Contributors (in alphabetical order) and preliminary title of their talks

Richard John Aldridge, Department of Geology, University of Leicester, UK
Conodonts and the origin of the vertebrate skeleton.

Loriano Ballarin, Dept. of Biology, University of Padova, Italy
Apoptosis and recognition of senescent cells in a compound ascidian:
a comparison with vertebrates.

Paolo Burighel, Dept. of Biology, University of Padova, Italy
The development and the evolution of the stomodeum and neurohypophysis in ascidians: insight into the origin of the olfactory and adenohypophysial placodes of vertebrates

Patricio Dominguez, Dept. Paleontología, Fac. CC. Geologicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
Richard Jefferies, The Natural History Museum, London, UK
A cladogram for the Deuterostomia based on molecular-biological and fossil evidence

Philip C. J. Donoghue, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, UK
Mark Purnell, Department of Geology, University of Leicester, UK
Gen(om)e duplication and vertebrate origins: the problems of stem vertebrates and the meaning of complexity

Jerzy Dzik, Institute of Paleobiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warszawa,
Earliest chordates in the fossil record.

Mikhail A. Fedonkin, Paleontological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
Alberto Simonetta, Department of Animal Biology, University of Florence, Italy
The main Metazoan Radiation: a Pre-Cambrian event.

Bernd Fritzsch, Dept. of Biomedical Sciences, Creighton University, Omaha, USA
Origin and evolution of the vertebrate eyes, ears and brains: Major steps in the morphological evolution of these three systems and the genetic innovations guiding those steps.

Frietson Galis, Leiden University, The Netherlands
Convergence and divergence in early embryologic stages of vertebrates and invertebrates

Fabio Gasparini, Dept. Biology, University of Padova, Italy
Vascular regeneration in a tunicate recalls vertebrate angiogenesis

Neil J. Gostling, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, UK
Origin of the centralized Chordate nervous system.

Richard Jefferies, Department of Palaeontology, Natural History Museum, London, UK
Patricio Dominguez, Dept. Paleontología, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
Hatschek's work continues - fossils confirm that L-R asymmetry was important in chordate origins.

Zbynek Kozmik, Institute of Molecular Genetics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic
Characterization of Eyes absent and sine oculis genes in amphioxus.

Shigeru Kuratani, Laboratory for Evolutionary Morphology, Center for Developmental Biology, Riken, Kobe, Japan
What does it take to be a jawed vertebrate?

Bertrand Lefebvre, UMR Biogéosciences, Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France
Oldrich Fatka, Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

Stylophorans ("calcichordates"): not the ancestry of vertebrates.

John G. Maisey, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY, USA
Early Gnathostomes: Morphotypes or Stereotypes?

Jon Mallatt, Washington State University, Pullman, USA
Amphioxus, Cambrian fossil animal, Haikouella, and the origin of the vertebrates.

Lucia Manni, Department of Biology, University of Padova, Italy
Hair cells in ascidians and vertebrates: homology or convergent evolution?

Francoise Mazet, University of Oxford, Department of Zoology, Oxford, UK
Molecular evidence from Ciona intestinalis for the evolutionary origin of vertebrate sensory placodes.

Moya Meredith Smith, MRC Center for Developmental Neurobiology, King's College London, United Kingdom
Getting a grip on the bare bones of skeletal origins

Axel Meyer, Department of Biology, University of Konstanz, Germany
The evolution of the chordate genome.

Lennart Olsson, Institut für Spezielle Zoologie und Evolutionsbiologie mit Phyletischen Museum, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany
The development and evolution of cranial muscles in amphibians: selected case studies.

Gerhard Schlosser, Brain Research Institute, University of Bremen, Germany
Hatschek's pit and the evolution of vertebrate placodes.

Degan Shu, NW Univ Xian, Early Life Inst, Xian, Peoples R China
Selected papers by D. Shu
Phylogeny of early deuterostomes and origin of vertebrates.
Dr Shu kindly offered a possibility to bring his
Chengjiang fossils, such as  Haikouichthys, Haikouella, vetulicolians, Vetulocystis, and Cheungkongella, for a temporary display during the symposium.

Karl Wotton, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, UK
Fox gene duplication in vertebrate evolution.                               

GuangJun Zhang, Department of Zoology, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA
Developmental basis for the origin of the vertebrate skeleton.