Summer School 2015

The Seed Biology Paris Summer School

A look back on one of this summer’s events

Next generation seeds: green factories and time capsules

June 28th - July 3rd 2015
Villa des Impressionnistes at Bougival


Twenty selected PhD students and young post-docs recently participated in the first summer school organized by the SPS LabEx. Over the period of a week, this small group of young scientists worked on the theme of seeds and exchanged with top scientists from academia and private companies. These exchanges covered cutting-edge research and key issues in seed science.

The program was intensive and mixed lectures by internationally recognized scientists from public and industrial research, with discussions, poster sessions, social events and visits of SPS labs. The participants were able to improve their knowledge on the topic of seed science and also network in this domain of research. The group of participants was composed of ten men and ten women, belonging to 11 nationalities. Eighteen people came from laboratories in a range of European countries, with one participant travelling from a Japanese lab and another from an Argentinian lab. Some of them continued their exchanges during ICAR 2015, the 26th International Conference on Arabidopsis Research, also organized by the SPS LabEx in Paris.

Topics and speakers

The program was divided into five sessions :

  • Embryogenesis, epigenetic control and seed size

Lucia Colombo (University of Milan)
Jean-Denis Faure (LabEx SPS)
Loïc Lepiniec (LabEx SPS)
Jean-Christophe Palauqui (LabEx SPS)

  • Seed coat differentiation and secondary metabolites of commercial interest

George Haughn (University of British Columbia)
Isabelle Debeaujon (LabEx SPS)
Helen North (LabEx SPS)

  • Seed reserve accumulation : yield and quality

John Harada (University of California)
Sébastien Baud (LabEx SPS)
Bertrand Dubreucq (LabEx SPS)

  • Desiccation and stress responses

Christophe Bailly (UPMC Paris)
Emmanuelle Issakidis-Bourguet (LabEx SPS)

  • Dormancy, germination and dispersal

Kathleen Donohue (Duke University)
Annie Marion-Poll (LabEx SPS)
Loïc Rajjou (LabEx SPS)


Download the complete programme :

Beneficial atmosphere for creating a professional network

Feedback from the satisfaction survey, examples below, confirmed that the participants enjoyed the summer school, the scientific program, the location and the atmosphere and that the school was particularly beneficial for establishing future professional networks.

Example of feedback received from the summer school satisfaction survey:

What do you think about the quality of the scientific program?

  •  "I particularly enjoyed the diversity of the topics."
  •  "I enjoyed the scientific quality of this summer school. This helped me to have an overview of the seed field in 1 week."

Did you enjoy the social events?

  • "Great opportunity to socialize and do networking."
  • "The atmosphere was good in the group. Petanque games were funny. It was really pleasant to visit Versailles, the castle, and the laboratory."

What do you think of the accessibility of the Summer school location?

  • "That was a great idea to organize the summer school in a quiet place, not in the center of Paris."

Do you think the Summer School lectures and contacts will be useful to you in the future?

  • "We made a group to stay in touch, we can inform each other of seed related business and I already asked for some mutants to use, and am thinking of collaborations etc."
  • "The summer school helped to increase my network towards current known seed scientists, especially in topics related to seeds where I had a small background (i.e embryo development/mucilage). In addition the summer school introduced me to the next generation of seed scientist, and I hope that I will hear from, and probably collaborate with some of them in the future during my own research career in the seed field."
  • "I already applied lot of things I have learned during the Summer School for my research, and talked a bit about a possible post-doc position. Many thanks."
  • The SPS summer school provided an excellent overview of our knowledge of seed biology, and the current challenges in this field. The interactions with academic and industry leaders will be valuable for my future employment."
  • "The experience was amazing and really useful because of the possibility of making new contacts. Also it was a great chance to have open-minded discussions that provided me with new points of view about science."
  • "I personally expect to collaborate with some participants and lecturers in the future and hope that this will be a good opportunity to create a strong network of seed scientists."
  • "I got huge amount of new information which I want to use in my PhD and my didactic work. We will try to stay in contact and for now we have set an appointment for a conference in Prague in 2016 :)"
  • "In my case, I got interesting information, not only from the speaker but also from the mates."
  • "Totally. Interactions with speakers were wonderful, and the contacts among young seed biology scientists a great opportunity."
  • "I hope to maintain exchanges with the other students, for future collaboration. It was easy to talk with speakers. I will not hesitate to contact them in the future."
  • "From the lectures, I had really nice ideas for future experiments I would like to conduct. I had also the opportunity to discuss with some of the participants on the manner to perform them. I also got nice input from others while presenting my work during the poster sessions. I have kept in contact with some of the participants and hope to exchange more on the techniques we use."


Logo Enza-Zaden
Logo Limagrain

Modification date: 21 February 2024 | Publication date: 28 October 2014 | By: Helen North, Myriam Ménez