Coronavirus update

Important information:
All on-campus visits and events are cancelled or postponed until further notice. Virtual events will be running as normal unless otherwise stated.  For the latest updates visit our coronavirus information page. Please note that some of our on campus events may be replaced by virtual events - please check with the event organiser listed against each event.

VIII International Simuliidae Symposium 2018

Univerity of Birmingham
Thursday 21 June (09:00) - Friday 22 June 2018 (17:00)

Please contact Charles Brockhouse ( with expressions of interest or for further information.

Come to Brum!

Blackfly larva

Blackfly larva

The 2018 Simuliidae Symposium will be at University of Birmingham, England 21-22 June 2018.  Arrival and registration will be during the evening of Wednesday 20 June.  The conference facilities can be viewed at

The registration fee will be £100, which will include the conference dinner on Thursday June 22. An optional dinner at the nearby Birmingham Botanical Gardens is available, which includes access to the gardens , for an additional £30.

Sessions on blackfly ecology and systematics, genomics, and working towards the elimination of onchocerciasis in Africa will be held, with a possible workshop on nanopore DNA sequencing.  Both oral/powerpoint and poster formats will be available.


Delegates will be able to book their own rooms directly with Conferences & Events Birmgham

For conference rates, please use this booking code when reserving your room:  FLY18.   The conference rates are valid for June 20-22 inclusive, and must be booked by April 30, 2018.

Please note that accommodations outside of June 20-22 must be booked separately, and do not qualify for the conference rate.

Conference rate room charges per night are: 

  • Single: £56.00
  • Double room £66.50 (per room)
  • King room £76.50 (per room)

The rooms include buffet breakfast. 

Special Dietary Needs:

If you have special dietary requirments for the conference meals, please contact Dr. Charles Brockhouse ( upon registration.

Letters of Invitation:

Official letters of invitation for visa or grant purposes are available upon request. Please email Charles Brockhouse ( and we will arrange for a letter to be emailed to you.  Note that the letter does not include funding for the conference.


Birmingham International Airport has direct links to continental Europe, and North America through Iceland Air.  Trains run from the airport to New Street Station, Birmingham. The University train station is two stops away from New Street.

Trains from London:  Direct trains to University Station run from Euston Station (London).  Alternatively, trains from Euston also run to Birmingham New Street, followed by transfer to University. 

Trains from London Marylebone run to Birmingham Moor Street. It is a short walk from there to Birmingham New Street, or cabs are available (go to Lucas House at the University of Birmingham).


Register for the Symposium here  

Standard registration fee is £100, with second delegate rate for spouses/accompanying persons of £30.  The registration fee for students is waived.  There is an optional conference dinner for the last night of the conference at £30 per person.

Abstract Deadline April 30, 2018:

If you wish to have an Abstract of your talk or poster included in the meeting, please email your abstract to, with the subject line Symposium Abstract, by April 30.   All meeting abstracts will be published in the Simulium Bulletin, July 2018.

Preliminary Agenda:

Wednesday June 20 (evening): Registration

Thursday June 21. 
Nicholson Building, Nettlefold Room
9:00 -9:15.  Registration continued. Morning coffee.
9:15: Welcome and opening remarks (John Davies and John Colbourne)
9:30 Session 1: Towards the elimination of River Blindness.  Chair:  Prof. Daniel Boakye
10:30: Coffee Break and Posters.  The Refectory.
11:00-12:30 Session 2.   Ecology of Blackflies;  Chair: Prof. John McCreadie.
12:40-13:30.  Buffet lunch.  The Refectory.
13:40-14:30. Session 3. Taxonomy of Blackflies. 
14:40-15:30.  Session 4.
15:30-15:45: Coffee break. The Refectory.
15:45-16:45.  General Discussion.
19:00-21:00 Dinner in Lucas House’s Park Restaurant.

Friday June 22.
Nicholson Building, Nettlefold Room

9:00-9:15. Morning coffee.
9:15-10:30.  Molecular biology and taxonomy of Blackflies.  Chair: Dr. Soochin Cho.
10:30-10:00.  Coffee break and Posters. The Refectory.
11:00-11:30.  Blackflies as tools for environmental studies.  Chair:  Dr. Charles Brockhouse.
11:40-12:30.  Progress in the Simulium Genome Project. 1.  Chair:  Dr. John K. Colbourne
12:30-13:30.  Buffet Lunch. The Refectory.
13:45-14:30.  Progress in the Simulium Genome Project. 2. Chair: Dr. Charles Brockhouse
14:40-15:30.  Demonstration of the  Portable MinION DNA Sequencer.
15:30-  .  Wrap up discussion.  Where from here?

19:00-  Optional Conference Dinner.  Birmingham Botanical Gardens

More Information
Further announcements will be made through the Simuliidae-L and

Please contact Charles Brockhouse ( with expressions of interest or for further information.

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