8th ABOL meeting – a retrospect

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For the second time, the ABOL meeting was conducted as online conference because of to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and also for the second time it was held under the common title Days of Biodiversity following the Austrian Biodiversity Forum. A number of interesting topics had already been presented and discussed in the workshops of the pre-phase of the biodiversity forum. The results of the workshops as well as the Annual Barometer of the Austrian Biodiversity Policy were presented at the 4th Austrian Forum on Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services on November 29th. In addition, there were top-level lectures, a virtual panel discussion and poster presentations. The ABOL meeting followed on the second day with a consistently high level of content. In the introductory lecture by Nikola Szucsich, the participants were brought up to date on ABOL’s activities. We were able to win Otso Ovaskainen from the University of Helsinki as a keynote speaker, who reported on the global biodiversity project Lifeplan, in which Austria is participating with three study sites. The other talks covered very diverse topics  and represented the broad spectrum of  biodiversity and DNA barcoding – from the detection of cercaria in lakes, illegaly used shark products in the food trade, tracing Corona viruses in sewage,  analyzing beetle food intake, reconstruction of historical vegetation from lake sediments and much more. One of the sessions focused on the progress made in the Hochschulraumstrukturmittel (HRSM) project, a large cooperation project of universities to install DNA barcoding pipelines.

The ABOL meeting was again very well attended with more than 130 registrations and up to 100 concurrent participants.

We would like to thank for all the interesting contributions, for remarks and discussions, our sponsors and, last but not least, the organizers from the Biodiversity Hub and the University of Continuing Education Krems for the constructive cooperation!

The abstracts of the talks can still be downloaded from the conference website: www.abol.ac.at/abol-tagung-2021/