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Male and female germ cells differentiate into cytologically and physiologically dissimilar gametes. Fertilization requires these two dissimilar gametes to find, recognize and specifically fuse with each other to generate the zygote that launches early development. Although these phenomena show incredible diversity among organisms, crucial aspects are likely similar. This Gordon Research Conference (GRC), the 23rd in a series of exciting and provocative meetings, will showcase research from the diversity of organisms that have contributed to our understanding of gamete biology, fertilization and early development. Additionally, this GRC will include presentations in the area of assisted reproductive technology that has, so far, resulted in over 5 million “test tube babies”. A mix of senior and junior leaders across the diversity of these research areas will present their work, about half will be invited talks and half selected from abstracts submitted by conference attendees. Each oral session will have a Discussion Leader to introduce the themes and topics. Traditionally, this GRC always has exciting, well-attended poster sessions that are further enlivened since one session of talks is selected from among the poster presentations. This GRC occurs immediately after a Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) at which graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and early-career investigators will have an opportunity to present their work and network with present and future colleagues and a few select senior mentors. Both the GRS and GRC will allow plenty of time for discussion in an informal setting and opportunities for afternoon recreational activities in the incredibly scenic New Hampshire countryside.