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May 21, 2015

22:00
In the last two decades, models from evolutionary biology have made important contributions to demographic research on human fertility change. Within this evolutionary framework, two distinct traditions have focused on different processes of adaptation and time scales of change: (1) behavioral ecological perspectives have focused on how individual fertility decisions are shaped by local ecological circumstances, while (2) cultural evolutionary approaches have emphasized the role of socially transmitted information and changing social norms in shaping fertility behavior. While each tradition has made independent progress, research that integrates these approaches is necessary to improve our understanding of real fertility behavior, which results from a feedback between individual fertility decisions and social change. This approach requires combined attention to immediate ecological determinants of fertility decisions as well as the long-term processes that shape costs and benefits in a given environment. This workshop will bring together an international team of evolutionary behavioral scientists with complementary methodological and theoretical expertise in anthropology, psychology, and demography to develop (a) a synthetic article which proposes how these approaches can be integrated methodologically and theoretically, (b) an empirical article which applies our new synthetic framework to the study of fertility change in a particular fieldsite, demonstrating how the new methodological approach will work in practice and what we can learn through employing it, and (c) a multi-site grant proposal (UK, US, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Bolivia, Poland) aimed at integrating and empirically testing these diverse evolutionary models of human fertility change.
Source: NESCent

May 17, 2015

22:00
Human cultural diversity is expressed in myriad ways (from social and marital norms to languages and religious practices), but what factors shape this diversity? Dating back to Darwin, multiple disciplines have debated the degree to which cultural diversity patterns are influenced by different factors, including history, demographics, and ecology. Over recent years an emerging set of studies have showcased how phylogenetic comparative methods from evolutionary biology can help resolve these long-held debates and revolutionize the field of cultural evolution. Now the major barrier to advances lies in the location of necessary data, which are spread across multiple disparate sources in linguistics, biogeography and anthropology. To overcome this challenge we will create D-PLACE (a Database of Phylogenies of Languages for the study of Cultural Evolution), a publicly available and expandable web-portal that will map over 100 cultural features onto language phylogenies and link these to ecological and environmental variables, empowering a whole new line of investigation into the drivers of cultural change and patterns of cultural diversity. We will produce a paper to introduce D-PLACE and outline the many types of questions in comparative anthropology the database can answer. Finally, we will demonstrate the power of this new resource by using D-PLACE to examine two long-standing and fundamental questions from comparative anthropology: (i) What drives the diversity of incest taboos (i.e. how human societies regulate who can mate and marry)? (ii) Can we characterize recurrent “human niches”, or are societies just arbitrary bundles of cultural features?
Source: NESCent
22:00
Baker’s Law (hereafter BL) states that self-compatible organisms are more likely to be successful colonizers after long-distance dispersal than self-incompatible organisms. This simple prediction draws a link between mating-system evolution and diverse fields of ecology and evolution such as dispersal biology and colonization, the evolution of range size and range limits, demography and Allee effect, and invasion biology. However, after >60 years of experimental research and theory development, the accumulated data yield varying, and often contradictory, support of BL. Our working group brings together a diverse array of researchers to assess predictions and assumptions of BL and elucidate ecological, evolutionary, and demographic parameters likely to determine the relationships between mating system, dispersal, and colonization success. To accomplish these goals we will: 1) Compile the voluminous literature on BL. 2) Link the BL data with two extensive databases gathered by prior NESCent support (seed germination and seed traits data; mating system data) and a NCEAS pollen limitation database. These expanded databases will include dispersal, range size, and life-history traits, thereby creating a powerful tool for testing various aspects of the relationship between mating-system and colonization success. 3) Employ macroevolutionary tools to map mating-system and dispersal traits onto the angiosperm phylogeny to assess evolutionary patterns and phylogenetically-corrected trait correlations. 4) Formalize BL using current population genetic theory and dispersal theory. Synthetic products of our working group should elucidate the links between dispersal and mating-system in colonization success, and will influence multiple fields of research in evolution for the foreseeable future.
Source: NESCent

May 6, 2015

22:00
Primates are highly charismatic and often serve as flagship species in conservation efforts. They are also the closest living relatives of humans, and therefore hold the keys to resolving many questions about human evolution and ecology. However, the slow life histories of primates, combined with their complex social systems, their behavioral plasticity, and the challenging field conditions in which primate researchers must work, have severely limited analyses of mortality and fertility in wild, unprovisioned primate populations. This in turn limits comparative analyses that can shed light on the population dynamics and the social and ecological adaptations that have shaped both human and nonhuman primate evolution. We propose a Primate Life Histories Working Group to compare mortality and fertility schedules across taxa, to evaluate a set of hypotheses about the roles that phylogeny, ecology, and behavior play in shaping primate mortality and fertility patterns, and to examine whether life history theory predicts which vital rates are most variable across species. Using unique, individual-based life history data that have been collected from wild populations by nine working group participants over a minimum of 19 years, we will develop age-specific mortality and fertility schedules and create population projection matrices for each species. Our immediate goals are to test current hypotheses about the evolution of life histories in order to advance our understanding of primate evolution. Our longer-term goal is to move toward a collaborative, shared databank allowing analyses of irreplaceable life history data on wild primates.
Source: NESCent

April 28, 2015

22:00
A number of independent efforts have compiled global plant databases on functionally important traits of leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers. These databases are comprised of 1000's to tens of 1000's of species. With a few notable exceptions, they have not been analyzed in an evolutionary or phylogenetic context. However, when synthesized with a modern molecular phylogeny, these data could tell a comprehensive, multivariate story of the evolution of plant functional diversity. In this working group, we will merge multiple databases to explore the rate (tempo, sensu GG Simpson) of evolution of these traits and the best fit evolutionary model(s) (mode) underlying the trait diversification of land plants. We will ask 1. whether important divergences in trait space occurred along similar branches for different traits, 2. whether there were periods of evolution when trait diversification was especially rapid, and 3. whether there were interactions between trait evolution and rates of speciation and extinction. This work will lead to a new community resource of great interest—an internally synced trait matrix—matched with the current state-of-the-art phylogeny. These data can then be synthesized with fossil evidence to explore whether the tempo and mode of trait evolution in extant and extinct taxa provide similar stories. Furthermore, these data will provide a powerful view into the coordinated (or lack thereof) evolution of ecologically important traits across vascular plants—one of the most diverse and important lineages in the world today.
Source: NESCent

April 23, 2015

22:00
The identification and explanation of long-term evolutionary trends in higher taxa and biological communities is an important goal of biological research. Body size is the single most important ecological characteristic of metazoa and the variable most easily applied to analysis of evolutionary trends across distantly related taxa. The proposed working group will bring together paleobiologists studying body size evolution in deep time and across higher taxa with biologists studying the distribution of body sizes in living organisms from the community to global scale. The working group will initiate a community-wide database of body sizes through the Phanerozoic, an effort that requires standardized data on body size across higher taxa. The working group will also catalyze collaborations between paleobiologists and biologists to develop the theory necessary to investigate long-term dynamics in body-size evolution across diverse living and extinct metazoan lineages. The workshop will provide a venue for members to address the relationships between the pattern of body size evolution and the distribution of body sizes in extant organisms. How well can macroevolutionary patterns be inferred from macroecological ones? How well do those patterns reflect evolutionary mechanisms, whether driven or passive? Ultimately, the resulting database will become a broadly applicable and dynamic resource for macroevolutionary research, with real potential to help future workers shed light on the forces that have shaped the evolutionary trajectory of animal life on Earth.
Source: NESCent

April 12, 2015

22:00
Although the Indian and Pacific Oceans (hereafter Indo-Pacific) have long been recognized as containing the majority of marine biodiversity, their vastness poses substantial challenges for empirical research. Syntheses of published data, however, can expand the geographic scope of inference. We plan to examine the recent evolution of Indo-Pacific taxa by drawing upon all available population genetic data. We have two immediate research goals: 1) compile and analyze existing datasets for multiple species using consistent and uniform methods of analysis that represent the best current practice in population genetics to better determine oceanographic and geographic features as well as biological traits correlated with population structure. These results will inform our understanding of evolutionary processes in the region and provide information directly relevant to managers and conservation organizations. We will also: 2) conduct the first large scale multispecies investigation to infer the geography of speciation among Indo-Pacific taxa that incorporates population genetic inferences, thus testing predictions of competing biogeographic hypotheses using a novel approach. These research goals are underpinned by the creation of a database that would become publicly accessible to facilitate future studies. In addition, we plan to develop a virtual collaboration space that will support international collaborations in genetic-based research, training, and education throughout the region.
Source: NESCent

March 15, 2015

February 26, 2015

22:00
Evolutionary biology is a foundational and integrative science for medicine, but few physicians or medical researchers are familiar with its most relevant principles. While undergraduate students have increasing opportunities to learn about the interface of evolution, health, and disease, most premedical students have scant room for electives in their schedules, few premed prerequisite courses incorporate evolutionary thinking, and no medical school develops these competencies. The overarching goal of this Working Group is to lay the groundwork for future endeavors by providing testable models and pathways for infusing premedical and medical education with evolutionary thinking. This Working Group, an interdisciplinary, international, and intergenerational group of physicians, scientists, educators, and students, will 1) define core competencies in evolutionary biology for physicians and other health professionals; 2) investigate the ability of current curricula to prepare health professionals to meet these standards; 3) identify “teachable moments” that provide opportunities to integrate evolutionary principles into premedical and medical curricula; 4) design model curricula and learning experiences that can advance evolutionary education for health professionals; and 5) provide open access to these resources and disseminate them. The Working Group will be supported by an Advisory Committee of senior academic leaders and stakeholders. These efforts will not be sufficient in themselves, but they will establish the intellectual platform from which educational interventions on student learning, and scientific and clinical problem solving, can be developed and tested.
Source: NESCent
22:00
Americans are far less accepting of human evolution than other realms of evolution; yet, human evolution and our common ancestry with other animals are increasingly relevant to medicine and our daily lives. We propose a NESCent working group made up of scientists, educators, and a journalist that will be devoted to enhancing communication of these health-related applications of human evolution to diverse audiences. Planned activities include discussion of methodological approaches designed to best communicate these ideas, design of teacher workshops, writing publications geared to each of these audiences, and discussion regarding collaboration with museums (in particular, the Smithsonian Institution) and zoos. In these activities, we will take a systematic scholarly approach using evidence-based methods to foster communication of principles of human evolution to these diverse audiences.
Source: NESCent

February 22, 2015

22:00
It is easily demonstrable that organisms with rapid, appropriate plastic responses to environmental change will prevail over genotypes with fixed phenotypes. It is also accepted that the general dearth of organisms successful across a wide environmental range indicates fundamental limits to or costs of plasticity. The nature of constraining factors has been broadly discussed (DeWitt et al. 1998), and numerous studies have been done to quantify them. However, a curious pattern has emerged: although hypothesized to be widespread, costs are absent more often than they are detected. The issue of costs of plasticity (CoP) lies at the intersection of a range of evolutionary and ecological questions: What are the limits to plasticity? Are CoP associated with life history tradeoffs? Are CoP expected in all environments? Does plasticity enhance invasiveness? etc. This working group will address two fundamental questions. 1) Are the expectations that costs of plasticity should be universal well-founded (i.e., the “no free lunch” principle)? Several authors have proposed that, in situations where the intensity of selection for adaptive plasticity is strong, there should be corresponding pressure to ameliorate costs. 2) Independently of the answer to the first question, Are analytical and experimental methods for detecting CoP appropriate or sufficiently sensitive? CoP have most often been studied using common garden style plasticity experiments and analyzed via van Tienderen’s (1991) multiple regression approach.
Source: NESCent

February 10, 2015

22:00
Meta-analysis is a statistical technique used for syntheses of results from numerous independent studies. Increasingly, evolutionary biologists need to perform meta-analysis in which the effects of numerous explanatory variables on a response variable of interest are considered, taking into account the evolutionary history of the species in the dataset. However, such analyses require analysis of numerous complex statistical models, and methods for such analyses have not been previously developed. Our working group is developing these methods and applying them to understand local adaptation, context-dependency, and the influence of evolutionary relationships on outcomes of symbiosis between plants and mycorrhizal fungi.
Source: NESCent

January 28, 2015

04:22

Below I sketch what I believe is a straightforward way GBIF could tackle the issue of annotating and cleaning its data. It continues a series of posts Annotating GBIF: some thoughts, Rethinking annotating biodiversity data, and More on annotating biodiversity data: beyond sticky notes and wikis on this topic.

Let's simplify things a little and state that GBIF at present is essentially an aggregation of Darwin Core Archive files. These are for the most part simply CSV tables (spreadsheets) with some associated administrivia (AKA metadata). GBIF consumes Darwin Core Archives, does some post-processing to clean things up a little, then indexes the contents on key fields such as catalogue number, taxon name, and geographic coordinates.

What I'm proposing is that we make use of this infrastructure, in that any annotation is itself a Darwin Core Archive file that GBIF ingests. I envisage three typical use cases:

  1. A user downloads some GBIF data, cleans it for their purposes (e.g., by updating taxonomic names, adding some georeferencing, etc.) then uploads the edited data to GBIF as a Darwin Core Archive. This edited file gets a DOI (unless the user has go one already, say by storing the data in a digital archive like Zenodo).
  2. A user takes some GBIF data and enhances it by adding links to, for example, sequences in GenBank for which the GBIF occurrences are voucher specimens, or references which cite those occurrences. The enhanced data set is uploaded to GBIF as a Darwin Core Archive and, as above, gets a DOI.
  3. A user edits an individual GBIf record, say using an interface like this. The result is stored as a Darwin Core Archive with a single row (corresponding to the edit occurrence), and gets a DOI (this is a nanopublication, of which more later)

Note that I'm ignoring the other type of annotation, which is to simply say "there is a problem with this record". This annotation doesn't add data, but instead flags an issue. GBIF has a mechanism for doing this already, albeit one that is deeply unsatisfactory and isn't integrated with the portal (you can't tell whether anyone has raised an issue for a record).

Note also that at this stage we've done nothing that GBIF doesn't already do, or isn't about to do (e.g., minting DOIs for datasets). Now, there is one inevitable consequence of this approach, namely that we will have more than one record for the same occurrence, the original one in GBIF, and the edited record. But, we are in this situation already. GBIF has duplicate records, lots of them.

Duplication

As an example, consider the following two occurrences for Psilogramma menephron:

occurrencetaxonlongitudelatitudecatalogue numbersequence 887386322Psilogramma menephron Cramer, 1780145.86301-17.44BC ZSM Lep 01337 1009633027Psilogramma menephron Cramer, 1780145.86-17.44KJ168695KJ168695

These two occurrences come from the Zoologische Staatssammlung Muenchen - International Barcode of Life (iBOL) - Barcode of Life Project Specimen Data and Geographically tagged INSDC sequences data sets, respectively. They are for the same occurrence (you can verify this by looking at the metadata data for the sequence KJ168695 where the specimen_voucher field is "BC ZSM Lep 01337").

What do we do about this? One approach would be to group all such occurrences into clusters that represent the same thing. We are then in a position to do some interesting things, such as compare different estimates of the same values. In the example above, there is clearly a difference in precision of geographic locality between the two datasets. There are some nice techniques available for synthesising multiple estimates of the same value (e.g., Bayesian belief networks), so we could provide for each cluster a summary of the possible values for each field. We can also use these methods to build up a picture of the reliability of different sources of annotation.

In a sense, we can regard one record (1009633027) as adding an annotation to the other (887386322), namely adding the DNA sequence KJ168695 (in Darwin Core parlance, "associatedSequences=[KJ168695]").

But the key point here is that GBIF will have to at some point address the issue of massive duplication of data, and in doing so it will create an opportunity to solve the annotation problem as well.

Github and DOIsIn terms of practicalities, it's worth noting that we could use github to manage editing GBIF data, as I've explored in GBIF and Github: fixing broken Darwin Core Archives. Although github might not be ideal (there some very cool alternatives being developed, such as dat, see also interview with Max Ogden) it has the nice feature that you can publish a release and get a DOI via its integration with Zenodo. So people can work on datasets and create citable identifiers at the same time.

NanopublicationsIf we consider that a Darwin Core Archive is basically a set of rows of data, then the minimal unit is a single row (corresponding to a single occurrence). This is the level at which some users will operate. They will see an error in GBIF and be able to edit the record (e.g., by adding georeferencing, an identification, etc.). One challenge is how to create incentives for doing this. One approach is to think in terms of nanopublications, which are: A nanopublication is the smallest unit of publishable information: an assertion about anything that can be uniquely identified and attributed to its author.A nanopublication comprises three elements:
  1. The assertion: In this context the Darwin Core record would be the assertion. It might be a minimal record in that, say, it only listed the fields relevant to the annotation.
  2. The provenance: the evidence for the assertion. This might be the DOI of a publication that supports the annotation.
  3. The publication information: metadata for the nanopublication, including a way to cite the nanopublication (such as a DOI), and information on the author of the nanopublication. For example, the ORCID of the person annotating the GBIF record.

As an example, consider GBIF occurrence 668534424 for specimen FMNH 235034, which according to GBIF is a specimen of Rhacophorus reinwardtii. In a recent paper

Matsui, M., Shimada, T., & Sudin, A. (2013, August). A New Gliding Frog of the Genus Rhacophorus from Borneo . Current Herpetology. Herpetological Society of Japan. doi:10.5358/hsj.32.112Matsui et al. assert that FMNH 235034 is actually Rhacophorus borneensis based on a phylogenetic analysis of a sequence (GQ204713) derived from that specimen. In which case, we could have something like this:

The nanopublication standard is evolving, and has a lot of RDF baggage that we'd need to simplify to make fit the Darwin Core model of a flat row of data, but you could imagine having a nanopublication which is a Darwin Core Archive that includes the provenance and publication information, and gets a citable identifier so that the person who created the nanopublication (in the example above I am the author of the nanopublication) can get credit for the work involved in creating the annotation. Using citable DOIs and ORCIDs to identify the nanpublication and its author embeds the nanopublication in the wider citation graph.

Note that nanopublications are not really any different from larger datasets, indeed we can think of a dataset of, say, 1000 rows as simply an aggregation of nanopublications. However, one difference is that I think GBIF would have to setup the infrastructure to manage the creation of nanopublications (which is basically collect user's input, add user id, save and mint DOI). Whereas users working with large datasets may well be happy to work with those on, say github or some other data editing environment, people willing to edit single records are unlikely to want to mess with that complexity.

What about the original providers?Under this model, the original data provider's contribution to GBIF isn't touched. If a user adds an annotation that amounts to adding a copy of the record, with some differences (corresponding to the user's edits). Now, the data provider may chose to accept those edits, in which case they can edit their own database using whatever system they have in place, and then the next time GBIF re-harvests the data, the original record in GBIF gets updated with the new data (this assumes that data providers have stable ids for their records). Under this approach we free ourselves from thinking about complicated messaging protocols between providers and aggregators, and we also free ourselves from having to wait until an edit is "approved" by a provider. Any annotation is available instantly.

SummaryMy goal here is to sketch out what I think is a straightforward way to tackle annotation that makes use of what GBIF is already doing (aggregating Darwin Core Archives) or will have to do real soon now (cluster duplicates). The annotated and cleaned data can, of course, live anywhere (and I'm suggesting that it could live on github and be archived on Zenodo), so people who clean and edit data are not simply doing it for the good of GBIF, they are creating data sets that can be used independently and be cited independently. Likewise, even if somebody goes to the trouble of fixing a single record in GBIF, they get a citable unit of work that will be linked to their academic profile (via ORCD).

Another aspect of this approach is that we don't actually need to wait for GBIF to do this. If we adopt Darwin Core Archive as the format for annotations, we can create annotations, mint DOIs, and build our own database of annotated data, with a view to being able to move that work to GBIF if and when GBIF is ready.

Source: iPhylo
03:38

SYMPOSIUM ON EVOLUTION AND ECOLOGY OF MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES - - - - - Dear colleagues, We are glad to introduce the symposium $B!H(BEvolution and Ecology of Microbial Communities$B!I(B that will be held during the annual SMBE conference in Vienna, Austria on July 12th-16th, 2015 (http://bit.ly/1HbmaHB). It focuses on the evolutionary dynamics of microbial communities and their interactions with their (changing) environment. We invite contribution of works involving metagenomics and genomics of key community isolates geared to understand the evolutionary processes in microbiomes at the taxonomic, genomic and functional levels, along with methodological developments aiming at tackling these issues. We are delighted to announce that Peer Bork (EMBL, Heidelberg) and Nancy Moran (Uni. Texas, Austin) will be featured as invited speakers, and we wish to invite all interested evolutionary microbiologists to come along and contribute talks and posters. Abstract submissions will be opened until February 8th. Looking for seeing you in Vienna! Florent Lassalle and Mathieu Groussin - - - - - Symposium description: The study of microbial community ecology and evolution has been advancing at a rapid pace for a few years, benefiting from the possibility to analyze metagenomic sequence data. Microbial communities in diverse environments have been characterized, with major impact on our understanding of microecology and human health. However, the complex nature of a microbial community makes it challenging to identify the ecological and evolutionary processes driving its multi-level structure. A community comprises dozens to hundreds of species interacting together, sharing or competing for goods, cooperating for or antagonizing in niche occupation. It can also be seen as a loosely compartmentalized gene pool structured by the pattern of genetic exchange among its members. These species and genetic interactions evolve in time along with the surrounding environment. Revealing the evolutionary processes linking these aspects of microbiomes is critical to understanding how microbes adapt to various environments and, in turn, how environments are impacted. This symposium aims at presenting new empirical results on evolution and ecology of microbial communities and the dynamics of their taxonomic composition, genomic diversity and functional repertoires. Methodological advances allowing us to infer these dynamics will also be presented. INVITED SPEAKERS: Peer Bork (EMBL, Heidelberg) Nancy Moran (University of Texas, Austin) ORGANIZERS: Mathieu Groussin (MIT, Cambridge, USA) mgroussi@mit.edu Florent Lassalle (University College London, UK) florent.lassalle@ucl.ac.uk mgroussi@gmail.com via Gmail

Source: EVOLDIR
03:38

Postdoctoral Fellow: Species Conservation Methods Chicago Zoological Society This Species Conservation Methods postdoc will work within a new Species Conservation Toolkit Initiative — a partnership to ensure that the new innovations and tools needed for species risk assessment, evaluating conservation actions, and managing populations are developed, globally available, and used effectively. Further information about the conservation tools is available at www.vortex10.org. The postdoc will participate in the design of computer modeling tools for conservation assessments and planning for wildlife populations in the wild and in captivity. You will make use of your experience in computer programming to implement new methodologies for species conservation through extending existing software tools (Vortex, PMx, Outbreak, and MetaModel Manager) or developing new tools, and will provide technical support and help to provide training to conservation professionals and graduate students using modeling methods and tools. The position is funded for 3 years and can start immediately. The position will be based at the Chicago Zoological Society (Brookfield Zoo, in the Chicago suburbs), but will work closely with (and require occasional travel to) colleagues in Washington, Minneapolis, and occasionally overseas. The position will remain open until an ideal candidate is hired. Position Requirements include: Ph.D. degree in biology or related field or Ph.D. in information science with considerable training also in biology. Expertise in population biology. One year experience in conservation biology research or species management required. Experience in computer programming for Windows applications required, including prior experience with or ability to learn C#.NET programming or related object-oriented languages. Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including proven ability in writing of reports and scientific papers, grant proposal preparation, and oral presentations. Demonstrated ability to work independently. Desirable qualifications include: Broad research and conservation interests preferred. Experience with software program VORTEX or other PVA models, and PMx or other pedigree analysis tools desirable. Experience with software development for multiple platforms (web, tablet, etc.) a plus. Experience with user interface design highly desirable. To apply: Applicants can find the position posting and apply on-line by going to http://bit.ly/1Bnl7vK,www.vortex10.org. The postdoc will participate in the design of computer modeling tools for conservation assessments and planning for wildlife populations in the wild and in captivity. You will make use of your experience in computer programming to implement new methodologies for species conservation through extending existing software tools (Vortex, PMx, Outbreak, and MetaModel Manager) or developing new tools, and will provide technical support and help to provide training to conservation professionals and graduate students using modeling methods and tools. The position is funded for 3 years and can start immediately. The position will be based at the Chicago Zoological Society (Brookfield Zoo, in the Chicago suburbs), but will work closely with (and require occasional travel to) colleagues in Washington, Minneapolis, and occasionally overseas. The position will remain open until an ideal candidate is hired. Position Requirements include: Ph.D. degree in biology or related field or Ph.D. in information science with considerable training also in biology. Expertise in population biology. One year experience in conservation biology research or species management required. Experience in computer programming for Windows applications required, including prior experience with or ability to learn C#.NET programming or related object-oriented languages. Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including proven ability in writing of reports and scientific papers, grant proposal preparation, and oral presentations. Demonstrated ability to work independently. Desirable qualifications include: Broad research and conservation interests preferred. Experience with software program VORTEX or other PVA models, and PMx or other pedigree analysis tools desirable. Experience with software development for multiple platforms (web, tablet, etc.) a plus. Experience with user interface design highly desirable. To apply: Applicants can find the position posting and apply on-line by going to http://bit.ly/1Bnl7vK, click on Enter Career Center, click on Search Openings, and then search for “Auto req ID” of 766BR. Further information, contact Robert Lacy (rlacy@ix.netcom.com) rlacy@ix.netcom.com via Gmail

Source: EVOLDIR
03:06
Dear Friends, Western Connecticut State University is proud to announce that it will host the 2015 Sigma Xi Northeastern Regional Research Conference on Saturday, April 18th. This conference provides valuable opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to showcase their research/scholarly work. We anticipate student and faculty participation from universities and community colleges throughout the New England states, New Jersey and New York. The conference is run in the same manner as a professional science conference. Student posters will be judged and each will be eligible to win the Sigma Xi Award. Participation also promotes student interaction with peers from other institutions, as well as interaction with faculty mentors from other universities, and scientists and engineers from the private sector. The event will support a life sciences competition which includes evolutionary biology. Projects focusing on evolution education can contribute to the science education panel. Additionally, one of the key note talks is exclusively devoted to the analysis of evolutionary processes. *Kent Holsinger, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut - “People, proteas, and evolutionary process: Whats math got to do with it?” The web site for the conference is now open. http://bit.ly/18tkE4e Please contact me if you have questions. Thank you, Theodora Pinou Professor of Biology and Event Chair Department of Biological & Environmental Sciences Western Connecticut State University 181 White Street Danbury, CT 06810 203-837-8793 pinout@wcsu.edu Theodora Pinou, Professor of Biology H. G. Dowling Herpetological Collection Faculty Curator Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences Western Connecticut State University 181 White Street, Danbury CT 06810 E-mail: Pinout@wcsu.edu Phone: 203-837-8793 Fax: 203-837-8875 http://bit.ly/1yvLKMW Theodora Pinou via Gmail
Source: EVOLDIR
02:50
Dear Colleagues, microMORPH is pleased to announce our third interdisciplinary workshop, Phenotypic Plasticity: Evolution at the Intersection of Ecology, Genetics, and Development, to be held at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University in Boston, MA on May 1st - 3rd, 2015. We are inviting graduate students and postdoctorals interested in exploring phenotypic plasticity from the perspective of development and microevolution to participate in this workshop (details below, or see attached flyer). microMOPRH is an NSF funded Research Coordination Network (RCN). The goal of this RCN is to promote interdisciplinary interactions in evolutionary developmental biology at the emerging interface between developmental biology and the study of intraspecific and interspecific variation. microMORPH INTERDISCIPLINARY WORKSHOPS bring together small groups of graduate students, postdoctorals, and faculty with diverse interests and expertise to interact and discuss critical concepts, intellectual objectives, emerging technologies, and analytical approaches that have the potential to advance our understanding of the evolution of plant form. All participants give presentations on their research and there is extensive discussion following each presentation. These workshops provide students, postdoctorals, and faculty with unique opportunities to explore new and challenging frontiers of knowledge. FACULTY PARTICIPANTS INCLUDE: Sally Assmann (Pennsylvania State University), Ben Blackman (University of Virginia), David Des Marais (Harvard University), Michael Donoghue (Yale University), Lisa Donovan (University of Georgia), Andrew Doust (Oklahoma State University), Cynthia Jones (University of Connecticut), Neelima Sinha (University of California, Davis), Mark van Kleunen (Universitat Konstanz), John Stinchcombe (University of Toronto), Sonia Sultan (Wesleyan University), William (Ned) Friedman (Harvard University), and Pamela Diggle (University of Connecticut). APPLICANT INFORMATION: We encourage applications from graduate students (at all stages of their dissertation research) and postdoctoral researchers now through February 28th, 2015. Eight student/postdoctoral participants will be chosen to attend, give presentations on their research and engage in the discussions. microMORPH will fund travel, accommodations, and meals for selected participants who are U.S.-citizens or currently based at a U.S. institution. Non-U.S. citizens not currently associated with a U.S. institution are encouraged to apply, but funding cannot be awarded from this NSF grant. HOW TO APPLY: Please visit the microMORPH website (http://bit.ly/1JFtnxo) for full instructions on how to submit applications. Applicants are asked to submit a CV, research statement that includes a description of the proposed talk, and letter of endorsement from their major advisor or supervising principle investigator. For additional information, contact Becky Povilus at (RCNmicromorph@gmail.com) Sincerely, Pamela Diggle (University of Connecticut) - microMORPH CO-PI William (Ned) Friedman (Harvard University) -microMORPH CO-PI Becky Povilus (Ph.D. Candidate, Harvard University) - microMORPH RA microMORPH Contact information: email: RCNmicromorph@gmail.com website: http://bit.ly/1JFtnxo “Diggle, Pamela” via Gmail
Source: EVOLDIR
02:50
SMBE 2015 Symposium on the Consequences of Gene Flow, July 12-16, Vienna Dear Colleagues, I’m writing to let you know about a symposium we are organizing at this year’s SMBE in Vienna on the Functional Consequences of Gene Flow. Here’s the info: Title: Exploring the consequences of ancient and contemporary gene flow Description: One reason why species are notoriously hard to define is that gene flow often continues in the face of emerging reproductive barriers. Genomic data has revealed that introgression is ubiquitous; in particular, ancient DNA sequencing has uncovered evidence of ancient gene flow from archaic hominins into anatomically modern humans. The distribution of introgressed alleles in modern human genomes suggests that selection has acted both to eliminate deleterious foreign material and to retain locally adaptive archaic variation related to phenotypes including keratin filament structure, adaptation to high altitude, and lipid metabolism. In addition, contemporary introgression has affected the evolutionary trajectories of many plants and animals, particularly as anthropogenic environmental alteration spurs changes in species’ geographic ranges including colonization of new habitats and alteration of life history traits such as migration timing. Gene flow can be adaptive and even rescue populations threatened by inbreeding depression, but always at the risk of inducing outbreeding depression or displacing endemic genetic variation. This symposium will bring together recent work on archaic hominin admixture with studies of gene flow in other species, focusing on the fitness consequences of introgression over long and short timescales. Confirmed speakers: Philip Hedrick, Josh Akey Organizers: Kelley Harris, Tyler Linderoth, John A. Capra, Corinne Simonti Important Dates: 2015 Feb 8 abstract submission for oral presentation closes 2015 March 1 early bird registration closes 2015 Mar 29 abstract submission for poster presentation closes For submission instructions and more info see: http://smbe2015.at/ Feel free to contact me with any questions. Thanks, Tony Capra via Gmail
Source: EVOLDIR
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—_000_123127C8F833430AB56A443A6E4A48B8uconnedu_ Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”us-ascii” Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Undergraduate Summer Internships/Training Grants The microMORPH RCN promotes and fosters cross-disciplinary training and interaction through a series of small grants that allow undergraduates to visit labs and botanical gardens as well as gain invaluable laboratory experience while contributing to scientific discovery. Award Amount: Each year, microMORPH is able to fund ten 10-week research internships/training grants for undergraduates. $5,000 is available per grant, which can be used for travel and housing for the period of the internship. Submission Deadline: Undergraduate training grant proposals are due on 11:30 pm on March 1st, 2015 Eligibility: To be eligible for a microMORPH undergraduate training grant you must fulfill one or more of the following requirements: 1) you must be a U.S. citizen or, 2) you must be affiliated with a U.S. college, university, or institution (in an undergraduate program), or 3) the lab you plan to visit for your training experience must be at a U.S. university of institution. How to Apply: For full application instructions (including list of required documents) and to submit applications, please visit the microMORPH website(http://bit.ly/1JFtnxo). Proposal Evaluation: Two members of the steering committee (one organismic and one molecular) and a third individual from outside the core participants (chosen by the steering committee) are charged with evaluating applications. Questions or Comments?: Contact Becky Povilus at RCNmicromorph@gmail.com ***************************************** Pamela Diggle Professor Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology University of Connecticut 860-486-4788 —_000_123127C8F833430AB56A443A6E4A48B8uconnedu_ Content-Type: text/html; charset=”us-ascii” Content-ID: Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Undergraduate Summer Internships/Training Grants The microMORPH RCN promotes and fosters cross-disciplinary training and interaction through a series of small grants that allow undergraduates to visit labs and botanical gardens as well as gain invaluable laboratory experience while contributing to scientific discovery. Award Amount: Each year, microMORPH is able to fund ten 10-week research internships/training grants for undergraduates. $5,000 is available per grant, which can be used for travel and housing for the period of the internship. Submission Deadline: Undergraduate training grant proposals are due on 11:30 pm on March 1st, 2015  Eligibility: To be eligible for a microMORPH undergraduate training grant you must fulfill one or more of the following requirements: 1) you must be a U.S. citizen or, 2) you must be affiliated with a U.S. college, university, or institution (in an undergraduate program), or 3) the lab you plan to visit for your training experience must be at a U.S. university of institution. How to Apply: For full application instructions (including list of required documents) and to submit applications, please visit the microMORPH website(http://bit.ly/1JFtnxo). Proposal Evaluation: Two members of the steering committee (one organismic and one molecular) and a third individual from outside the core participants (chosen by the steering committee) are charged with evaluating applications.  Questions or Comments?: Contact Becky Povilus at RCNmicromorph@gmail.com ***************************************** Pamela Diggle Professor  Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology University of Connecticut 860-486-4788



—_000_123127C8F833430AB56A443A6E4A48B8uconnedu via Gmail
Source: EVOLDIR
02:36
Post-doctoral Research Opportunity at the NIH Human Cancer Genomics/Carcinogenic HPV Genomics A postdoctoral position is available within the Genetic Epidemiology Branch of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (www.dceg.cancer.gov), National Cancer Institute. We are using high-throughput genomic approaches to examine carcinogenic HPV genome-wide variation to investigate the molecular basis of HPV carcinogenicity. Another goal of our research is to identify and characterize human genome variants that underlie the development of human pediatric cancers. To these ends, we use next-generation sequencing data to evaluate the HPV genome and human genome in large case-control or cohort studies. We are applying bioinformatics methods, phylogenetics, and genetic epidemiologic analyses to analyze these data. Applicants with a doctoral degree or background in genetics/genomics, genetic epidemiology, or related field, are encouraged to apply. Experience in analyses of large complex genomic datasets, next-generation sequencing, and/or bioinformatic methods is a plus. A successful candidate will have excellent communication skills, be highly motivated and able to work in a large multidisciplinary team. Salary and benefits are highly competitive and commensurate with experience and accomplishments. See the Division Fellowship Information page for an overview of the fellowship experience. To apply: Interested candidates should submit their curriculum vitae, a cover letter containing a statement of research interests, and the names and contact information for three referees to: Lisa Mirabello, Ph.D., M.S. Earl Stadtman Investigator, Genetic Epidemiology Branch Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, NCI, NIH E-mail: mirabellol@mail.nih.gov http://1.usa.gov/1D8ythE This position is subject to a background investigation. The NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs. via Gmail
Source: EVOLDIR