Conservation, Ecology and Systematics of Lepidoptera in a changing world
The 23rd European Congress of Lepidopterology & 11th Forum Herbulot

September 25, 2023 - September 29, 2023

Hôtel Dupanloup
1 rue Dupanloup
45000 Orleans




Insect declines are a major cause of public concern. One of the most affected, and sensitive groups for monitoring is Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies), which play a major role in the functioning of our ecosystems. They are one of the most important groups of herbivores and pollinators, as well as comprising a vast prey biomass and hosting an extensive specialized web of parasitic Hymenoptera. Being mostly readily visible and intricately patterned, they include the most iconic, charismatic and popular of all invertebrates. Many are model organisms for evolutionary and genetic studies, a few are significant economic pests, and some are vital sources of protein or silk. Understanding their ecology, genetics and systematics is crucial for efficient conservation management to understand and even reverse their decline. 

The conference will bring together world experts to discuss the conservation, ecology and systematics of Lepidoptera. It will be a joint event organized by the Society for European Lepidopterology (SEL) ( and the International Forum Herbulot (FH) (, which organizes a regular conference for the study of looper moths (Geometridae). It is the first time that SEL & FH have organized their biennial conferences together ( 

SEL is a society with 514 members founded in 1976, which promotes the study and conservation of Lepidoptera and publishes the journal Nota Lepidopterologica ( FH is an international research initiative focused on the second largest family, Geometridae or looper moths, a society with approx. 150 members from 42 countries.


  • Dr Carlos Lopez-Vaamonde,
    Forest Zoology Research Unit (URZF)/ Centre INRAe Val de Loire - FR & Insect Biology Research Institute (IRBI), University of Tours / CNRS - FR

Important dates

  • Registration & abstract submission open: 15th February 2023
  • Deadline for abstract submission: 15th May 2023
  • Early bird registration deadline: 1st June 2023

Societas Europaea Lepidopterologica (SEL)

To become a member of the Societas Europaea Lepidopterologica (SEL):

Practical Information

Confirmed speakers

  • Marc Holderied, University of Bristol - UK
    Marc Holderied
    University of Bristol - UK
    Address: 24 Tyndale Ave, Bristol, BS8 1TQ
    Phone: (+)44 117 39 41190

    As sensory ecologist and bio-acoustician with strong links to bio-inspired engineering professor Holderied’s international research excellence is in the emerging fields of acoustic camouflage and biosonar navigation, with a continued passion for acoustic arms races and wildlife acoustics. He develops lepidoptera-inspired noise control solutions and as international consultant for the automotive industry helps establish Ultrasonic Vision technology. He studied Biology at the University of Erlangen, Germany (1997 Diploma, 2001 PhD) and since 2005 leads the BASElab at the University of Bristol, UK.

    Wingtip decoys and Stealth cloaks - Acoustic Defences of Moths against detection by echolocating Bats

    Invisibility cloaks are fantastic devices in popular culture from Harry Potter to Star Trek. But even in the real world so-called metamaterials (synthetic composite materials with emergent new properties) can act as (partial) cloaks both against light (vision) and sound (acoustics). We recently discovered that the 65MY old arms race with their echolocating bat predators has equipped silkmoths (Saturniidae) with remarkable acoustic metamaterials on their wings and bodies. These ultrathin sound absorbers offer protection because the strength of the echo bouncing off the moth's body determines the distance over which bats can detect it. In the talk we will use innovative acoustic tomographies to visualise how fur on bodies and scales on wings of moths provide acoustic cloaking. Turning the moth wing into bio-inspired thinner and better sound absorbers ('sonic wallpaper') can help us in the struggle to maintain healthy living and working environments in our ever noisier world.

    Keywords: Echolocation, Lepidopteran wings, scales, metamaterial sound absorber

  • Joana Meier, Wellcome Sanger Institute & University of Cambridge - UK
    Joana Meier
    Wellcome Sanger Institute & University of Cambridge - UK
    Address: Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Saffron Walden CB10 1RQ, United Kingdom 
    Phone: (+44) 7770606089

    Joana Meier is an evolutionary biologist working on speciation in cichlid fishes, butterflies and peacock spiders. During her PhD and postdoc with Ole Seehausen at the University of Bern, Joana worked on the rapid adaptive radiation of Lake Victoria cichlid fishes. She found an important role of admixture facilitating their rapid diversification. In 2018 to 2022, Joana held a Bateson Research Fellowship at the University of Cambridge and later also a Branco Weiss Fellowship. Here, she started to work on South American butterflies. In collaboration with Chris Jiggins, she worked on parallel hybrid zones in Heliconius butterflies. Since July 2022, she leads a research group at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in the Tree of Life Programme. In addition, she was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship in October 2022. Her team works on speciation in ithomiini and Heliconius butterflies. Combining comparative methods and population genomics approaches, she studies how speciation rates are affected by structural variants, admixture and the genetic architecture of traits involved in speciation.

    The role of hybridisation and chromosomal rearrangements in rapid speciation

    Speciation rates vary massively across the tree of life. Some lineages diversify rapidly into many species, whereas their close relatives speciate at a much slower pace in the same environment. The factors influencing such lineage-specific speciation rates are poorly understood. Hybridisation and chromosomal rearrangements are two of the factors that may contribute. Both of these factors can both increase or reduce the likelihood of speciation. Hybridisation can homogenise genomic regions under divergent selection or even lead to the merging of species. However, it can also enrich the genetic variation fuelling adaptation and speciation. Large-scale chromosomal rearrangements can facilitate speciation by reducing hybrid fitness or decreasing recombination in the vicinity of the rearrangement and thus locking co-adapted genes together. However, chromosomal rearrangements can also facilitate the evolution of polymorphisms, e.g. via supergenes, allowing a species to utilise multiple niches without speciating. 
    Together with a network of collaborators in the Americas and Europe, my team compares rapidly and slowly speciating lineages of ithomiini and Heliconius butterflies. These South- and Central American butterflies are well-known for their Müllerian mimicry rings and high species richness. The large variation in speciation rates across different lineages, particularly within the ithomiini tribe, make them an ideal system to study factors affecting speciation rates. Ithomiini and one lineage of Heliconius butterflies also show high rates of chromosomal evolution with karyotypes ranging from five to 120 chromosomes (Brown et al. 2004). We reconstruct chromosome-level reference genomes and combine micro- and macro-evolutionary approaches to elucidate the roles of hybridisation and large-scale chromosomal rearrangements in speciation and species persistence.

    Keywords: Speciation, chromosomal rearrangements, hybridisation, ithomiini, Heliconius




  • SEL members 200€
  • Non SEL members 300€
  • Students & PhD Scholars 100€
  • Excursion &  gala dinner (100€)

The fees includes: 2 lunches, 2 lunch boxes, 1 cocktail & the coffee breaks




Scientific Committee


Frederic Archaux

Frederic Archaux

 Head of Research Unit INRAE Forest Ecosystems. My research aims at identifying forest practices and landscape features   beneficial to biodiversity including butterflies. I also contributed to atlas and inventories of moth at the county and regional scale. 


Laurence Despres

   Laurence Després

   Laurence Després is Professor at University Grenoble Alpes (France), where she teaches evolutionary ecology and phylogenetics. Her main research interests are in the evolutionary processes leading to population diversification and speciation. Most projects combine population genetics and phylogenomic analyses together with ecological, biochemical and behavioral studies to test hypotheses about evolutionary processes or adaptation to multiple constraints mainly in the Alps.


Marianne Elias

  Marianne Elias

    Marianne Elias is an evolutionary biologist and a team leader with a strong interest in the ecology and evolution of butterflies. Her team has contributed major advances in systematics, community ecology and history of diversification of the neotropical butterfly tribe Ithomiini, comprising nearly 400 species and engaging in Müllerian mimetic interactions with other Lepidoptera. Marianne also has interest in understanding how butterfly populations and community respond to variable environments across elevation gradients in temperate and tropical regions.   

 David Lees

David Lees

    David Lees is a Senior Curator at the Natural History Museum in London, where he curates the traditional ‘Microlepidoptera’ and is an Editor-in-Chief of Nota Lepidopterologica. His research interests are molecular and morphological systematics, taxonomy and biogeography of butterflies and moths worldwide, with a long-term interest in the fauna of Madagascar.


Carlos Lopez-Vaamonde

 Carlos Lopez-Vaamonde

   Carlos Lopez-Vaamonde is a research scientist at the Forest Zoology Unit of INRAE Orléans and research associate at the Institute of Research on Insect Biology (IRBI) at Tours. He currently studies the responses of moths to environmental disturbances, biosurveillance of invasive species and systematics of Gracillariidae leaf-mining micromoths. He was general secretary of the Society for European Lepidopterology from 2015 till 2019 and is currently ordinary member of the council. He served as chief editor of Nota Lepidopterologica in 2015 and is now subject editor.


Jadranka Rota

 Jadranka Rota

   Jadranka Rota received her PhD in Entomology from the University of Connecticut, USA. She has worked as curator at Biological Museum, Lund University, Lund, Sweden since 2018. Her research interest is broadly in evolutionary history of Lepidoptera, including taxonomy, molecular phylogenetics and phylogenomics, as well as historical biogeography. Jadranka taxonomically specializes in the family Choreutidae, but has published on a number of different groups of Lepidoptera, including micros and macros. She is currently in the council of the Society for European Lepidopterology and she serves as a subject editor for Nota Lepidopterologica. 


Rodolphe Rougerie

  Rodolphe Rougerie

   Rodolphe Rougerie is a lecturer and curator of Lepidoptera at the Natural History Museum in Paris. He works on the systematics     and macroecology of hawkmoths, Sphingidae and wild silk moths Saturniidae by combining morphology, ecology, life traits and molecular phylogenies. He is a member of the Scientific Council of the Pôle National de Données de la Biodiversité (PNDB); France representative in iBOL International Scientific Collaboration Committee:;  Member of Global Lepidoptera checklist working group (CoL/GBIF)  and Subject editor for Biodiversity Data Journal and Zookeys and  member of the editorial board of the Bulletin de la Société Entomologique de France and Antenor



   Nils Ryrholm

  Nils Ryrholm received his PhD in Entomology at Uppsala University, Sweden. His thesis was about the influence of local- and microclimate on the    distribution of Lepidopteran species. He is presently working as professor at the University of Gävle in Sweden. He has continued to study       climatic impact on insects, in recent years mainly changes due to global warming. He is also working with the development of sexual pheromones as a tool in insect conservation. Nils is also strongly involved in several conservation projects like enhancing biodiversity in infra-structural habitats, the red-listing of butterflies and moths – on both national and European level.


Pasi Sihvonen

 Pasi Sihvonen

   Pasi Sihvonen is Director of zoology unit at the Finnish Museum of Natural History, University of Helsinki. His research focuses on systematics and biodiversity of geometrid moths globally, a megadiverse insect radiation of 24 000 species. Sihvonen has worked in several director, manager and expert positions at the University of Helsinki, Academy of Finland and the European Commission in research funding, research infrastructures, service development and research administration. Sihvonen promotes Diversity, Equity and Inclusion  



Hotel Dupanloup


Hôtel Dupanloup : 1, rue Dupanloup - 45000 ORLEANS - FR

The conference venue is unique. Located right next to the Orléans’ cathedral, the episcopal palace of Orléans, built between 1635 and 1641, locally known as the Hôtel Dupanloup, is a classical French building which served until 1905 of residence to the bishops of Orléans.  Since 2014, the renewed palace hosts the International University Center for Research and Le Studium Loire Valley Institute for Advanced Studies.

Participants will be welcomed in this exceptional surrounding, blending Middle Age and Renaissance cultures with modern design and will have the opportunity to discover French cuisine and wines.

Oral presentations & posters

Deadline of Abstract submission:  Monday 15th May 2023.

Please send your abstract before the deadline to
Only one oral presentation by delegate is allowed. The scientific committee will review the submitted abstracts and will comunicate its decision shortly after the Abstract submission deadline. 

Please download the template for oral presentation.
Please download the template for short talk presentation (3minutes, 1 slide)
Please download the template for poster presentation.
Please note that we do not print the posters, but racks & pins will be provided for up to A0 sizes, portrait format.

 Indicate preferred topic:

  • Forum Herbulot
  • Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Conservation

Submission details

Files and figures should be named with the presenting author’s name.

Each author can submit a maximum of 2 presentations (oral and/or poster). Co-authorship, however, is not affected by this limit.

Authors will be notified via email about the outcome of the review process by 31 May 2023 with an acceptance/rejection letter. The authors of all accepted abstracts (in the case of multiple authors, the author designated as the presenting author) must register to be included in the final conference program. Online early bird registration will start on 27th February2023 and close on 15th June 2023. Oral and poster presentations that do not meet this requirement, will be removed from the program.

After the submission deadline, abstracts cannot be corrected or modified.

Partners of the event