The XI International Symposium on Tardigrada

The congress was attended by 74 researchers from 16 countries from four continents (Asia, Europe, North and South America). During the three days of the meeting 39 talks and 36 posters were presented.

This was the second time a tardigrade conference was held in Germany. For the first time in the history of tardigrade Symposia Young Scientist Awards for oral and poster presentations were given.

In 2009 two tardigrade anniversaries were celebrated: the 80th anniversary of discovering Heterotardigrada by Ernst Marcus and the 50th anniversary of defining cryptobiosis by David Keilin.

Table of contents

Group photo
Official website


The Symposium logo, designed by Dr. Ralph O. Schill (University of Stuttgart, Germany), shows a silhouette of a terrestrial eutardigrade and a fragment of the DNA molecule.


03-06 August 2009.


Tübingen, Germany.

World Map from Wikipedia.


Horsaalzentrum at the Morgenstelle, Eberhard Karls University.


Dr. Ralph O. Schill (University of Stuttgart),
Professor Heinz-K Kohler (University of Tübingen),
Professor Hartmut G
reven (Heinrich Heine University),
Dr. Karin Hohberg (Senckenberg Museum of Natural History in Görlitz).

Participants (alphabetically)

Accogli, Giancula (Italy)

Altiero, Tiziana (Italy)

Arakawa, Kazuharu (Japan)

Bartels, Paul (USA)

Beasley, Clark W. (USA)

Beltran-Pardo, Eliana (Colombia)

Bertolani, Roberto (Italy)

Bigi, Mila (Italy)

Bromley, Cass (UK)

Burleigh, Laura (Switzerland)

Cesari, Michele (Italy)

Chen, Li-Ju (USA)

Clark, Tiffany (USA)

D`Addabbo, Angelo (Italy)

Dandekar, Thomas (Germany)

Degma, Peter (Slovakia)

Eles, Aniko (Hungary)

Faurby, Soren (Denmark)

Ferrari, Silvana (Italy)

Fontoura, Paulo (Portugal)

Forster, Frank (Germany)

Frohme, Marcus (Germany)

Fujimoto, Shinta (Japan)

Gallo, Maria (Italy)

Greven, Hartmut (Germany)

Grohme, Markus (Germany)

Grothman, Gary (Canada)

Guidetti, Roberto (Italy)

Guil, Noemi (Denmark)

Halberg, Kenneth (Denmark)

Hansen, Jesper Guldberg (Denmark)

Hengherr, Steffen (Germany)

Hohberg, Karin (Germany)

Horikawa, Daiki (USA)

Jonsson, Ingemar (Sweden)

Jorgensen, Aslak (Denmark)

Kaczmarek, Lukasz (Poland)

Katayama, Toshiaki (Japan)

Kawada-Suzuki, Sanae (Japan)

Kiosya, Yevgen (Ukraine)

Kristensen, Gerda M. (Denmark)

Kristensen, Reinhardt Mobjerg (Denmark)

Kunieda, Takekazu (Japan)

Lemloh, Marie L.

Lyons, Ana (USA)

Mali, Brahim (Germany)

Marchioro, Trevor (Italy)

Marley, Nigel J. (UK)

Mayer, Georg (Germany)

McInnes, Sandra J. (UK)

Meyer, Harry (USA)

Miller, William (USA)

Mobjerg, Nadia (Denmark)

Nelson, Diane, R. (USA)

Nelson, Jack (USA)

Nissen, Matthias (Germany)

Persson, Dennis (Denmark)

Petersen, Henriette Lundbye (Denmark)

Ramsay, Balbina (UK)

Repas, Laszlo (Hungary)

Reuner, Andy (Germany)

Rocha, Alejandra Mariana (Argentina)

Romano III, Frank A. (USA)

Schill, Ralph O. (Germany)

Schokraie, Elham (Germany)

Sewell, Susan (USA)

Strombom, Markus (Sweden)

Suzuki, Atsushi C. (Japan)

Vaughn,  Jonathan (USA)

Vicente, Filipe (Portugal)

Welnicz, Weronika (Germany)

Lee, Natushka (Germany)


Group photo

Photo by G.B. Fritz.



Monday (03.08.2009)
08:00-09:00 Registration and Poster Installation
09:00-09:15 Opening Ceremony
09:15-09:45 Opening Lecture:
D. Nelson & R. Bertolani
Changes in scientific approach over the past 35 years of Tardigrada Symposia
09:45-10:15 Coffee break
SESSION 1: Phylogeny (Chair: R.M. Kristensen)
10:15-10:30 A. Jorgensen, N. Mobjerg & R.M. Kristensen The phylogeny of Echiniscidae (Tardigrada, Heterotardigrada) inferred from molecules and morphology
10:30-10:45 J.G. Hansen & N. Guil Morphological phylogeny among heterotardigrade families and subfamilies
10:45-11:00 N. Guil, A. Jorgensen, G. Giribet & R. M. Kristensen A molecular approach to the phylogenetic status of Echiniscus (Tardigrada, Heterotardigrada, Echiniscidae)
11:00-11:15 T. Marchioro, M. Cesari, R. Bertolani, L. Rebecchi & R. Guidetti The phylogeny of Eutardigrada, a molecular approach and its morphological support
11:15-11:30 R. Guidetti, L. Sarzi Amadè, L. Rebecchi & R. Bertolani The buccal-pharyngeal apparatuses in tardigrades: anatomy, function, and phylogenetic significance
11:30-11:45 G. Mayer New data on the onychophoran brain composition and their bearing on the phylogenetic position of tardigrades
11:45-13:15 Lunch
SESSION 2: Taxonomy & Biogeography (Chair: D.R. Nelson)
13:15-13:30 P. J. Bartels, D. R. Nelson & R. P. Exline Allometry and the removal of body size effects in the morphometric analysis of tardigrades
13:30-13:45 P. Fontoura & P. Morais Assessment of traditional and geometric morphometrics for discriminating cryptic species of the Pseudechiniscus suillus complex (Tardigrada: Echiniscidae)
13:45-14:00 R. M. Kristensen, L. Michalczyk & L. Kaczmarek Tardigrades from Easter Island, Rapa Nui (Pacific Ocean, Chile) with the description of a new species of Bryodelphax (Heterotardigrada: Echiniscidae)
14:00-14:15 H. Lundbye, J. G. Hansen & R. M. Kristensen New morphological and biogeographical data of the marine genus Archechiniscus (Arthrotardigrada: Halechiniscidae)
14:15-14:30 „Keyence Mikroskopie“
14:30-15:00 Coffee break
15:15-15:30 S. Faurby, A. Jorgensen, R. M. Kristensen & P. Funch Speciation in Echiniscoides: The role of geographic isolation and climate
15:30-15:45 S. J. McInnes Macrobiotus furciger group complex along the Scotia Arc and Antarctic Peninsula
15:45-16:00 W. R. Miller & C. W. Beasley The Planetary Biodiversity and Biogeography of the Phylum Tardigrada
18:00-19:45 Guided city tour


Tuesday (04.08.2009)
SESSION 3: Ecology (Chair: N.J. Marley & S.J. McInnes)
09:00-09:15 F. A. Romano III, M. Gallo, R. D’Addabbo, R. Sanduli, J. Baguley & P. Montagna Deep sea tardigrades in the northern Gulf of Mexico with a description of a new species of Coronarctidae
09:15-09:30 G. Accogli, M. Gallo, R. D’Addabbo & J. G. Hansen Diversity and Ecology of the marine Tardigrades along the Apulian Coast
09:30-09:45 S. M. Sewell & F. A. Romano III Structure of a natural population of Dactylobiotus ambiguus
09:45-10:15 Coffee break
10:15-10:30 K. Hohberg Mass occurrence of algal-feeding tardigrade Apodibius sp. in the young soils of a post-mining site
10:30-10:45 R. C. Dafoe & F. A. Romano, III Tardigrade species diversity changes on a barrier island (Dauphin Island, U.S.A.) and the introduction of two new species of Calcarobiotus
10:45-11:00 P. Degma, S. Katina & L. Sabatovicova Horizontal distribution of moisture and Tardigrada in a single moss cushion
11:00-11:15 K. I. Jonsson Temporal variation in population density of moss-living tardigrades at Olands Alvar, southern Sweden
11:15-11:30 B. P. L. Ramsay & N. J. Marley Tardigrada communities from the high-altitude forest to grassland transition in the Cordillera de Vilcanota Peru
11:30-11:45 N. J. Marley The Tardigrada of Devon and Cornwall, United Kingdom, including three species new to science and seven new additions to the U.K. fauna
11:45-13:15 Lunch
13:15-13:30 F. Vicente Do tardigrades need a conservation strategy
13:30-13:45 N. Mobjerg, A. Jorgensen, K. Halberg, D. Persson & R. M. Kristensen Halobiotus crispae - a model organism of non-cryptobiotic survival in extreme environments
13:45-14:00 K. Halberg, D. Persson, H. Ramlov, P. Westh, R. M. Kristensen & Nadja Mobjerg Osmo- and volumeregulation in the marine eutardigrade Halobiotus crispae
14:00-14:30 POSTER SESSION
14:30-15:00 Coffee break
15:15-16:00 POSTER SESSION
18:00-19:00 Boat trip
20:00-...? Beer garden :-)


Wednesday (05.08.2009)
SESSION 4: Physiology & molecular biology (Chair: T. Kunieda, N. Møbjerg & R. Guidetti)
09:00-09:15 D. Persson, C. Ricci, K. A. Halberg & R. M. Kristensen Extreme stress tolerance in tardigrades – Surviving space conditions in low earth orbit
09:15-09:30 M. Cesari, A. Frigieri & L. Rebecchi Evolution of anhydrobiosis in Tardigrada: analysis of the tps gene
09:30-09:45 T. Altiero, R. Guidetti, M. Cesari, R. Bertolani, M. Negroni & A.M. Rizzo Tardigrade resistance to space fl ight: LIFE – TARSE mission on FOTON-M3 spacecraft
09:45-10:15 Coffee break
10:15-10:30 M. Frohme, T. Dandekar, M. Schnolzer & D. Reuter FUNCRYPTA – a systems biology approach to understand cryptobiosis in tardigrades
10:30-10:45 S. Hengherr, A. G. Heyer, F. Brummer & R.O. Schill Trehalose and vitrification as essential aspect for desiccation tolerance in tardigrades and other aquatic metazoans
10:45-11:00 A. Reuner, M. Grohme, M. Frohme, F. Förster, T. Dandekar, F. Brummer & R. O. Schill Are heat shock proteins important during anhydrobiosis in tardigrades?
11:00-11:15 M. Grohme, F. Förster, R. O. Schill, M. Frohme & B. Mali The transcriptome of Milnesium tardigradum and generation of a gene expression atlas for studying anhydrobiosis in tardigrades
11:15-11:30 E. Schokraie, U. Warnken, A. Hotz-Wagenblatt, B. Mali, M. Frohme, F. Forster, T. Dandekar, S. Hengherr, R. O. Schill & M. Schnolzer Towards a two-dimensional protein reference map of Milnesium tardigradum
11:30-11:45 T. Dandekar, F. Forster, C. Liang, D. Beisser, B. Mali, M. Frohme & R.O. Schill Tardigrade adaptation potential: a bioinformatics perspective
11:45-13:15 Lunch
13:15-13:30 D. Horikawa, T. Kunieda, W. Abe, S. Higashi & T. Okuda Life history of the tardigrade Ramazzottius varieornatus under artificial culture conditions
13:30-13:45 T. Kunieda, H. Kuwahara, D.D. Horikawa, A. Toyoda, T. Katayama, K. Arakawa, T. Shin-I, K. Ohishi, A. Motoyama, T. Aizu, Y. Kohara & A. Fujiyama The tardigrade genome of an anhydrobiotic extremotolerant species, Ramazzottius varieornatus
13:45-14:00 T. Katayama, K. Arakawa, Y. Hasebe, N. Kido, T. Kunieda, A. Toyoda, T. Shin-I, D. D. Horikawa, H. Kuwahara, K. Ohishi, A. Motoyama, T. Aizu, M. Kanehisa, Y. Kohara & A. Fujiyama Draft genome sequence assembly and preliminary annotations of Ramazzottius varieornatus genome
14:00-14:15 K. Arakawa, T. Ito, T. Kunieda, D. Horikawa, T. Soga & M. Tomita Comparative metabolome profiling of active and anhydrobiotic states of tardigrade Ramazzottius varieornatus
14:15-14:30 Resumée
14:30-15:00 Coffee break
15:00-17:00 Excursion to the Bebenhausen Monastery and Palace
15:15-18:00 Examination of type material
20:00-...? Conference dinner


Thursday (06.08.2009)

A whole day excursion

09:00-18:00 The Bears' Cave and Charles' Cave - The Cave of Erpfingen
Lichtenstein Castle & Forester's lodge
Hohenzollern Castle



G. Accogli, M. Gallo & R. D’Addabbo Tardigrade fauna of marine caves
T. Altiero, M. Negroni, G. Montorfano, P. Corsetto, P. Berselli, R. Guidetti, M. Cesari, L. Rebecchi & A.M. Rizzo Antioxidant metabolism is induced in the desiccated state of the tardigrade Paramacrobiotus richtersi
P. J. Bartels Status report on the multihabitat inventory of tardigrades in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee and North Carolina, USA)
C. W. Beasley Additional Tardigrada of Hubei Province, China, with the description of Doryphoribius barbarae sp. n. (Eutardigrada: Parachela: Hypsibiidae)
E. Beltran-Pardo E, R. Bermudez-Cruz, I. Jonsson & J. Bernal-Villegas Searching for rad51 homologue in tardigrade Richtersius coronifer preliminary data
M. Bigi, M. Cesari, R. Guidetti, R. Bertolani & L. Rebecchi DNA barcoding in Ramazzottius and cryptic diversity in Tardigrada
C. Bromley Do buildings in Cambridge, United Kingdom act as “islands” for Tardigrada and associated Meiofauna?
L. Chen, S.M. Sewell, F.A. Romano, III, & C.A. Murdock Analysis of the 18srDNA gene from individual tardigrades
M. Claps & G. Rossi Tardigrade fauna from two biogeographic regions of Patagonia (Río Negro province, Argentina)
J. D’Haese, Assita Traore-Freitag, E. Kiehl, T. Prasath & H. Greven The actin gene of Hypsibius klebelsbergi (Eutardigrada) - complete sequence and comparison with actin from related taxa
F. Forster, C. Liang, D. Beisser, M. Frohme, R.O. Schill & T. Dandekar Functional protein clusters and regulatory motifs in Hypsibius dujardini and Milnesium tardigradum
F. Forster, A. Keller, R.O. Schill, T. Dandekar & M. Wolf Distinguishing species in Paramacrobiotus (Tardigrada, Macrobiotidae)
S. Fujimoto & K. Miyazaki Preliminary Survey on the Freshwater Tardigrades from the Kamo River, Kyoto, Japan
R. Guidetti, T. Altiero, V. Caselli, M. Cesari & L. Rebecchi UV-B tolerance in two species of tardigrades
S. Hengherr, F. Brummer & R.O. Schill Freeze tolerance in embryonic stages of the eutardigrade Milnesium tardigradum
L. Kaczmarek, L. Michalczyk, B. Goldyn & W. Welnicz Ecological factors determining distribution of Tardigrada in Costa Rican rain forests
L. Kaczmarek, L. Michalczyk, B. Goldyn & W. Welnicz Zoogeography of Costa Rican rain forests tardigrades
Y. O. Kiosya, V. V. Inshina, N. G. Sergeeva, V. L. Shevchenko & D. A. Shabanov Preliminary account of the tardigrades of Ukraine
M.-L. Lemloh, F. Brummer & R. O. Schill Life history studies of bisexual tardigrades
D. Shcherbakov, R. O. Schill, F. Brummer, M. Nissen & M. Blum Investigation of movement behaviour of tardigrades by a custom-made automated video tracking system
A. M. Lyons, D.R. Nelson & P.J. Bartels The effect of the insecticide imidacloprid on the leaf litter/soil tardigrade community in a hemlock woolly adelgid infested forest in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, USA
B. Mali, M. Grohme, F. Forster, R.O. Schill & M. Frohme Transcriptome data of Milnesium tardigradum and differential gene expression during anhydrobiosis
H. A. Meyer & J. G. Hinton A comparison of tardigrade diversity between the Big Thicket National Preserve and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park
H. A. Meyer & J. G. Hinton Terrestrial Tardigrada of Michigan, USA
M. Nissen, F. Brummer, D. Shcherbakov & R.O. Schill Studies on olfactory cognition in tardigrades by video tracking
J. R. Peluffo, A. M. Rocha, I. L. Doma & M. C. Moly de Peluffo Remarks on tardigrade diversity in the city of La Plata (Argentina) with descriptions of two new species of Macrobiotus Schultze
A. Eles & L. Repas New dates and new methods for research of freshwater Tardigrada fauna of city Szekesfehervar
A. Reuner, S. Hengherr, F. Brummer & R. O. Schill Effects of starvation and anhydrobiosis on storage cell size in three tardigrade species
R.O. Schill, C. Vogel & F. Brummer International Barcode of Life Project (iBOL) – Tardigrada
E. Schokraie, R. O. Schill & M. Schnolzer Comparative proteome analysis of desiccation stress response in Milnesium tardigradum using DIGE technology
R. Schuster, I. Spiertz, R. Losch & H. Greven Microclima and vertical distribution of tardigrades in a moss cushion
S. M. Sewell & F. A. Romano III Tardigrade culturing at Jacksonville State University
A. C. Suzuki Marine tardigrades from Shimabara Bay, Japan
J. Vaughn & T. Clark Tardigrades of China: an analysis of habitat Chemistry
F. Vicente An optimized protocol for tardigrade and rotifer muscular staining
W. Welnicz, L. Kaczmarek, M. Grohme, B. Mali, W. Niedbala & M. Frohme Molecular relationships inside the Macrobiotushufelandi group” (Eutardigrada, Macrobiotidae) based on 18S rDNA and ITS2 designing molecular markers of rDNA



The Symposium talks have been published in a special volume of the 'Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research'. The volume contains 20 scientific papers on tardigrade morphology, taxonomy, phylogeny, faunistics, biogeography, ecology, life histories and physiology.

Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research
vol. 49(Suppl. 1), 2011

Proceedings of the Eleventh International Symposium on Tardigrada

R. Schill, K. Hohberg & H. Greven
(Guest Editors)




(click paper titles to open full texts in PDF)



Schill, R.O., Hohberg, K. & Greven, H. Preface.


Bertolani, R. & Nelson, D.R. Changes in scientific approaches as seen through 35 years of tardigrade symposia. 2-5
Jorgensen, A., Mobjerg, N. & Kristensen, R.M. Phylogeny and evolution of the Echiniscidae (Echiniscoidea, Tardigrada) – an investigation of the congruence between molecules and morphology. 6-16
Bartels, P.J., Nelson, D.R. & Exline, R.P. Allometry and the removal of body size effects in the morphometric analysis of tardigrades. 17-25
Fontoura, P. & Morais, P. Assessment of traditional and geometric morphometrics for discriminating cryptic species of the Pseudechiniscus suillus complex (Tardigrada, Echiniscidae). 26-33
Welnicz, W., Grohme, M.A., Kaczmarek, L., Schill, R.O. & Frohme, M. ITS-2 and 18S rRNA data from Macrobiotus polonicus and Milnesium tardigradum (Eutardigrada, Tardigrada). 34-39
Meyer, H.A., Lyons, A.M., Nelson, D.R. & Hinton, J.G. Tardigrada of Michigan, Northern USA, with the description of Minibiotus jonesorum sp. n. (Eutardigrada: Macrobiotidae). 40-47
Romano, F.III, Gallo, M., D’Addabbo, R., Accogli, G., Baguley, J. & Montagna, P. Deep-sea tardigrades in the northern Gulf of Mexico with a description of a new species of Coronarctidae (Tardigrada: Arthrotardigrada), Coronarctus mexicus. 48-52
Accogli, G., Gallo, M., D’Addabbo, R. & Hansen, J.G. Diversity and ecology of the marine tardigrades along the Apulian Coast. 53-57
Lemloh, M.L., Brummer, F. & Schill, R.O. Life-history traits of the bisexual tardigrades Paramacrobiotus tonollii and Macrobiotus sapiens. 58-61
Hohberg, K., Russell, D.J. & Elmer, M. (2011) Mass occurrence of algal-feeding tardigrade Apodibius confusus, in the young soils of a post-mining site. 62-65
Schill, R.O., Jonsson, K.I., Pfannkuchen, M. & Brummer, F. Food of tardigrades: a case study to understand food choice, intake and digestion. 66-70
Degma, P., Katina, S. & Sabatovicova, L. Horizontal distribution of moisture and Tardigrada in a single moss cushion. 71-77
Kaczmarek, L., Goldyn, B., Welnicz, W. & Michalczyk, L. Ecological factors determining Tardigrada distribution in Costa Rica. 78-83
D'Haese, J., Traore-Freitag, A., Kiehl, E., Prasath, T. & Greven, H. The actin gene of Hypsibius klebelsbergi (Eutardigrada) – complete sequence and comparison with actin from related and non-related taxa. 84-89
Persson, D., Halberg, K.A., Jorgensen, A., Ricci, C., Mobjerg, N. & Kristensen, R.M. Extreme stress tolerance in tardigrades: surviving space conditions in low earth orbit. 90-97
Rebecchi, L., Altiero, T., Cesari, M., Bertolani, R., Rizzo, A.M., Corsetto, P.A. & Guidetti, R. Resistance of the anhydrobiotic eutardigrade Paramacrobiotus richtersi to space flight (LIFE–TARSE mission on FOTON-M3). 98-103
Altiero, T., Guidetti, R., Caselli, V., Cesari, M. & Rebecchi, L. Ultraviolet radiation tolerance in hydrated and desiccated eutardigrades. 104-110
Schokraie, E., Hotz-Wagenblatt, A., Warnken, U., Frohme, M., Dandekar, T., Schill, R.O. & Schnolzer, M. Investigating heat shock proteins of tardigrades in active versus anhydrobiotic state using shotgun proteomics. 111-119
Forster, F., Beisser, D., Frohme, M., Schill, R.O. & Dandekar, T.  Bioinformatics identifies tardigrade molecular adaptations including the DNA-j family and first steps towards dynamical modelling. 120-126
Grohme, M.A., Mali, B., Schill, R.O. & Frohme, M. cDNA representational difference analysis for identifying transcripts regulated under anhydrobiosis in the tardigrade Milnesium tardigradum. 127-132



Click here to download the booklet with the programme, abstracts and other Symposium info.


By Peter Degma.

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