Registration and abstract submission are still open until June 6th.

A PDF of the Conference Programme can be downloaded here.

A PDF of the Conference Abstracts can be downloaded here.

All talks will be in MDCL1309 except for the Public Lecture on Monday Evening, which will be in MDCL1305.

Sun 24th June
8:00 Registration desk opens in MDCL Foyer
8:30 Breakfast in MDCL Foyer
9:00-4:30 The RNA World in Theory and Practice - Programme details here
Researchers from McMaster Origins Institute will present a pedagogical introduction to the RNA World, suitable for graduate students from all disciplines. Participants at all career stages are welcome. Guests arriving during the day are welcome to join us when they arrive.
Mon 25th June
7:30 Registration desk opens in MDCL Foyer
7:45 Breakfast in MDCL Foyer
8:30 Organizers - Welcome and Announcements
8:50 Thomas Henning (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg)
Pre-biotic Chemistry in Planet-Forming Disks

Sara Seager (MIT)

A new view of life's journey through chemical space

10:30 Break
10:50 David Deamer - University of California Santa Cruz
Hydrothermal vents or hydrothermal fields: Where can life begin?
11:40 Ben Pearce (McMaster University)
Origin of the RNA world: The fate of nucleobases in warm little ponds
12:00 Lunch
1:30 Oliver Trapp (Dept of Chemistry, Ludwig Maximilians Universität, Munich)
Early Pathways to Life: Mechanisms to Molecular Evolution and Homochirality
2:20 Josh Hedgepeth (University of Western Ontario)
Impact Craters on Titan: Finalizing Titan’s Crater Population and Implications for Detecting Biochemistry on the Surface

Sukrit Ranjan (MIT)

Sulfidic Anion Concentration on Early Earth for Surficial Origins-of-Life Chemistry

3:00 Break

Sergiy Krasnokutskiy (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, University of Jena)

Formation of complex organic molecules in surface reactions of carbon atoms.

3:50 Dimitar Sasselov (Harvard-Smithsonian center for Astrophysics)
Stellar UV light and the Origins of Life

Audience Discussion led by Irene Chen and David Deamer

How are Membranes and Vesicles relevant for the Origin of Life?

5:30-7:30 Poster Session (Poster Prizes Sponsored by Life journal)
6:00-7:00 Buffet Supper during poster session.
8:00 Lynn Rothschild (Brown University)
Public Lecture in association with McMaster Alumni Association
Towards a universal biology: Is the origin and evolution of life predictable? 
Tue 26th June
This morning's talks on mathematical and computational modelling are supported by the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences (Toronto).
7:30 Registration desk opens in MDCL Foyer
7:45 Breakfast in MDCL Foyer
8:30 Tamas Czaran (Eötvös University, Budapest)
The trinity of prebiotic replicator evolution: Ecological robustness, evolutionary stability and evolvability in the RNA World.
9:20 Nobuto Takeuchi (University of Tokyo)
The origin of the central dogma of molecular biology through conflicting multilevel evolution
10:10 Break

Samuel Levin (University of Oxford)

The co-evolution of the cell and the genome


Vismay Shah (McMaster University)

Comparison of Error Thresholds for RNA Replication in Protocells and Spatial Lattices

11:10 Peter Tieleman (University of Calgary)
Biomolecular simulation: the state of the art in models of cell membranes.
12:00 Lunch
1:30 Irene Chen (University of California Santa Barbara)
Evolutionary Landscapes in the RNA World.
2:20 Michele Fiore (University of Lyon)
Phospholipids and other amphiphilic molecules. Organic, evolutionary and plausible prebiotic synthesis.
3:10 Break

Aaron Engelhart (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis)

Functional Interactions between Primitive Membranes and Catalysts

3:50 Maikel Rheinstadter - Origins Institute, McMaster University, Hamilton.
The Molecular Origins of Life and the Origins of Life Laboratory
4:40-6:00 Tours of the McMaster Origins of Life Laboratory
6:00 Bus travel to Art Gallery of Hamilton
6:30-11:30 Conference Dinner at Art Gallery of Hamilton
Wed 27th June
7:30 Registration desk opens in MDCL Foyer
7:45 Breakfast in MDCL Foyer
8:30 Philippe Nghe - ESPCI, Paris.
Collective compartmentalized dynamics of prebiotic RNA.

Andrei Lupas (Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology)

On the Origin of Folded Proteins

10:10 Break
10:30 AJ Harris (Oberlin College)
Epigenetics in Early Life

Dave W Anderson (University of British Columbia)

The expanding universe of protein function

11:10 Steven Benner (Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution)
Resolving Paradoxes Surrounding the Origins of Life
12:00 Discussion and Summary
1:00 Lunch