International Workshop on the Biology of Blind Mole Rats 

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We are pleased to announce the upcoming international workshop on the biology of Blind Mole Rats (subfamily Spalacinae), to be held at Acıbadem University, Istanbul. The workshop will thus immediately precede the EEBST 2021 symposium at Koç University.

The workshop has currently been postponed to July 2021, with the preliminary program unchanged and funding secured. We are hopeful for the global Covid-19 pandemic to recede by that time. In the meantime please pay attention to all safety measures and practices necessary to combat this disease and stay healthy. 

The BMR (Blind mole rat or Körfare in Turkish) is a unique rodent superbly adapted to spend its entire life underground. It is (i) one of the most cytogenetically variable mammals in the world, with > 60 distinct chromosomal races described today, (ii) able to withstand extreme levels of hypoxia, and (iii) is resistant to cancer. These traits make the BMR a very interesting organism for evolutionary research and an important biomedical research model. The workshop will be the first of its kind organized in Turkey, and will bring together scientists working in different fields with the aim to foster cross-disciplinary research and cooperation. Although the BMR is the primary focus, contributions featuring research on other subterranean rodents are equally welcome.

Venue Adress: Acıbadem University, Kerem Aydınlar Campus, Kayışdağı St. No:32 Ataşehir/İSTANBUL

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Participation is free but registration-based. We encourage researches who are already working on BMR / subterranean rodents to present their work, however, participation of motivated students who would like to learn about these exciting animals is encouraged. Please note that the number of participants is limited to 50.

To register, please send an email to: <>

If you are going to present, please provide the following info about your contribution:

  1. Title and type of presentation (talk or poster)
  2. List of authors and their affiliations
  3. Abstract (appr. 350 words)

If not presenting, please write a few sentences about why you are interested in attending the workshop.

Keynote speakers:

-           Eviatar Nevo (via teleconference): Professor emeritus, Institute of Evolution, University of Haifa, Israel.

-           Imad Shams : Professor, Head of Laboratory of Environmental Stress Tolerance in Mammals, Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Haifa, Israel.

-           Mustafa Sözen : Professor, Head of Zoology section, Department of Biology, Bülent Ecevit University, Zonguldak, Turkey.

Scientific program and the full list of participants will be announced soon. We expect contributions on the following BMR-related topics:

-           Speciation, population genetics and phylogeography

-           Cytogenetic evolution

-           Ecology of immune defense

-           Behaviour, individual communication and demographic structure

-           Parasite diversity, abundance and prevalence

-          Analysis of blind & naked mole rat genome for lifespan extension

Workshop organizers:

Alexey Yanchukov (Bülent Ecevit University, Zonguldak)

Perinur Bozaykut (Acibadem University, Istanbul)

Raşit Bilgin (Boğaziçi University, Istanbul)

Alaettin Kaya (Dicle University, Diyarbakır)

Faruk Çolak (Bülent Ecevit University, Zonguldak)

Ferhat Matur (Dokuz Eylül University, Izmir)