


10:30am – 10:50am P Beasley-Hall, T Bertozzi, T Bradford, C Foster, K Jones, W Humphreys, A Austin, S Cooper Stressed out underground?: Illuminating the genomic response to heat stress in surface and subterranean predaceous diving beetles

10:50am – 11:10am OT Moldovan, PA Bulzu, E Levei, R Bucur, C Sitar, C Haidau Is the gut microbiome involved in adaptation of beetles to caves?

11:10am – 11:30am B Barzaghi, F Gentile Ficetola, E Mauri, M Restaino, B Lombardi, R Manenti Preliminary study on differences characterizes the populations of olm (Proteus anguinus) in cave and those found in epigean environment 

11:30am – 11:50am T Di Lorenzo, AS P.S. Reboleira Metabolic scaling and thermal acclimation of the cave asellid Proasellus lusitanicus

11:50am – 12:10pm MM.Tawfeeq, D Weber, J-F Flot A Feulgen glimpse into genome evolution during range expansion: a case study of the subterranean amphipod Niphargus schellenbergi

12:10pm – 12:30pm  S Mammola, M Pavlek, M Arnedo, F Milano, R Milione, M Tolve, M Isaia, P Cardoso Quantifying troglomorphism in hyperspace

12:30pm – 12:50pm S Lapadula, B Barzaghi, R Della Toffola, R Manenti Groundwater invertebrates and droughts: resistance in stygobiont isopods and planarians

12:50pm – 2:15pm LUNCH provided on site


2:15pm – 3:40pm SESSION IV Moderator: Enrico Lunghi


2:15pm - 3:00pm KEY LECTURE: Serban Sarbu The fascinating biology of stinky caves 

3:00pm - 3:20pm A Ștefan, J-F Flot, E Iorgu, L Popa, S Keffer, F Stoch, S Sârbu Phylogenetic diversity of water scorpions (Nepa spp., Insecta, Hemiptera)

3:20pm - 3:40pm T Brad, M Bizic, D Ionescu, L Barbu-Tudoran, J Aerts, R Popa, L Zoccarato, J Ody, J-F Flot, S Tighe, D Vellone, S Sarbu Large sulfur oxidizing bacteria of the Thiovulaceae (Campylobacterota) thriving in the sulfidic groundwater of Movile Cave, in Romania

3:40pm -4:00pm V Zampieri, F Cassarino, G Pacinotti, B Barzaghi, M Falaschi, E Mauri, M Restaino, V Balestra, D Borgatti, M Galbiati, S Lapadula, V Messina, M Gajdošová, R Pennati, F Gentile Ficetola, R Manenti Activity of stygobionts in spring habitats: behavioral, ecological and evolutionary insights

4:00pm - 4:20pm A Biró, G Balázs, Z Fišer, G Herczeg, C Fišer The morphology of the colonizers of the springs from the down-under

4:20pm - 6:30pm POSTERS I (in alphabetical order) Moderator: Stefano Lapadula

1. J Pille Arnold, S Rodman, M Curran, D Main Can the Karaman-Chappuis method significantly enhance understanding of stygofauna ecology?

2. J Bedek, M Šepčević, D Kermek, L Okićki, N Kuharić, T Dražina Biology Students Association as the base for establishing future experts and cave fauna exploration

3. F Boancă, C Chauveau, J-F Flot, M Pop, S Iepure Identification of sulfur–oxidizing Thiothrix bacteria on microcrustaceans from the sulfidic groundwaters of Mangalia (southeastern Romania)

4. P Corgosinho, S Iepure, A Novikov A new species of Pseudomoraria from an alpine spring of Picos de Europa, North of Spain

5. E Dumnicka, J Galas Invertebrate fauna in municipal wells in Kraków, Poland 

6. M Galbiati, R Manenti, M Forlani, B Barzaghi, A Melotto, F Gentile Ficetola, S Lapadula The roles of landscape of fear and light in allowing the exploitation of spring habitats by subterranean amphipods: an experimental and field approach

7. M Grgić, R Weck, G Keresteš, H Bilandžija The pleiotropic effects of melanin loss in cave snails Physella sp.

8. O. Guillaume The cave salamander Proteus anguinus in captivity in Moulis, France for the scientific research. 

9. L Jovović, F Figon, H Bilandžija Mechanisms underlying albinism as a consequence of ommochrome deficiency in cave isopods

10. N Kuharić, M Lukić, J Bedek, L Jovović, T Rožman, D Fong, H Bilandžija Maintaining laboratory cultures of cave-dwelling and surface-dwelling isopod crustaceans

4:20pm - 6:30pm BEER & finger food

July 20, 2022 (Casino Center for Urban Culture, Central Park)

9:00am - 1:00pm SESSION V Moderator: Fabio Stoch


9:00am - 9:45am KEY LECTURE: Jean-François Flot Speleomics: omics insights into subterranean ecosystems


9:45am – 10:20am Coffee break


10:20am – 10:40am I Chiciudean, D Bogdan, OT Moldovan, H Banciu A glimpse into the biosynthetic potential and resistome of microbial communities inhabiting sulfidic, chemoautotrophic Movile Cave ecosystem

10:40am – 11:00am P Balart-Garcia, S Polak, P Beasley-Hall, T Bradford, I Ribera, S Cooper, R Fernández Phylogenomic insights into the evolution of subterranean Coleoptera

11:00am – 11:20am A Singh, T Shabarova, P Bulzu Different components of interconnected karst environment select for highly distinct microbial communities

11:20am – 11:40am C Haidau, R Nastase-Bucur, P Bulzu, I Mirea, L Faur, S Constantin, OT Moldovan The microbiome of phosphate-rich deposits in Muierilor Cave, South-Western Carpathians

11:40am – 12:00pm A Salussolia, J-F Flot, F Stoch Molecular phylogeny of Alpine groundwater Niphargidae (Crustacea, Amphipoda) reveals the effects of Quaternary climate fluctuations

12:00pm – 12:20pm C Sitar, R Bucur, M Kenesz, OT Moldovan The genus Protopholeuon (Coleoptera, Leptodirini): distribution, morphological, ultratructural and genetic details

12:20pm – 12:40pm S Huang, M Tian, A Faille A preliminary phylogeny of cave trechine beetles from China (Coleoptera: Carabidae: Trechini)

12:40pm – 1:00pm M Pavlek, J Gauthier, M Arnedo, V Tonzo, J Bilat, N Alvarez Spatial genetic structure of Dinaric cave-dwelling spiders


1:00pm – 2:30 pm LUNCH provided on site


2:30pm - 3:55pm SESSION VI Moderator: Tiziana Di Lorenzo


2:30pm - 3:15pm KEY LECTURE: Denis Copilas-Ciocianu Reversibility of the subterranean life-style

3:15pm - 3:35pm Z Stupar, E Levei, E Neag, OT Moldovan Quantitative microbial risk assessment as a tool for groundwater monitoring. A case study in the rural communities of Romania 

3:35pm - 3:55pm C Haidău, A Nováková, M Cunningham, A Allenby, D Kumaresan, A Hillebrand-Voiculescu Preliminary data on the bacterial diversity of Dobšinská and Demänovská ice caves (Slovakia) 

3:55pm - 6:30pm Afternoon break with refreshments


3:55pm - 6:30pm POSTERS II (in alphabetical order) Moderator: Raoul Manenti

11. M Lukić, M Grgić, T Rožman, N Kuharić, L Jovović, R Weck, H Bilandžija Culturing cave mollusks in the laboratory: strategies and troubleshooting

12. E Lunghi, H Bilandžija Average telomere length in cave vs surface Astyanax mexicanus

13. R Manenti, A Melotto, B Barzaghi, M Villa The laboratory of subterranean biology “Enrico Pezzoli”: a new underground facility for zoological research 

14.E Maghradze, S Barjadze, A Faille, Z Asanidze Study of the Invertebrate diversity in Prometheus Show Cave (Georgia, Caucasus)

15. A Moldovan, A Torok, E Kovacs, I-C Mirea, E Levei, OT Moldovan Groundwater contamination and human health risk assessment in the main karst areas of Romania

16. I Nae, A Nae, M Maraun Jugatala cribelliger (Berlese, 1904) a new oribatid mite species for the Romanian fauna

17. R Plăiaşu, R Băncilă, A Giurginca, A Nae, E Nitzu [Nițu], I Popa, S Baba, V Toma, A Petculescu Assessment of biological diversity of underground anthropic habitats in cultural landscapes

18. M Pop, A Ștefan, F Boancă, F Stoch, S Iepure Insights into the Eucyclops graeteri species complex (Copepoda, Cyclopidae) — the case of sulphidic groundwaters of Mangalia (Southern Dobrogea, Romania)

19. S Popović, N Nikolić, M Pećić, A Anđelković, G Subakov Simić Comparative analysis of lampenflora in two show caves in Serbia

20. S Rodman, J Pille Arnold, M Curran, D Main The use of baited stygofauna traps as a complimentary sampling method for sampling groundwater bores in the Pilbara, Western Australia

21. O Sambor, K Battes, A Camacho, M Cîmpean, C Marin, A Perșoiu, B Șarcani, A Tudorache, S Iepure The response of aquatic fauna to variable environmental conditions in Ghețarul de la Vârtop cave (Apuseni Natural Park, Romania)

22. C Sitar, G Iacob, M Kenesz, OT Moldovan The ground beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae) from the René Jeannel collection of the Babeș-Bolyai University Zoological Museum, Romania

23. AI Torok, A Moldovan, E Levei, O Cadar, C Tănăselia, OT Moldovan Occurrence of Li in groundwaters and plants from Dobrogea karst area, Romania

July 21, 2022 (Casino Center for Urban Culture, Central Park)


9:00am - 12:10pm SESSION VII Moderator: Thomas Hesselberg


9:00am - 9:45am KEY LECTURE Daphne Soares Evolutionary insights and constraints from the nervous systems and behavior of cavefish

9:45am - 10.05am  Z Tanvir, K Severi, G Haspel, D Soares Evolutionary and homeostatic changes in morphology of visual dendrites of Mauthner cells in Astyanax blind cavefish

10:05am – 10:40am Coffee break

10:40am – 11:00am KEY LECTURE: Stefano Mammola On the conservation of subterranean ecosystems

11:00am – 11:20am A Sendra Mocholí Iberian Balearic Cave-dwelling Fauna: Dwellers in Darkness 

11:20am – 11:40am RI Băncilă, A Nae, A Giurginca, I Nae, E Nitzu, I Popa, SC Baba, R Plăiaşu Arthropod communities and drivers of their species diversity and composition in caves 

11:40am – 12:00pm S Schmidt, M Svátková, V Kodeš, T Shabarova Groundwater ecosystems in changing times

12:00pm – 12:20pm C Englisch, E Kaminsky, C Steiner, C Stumpp, G Götzl, C Griebler Heat below the City – Is temperature a key driver in urban groundwater ecosystems?

12:20pm – 12:40pm F Stoch, J-F Flot Overcoming shortfalls and impediments in subterranean biology: a challenge for the future 

12:40pm - 2:30pm LUNCH provided on site

(optional) 1:20pm - 2:30pm Visit of the Emil Racovita Institute of Speleology 

2:30pm – 3:30pm MEETINGS




6:00pm - 12:00am DINNER (Hotel Napoca) & EMIL RACOVITA AWARD for the best presentation & best poster for young researchers

July 22, 2022 (Arrival & Departure at Napoca Hotel)


8:00am - 8:00pm FIELD-TRIP