North American Echinoderm Conference 2017

Welcome to the 8th North American Echinoderm Conference!

The 8th NAEC will take place at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts July 9-13, 2017

Despite the "North American" moniker, the NAEC welcomes echinoderm researchers and students from any country and/or region of the world. Next year, we welcome you to Worcester (pronounced "Wuuss-ter"), the "Heart of the Commonwealth" of Massachusetts, geographically centered in the heart of New England. Our hope is that Worcester's convenient location will allow you to attend the conference and as well, combine your trip with a visit to colleague(s) at any of the numerous colleges, universities, and institutes of research and higher education in New England.

The 8th NAEC is dedicated to honoring Drs. John and Vicki Pearse for their many contributions to our understanding of echinoderms. Please join us in celebrating John and Vicki!

We want students!! We are also particularly encouraging student attendance at the 8th NAEC. By holding the conference in Worcester, we hope to encourage students of all stripes from the numerous academic institutions of the Northeast (and beyond!) to attend. Please join us in Worcester and help us to strengthen the connections among young echinoderm researchers! We have lowered registration fees for students and we currently have a number of student travel scholarships to facilitate student involvement. Click on Abstract tab above for more information and application instructions. If you are a professional researcher who would like to contribute funds to be used for student travel, please contact Justin McAlister at

The 8th NAEC schedule will follow the format of previous conferences. An opening reception will be held in the late afternoon/early evening of Sunday, July 9th. Presentations will begin Monday morning with a plenary session honoring John and Vicki Pearse. Speakers for Monday's plenary include Sid Bosch, Jim McClintock, and Ben Miner. Tuesday morning will feature a plenary talk by Dave and Doris Pawson of the Smithsonian on the history of echinoderm research in the Northeastern USA. Tuesday afternoon will include a trip to the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology (Museum of Natural History) to view echinoderm (and other) collections. A casual New England clambake banquet will be held on Wednesday evening, followed by final presentations Thursday morning (and afternoon depending on conference attendance).

Abstract submission deadline: Friday, April 7. Please click on Abstract tab above for more information.

Registration deadline: Friday, June 2. Please click on Registration tab above for more information and to access our secure, online registration website.

E-mail with any questions and/or concerns and to submit your abstract!

We're looking forward to seeing you in New England in 2017!

Your 8th NAEC Co-hosts,

Justin S. McAlister, Assistant Professor, College of the Holy Cross

Roberta C. Challener, Assistant Professor, Bellarmine University

Additional Links:

College of the Holy Cross Biology Department

Previous North American Echinoderm Conferences

1st Friends of Echinoderms Conference and Workshop, June 1-3, 1989, Dauphin Island, Alabama

2nd Friends of Echinoderms Meeting, July 10-11, 1992, Ft. Pierce, Florida

3rd North American Echinoderm Meeting, August 16-19, 1998, Wallops Island, Virginia

4th North American Echinoderm Conference, August 22-26, 2001, Walpole, Maine

5th North American Echinoderm Conference, July 20-25, 2008, Melbourne, Florida

6th North American Echinoderm Conference, August 14-19, 2011, Anacortes, Washington

7th North American Echinoderm Conference, June 1-6, 2014, Pensacola, Florida