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January 13, 2015

22:00
Humans are vulnerable to a number of unique musculoskeletal maladies as a consequence of our evolutionary history. Although walking on our extended hind limbs is the hallmark adaptation characterizing our species it nevertheless makes us vulnerable to a wide range of serious joint and soft tissue problems. When viewed from an evolutionary perspective many of these medical issues become understandable and, indeed, novel methods of diagnosis and treatment can emerge. The proposed collaborative, a working group of paleoanthropologists, comparative anatomists, biomechanical engineers, and physicians will create new analytical approaches and new ways of viewing the disorders that uniquely plague our species. The results of this work include the development and implementation of a model curriculum, the creation of a website, and the publication of an edited volume. The disorders directly related to our way of walking include chronically sprained ankles, hernias, osteoporotic fractures of the hip, spine, and forearm, obstetric problems, knee problems, foot disorders, fatigue fractures, and many others. By understanding how our anatomy changed in order to walk upright, and why these changes occurred, we gain a better understanding of why these adaptations sometimes go awry resulting in disorders and pain.
Source: NESCent

December 17, 2014

22:00
We propose a catalysis meeting to advance theoretically-grounded, empirical study of scientific collaborations designed to achieve synthesis. Synthesis is the integration of diverse theories, methods and data across spatial or temporal scales, scientific phenomena, and forms of expertise to increase the generality, parsimony, applicability, or empirical soundness of scientific explanations. It generates emergent explanations beyond the scope of any one discipline, dataset or method. It counterbalances scientific specialization, capitalizes on existing data, and can be used to address complex problems. Synthesis centers are an increasingly vital component of science policy, rising in number, size, and prominence nationally and globally. Despite this, our understanding of synthesis-group collaborations and their performance are inadequate to advance knowledge, inform policy and guide practice. This meeting will draw together scientists who lead and conduct synthetic research with a diverse group of experts on scientific collaboration and research evaluation. Our aim is to advance understanding of synthesis and develop new approaches for investigating it empirically, longitudinally and comparatively.
Source: NESCent

December 9, 2014

22:00
Wednesday, 12:00 PM at NESCent, Ninth Street and Main Street, Erwin Mill Building, 2024 W. Main Street, Suite A200. For more information, call 919-668-4551
Source: NESCent

December 2, 2014

22:00
Wednesday, 12:00 PM at NESCent, Ninth Street and Main Street, Erwin Mill Building, 2024 W. Main Street, Suite A200. For more information, call 919-668-4551
Source: NESCent

November 21, 2014

November 18, 2014

22:00
Wednesday, 12:00 PM at NESCent, Ninth Street and Main Street, Erwin Mill Building, 2024 W. Main Street. Room A103 (1st Floor) For more information, call 919-668-4551
Source: NESCent

November 17, 2014

22:00
What are the limits of adaptation? What determines long-term evolutionary rates? How predictable is evolution? The field of experimental evolution has grown tremendously over the last decade. This growth reflects both a greater appreciation of the power of experimental evolution for testing evolutionary hypotheses and, especially recently, the new power of genomic methods for analyzing changes in experimentally evolved lineages. But most experiments are fairly short, typically lasting only a few tens or hundreds of generations in plants/animals or microbes, respectively. Long-term evolution experiments are still rare, but are crucial in gaining a better understanding of evolutionary processes and outcomes, and in answering some of the most important basic and applied questions in biology. This catalysis meeting will bring together leading researchers in experimental evolution, population genetics, molecular evolution, theory and many other fields to develop a roadmap for the future of long-term evolution experiments. The meeting’s aims are: (i) To identify the most important biological questions that can be addressed using long-term evolution experiments; (ii) To synthesise information on existing long-term evolution experiments that were both intentional (e.g. lab-based) and unintentional (e.g. disease outbreaks, the pet trade, stock centres, and industrial processes); (iii) To identify opportunities to answer existing questions with existing data and/or experiments; (iv) To plan new long-term evolution experiments in a variety of systems; This meeting will establish an international network of collaborating labs that will result in new research directions, new training opportunities, and a grand vision for the future of long-term evolution experiments.
Source: NESCent

November 12, 2014

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

November 11, 2014

22:00
Wednesday, 12:00 PM at NESCent, Ninth Street and Main Street, Erwin Mill Building, 2024 W. Main Street. Room A103 (1st Floor) For more information, call 919-668-4551
Source: NESCent

November 9, 2014

22:00
This catalysis group will plan the implementation of SimBank, a large, openly-available series of population genetic landscape simulations, intended for easy testing and validation of statistical genetics methods and based on realistic scenarios from natural populations across a range of taxa. Genetic and genomic data allow us to estimate numerous biological parameters through statistical genetics techniques. However, these techniques necessarily make many assumptions that do not match biology. As a result, the value of these statistical approaches may depend on the biological details of the evolutionary and demographic history of the populations being studied. Statistical genetics techniques need to be better tested and validated than they currently are, and the best way to do this is by comparisons to genetic simulation of biologically reasonable situations. This catalysis group will plan for the creation of a test bank of simulated genomic data. We will create a core list of biological scenarios that can test a wide variety of statistical methods, over a range of assumptions about evolutionary history, demography, and genetic details. Creating such simulations is non-trivial, because of the necessity of coding a variety of scenarios and the processor time required to do large-scale simulations. However, many types of statistical genetics techniques can be tested on a common set of simulations. In this way, we can share processor time and discuss as a community what issues are most important to cover. The group will mix statisticians and programmers with empirical biologists, with expertise in evolution, landscape ecology, and geospatial pattern analysis.
Source: NESCent

November 4, 2014

22:00
Wednesday, 12:00 PM at NESCent, Ninth Street and Main Street, Erwin Mill Building, 2024 W. Main Street. Room A103 (1st Floor) For more information, call 919-668-4551
Source: NESCent

November 3, 2014

22:00
Odonates are model organisms for testing fundamental evolutionary questions because (1) they are one of the first winged insects); (2) have the most advanced vision and flight among insects; (3) their ecology and behavior is among the best studied for insects; and (4) they are easy to manipulate for field studies. However, a major obstacle to many odonate studies is the lack of odonate genomics resources. This gap in odonate genomics limits research progress but can be overcome by a focused effort that combines, analyzes and synthesizes existing and emerging datasets and knowledge in the field. This is now possible, as several research groups have started odonate genomics projects in the last 5 years, but formal communication between laboratories has yet to begin. The odonate community is geographically dispersed and many researchers are working in disparate fields (such as paleo-entomology, conservation/climate change, single gene evolution and/or comparative genomics), and therefore a Catalysis meeting would provide an ideal opportunity that will (1) foster international collaboration to create an effective network that will (2) focus community efforts towards a cohesive program to (3) generate new knowledge and a legacy of useful resources and novel research directions.
Source: NESCent

November 2, 2014

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

October 28, 2014

22:00
Wednesday, 12:00 PM at NESCent, Ninth Street and Main Street, Erwin Mill Building, 2024 W. Main Street, Suite A200. For more information, call 919-668-4551
Source: NESCent

October 22, 2014

22:00
Why are some genes imprinted, where the maternally or paternally inherited copies are preferentially expressed? Ever since the paradoxical pattern of imprinted gene expression was discovered evolutionary theories have strived to answer this question. Consequently, theories built on different fundamental assumptions have proliferated. Although these theories should make distinct and testable predictions, there have been few tests aimed at formally differentiating between these competing ideas. However, despite the general lack of such tests, the ‘kinship theory’, and especially its most prominent component, the ‘conflict hypothesis’, has emerged as the favored theory. This predominance is most notably reflected in the literature outside of evolutionary biology, where the conflict hypothesis is regularly used to interpret the functions and effects of imprinted genes. The conflict hypothesis rose to dominance because it appears to explain the effects of the first imprinted genes discovered. However, data from a broader array of genes in model species and emerging insights from non-model species appear to challenge whether one hypothesis adequately explains all occurrences of imprinting. We propose a working group composed of theoretical, computational and empirical biologists that will develop a set of formal predictions and devise tests to differentiate between competing models for the evolution of genomic imprinting. In doing so, we also expect to identify unexplored problems in evolutionary theory. Understanding why genes are imprinted also has important implications for evolutionary medicine since imprinted genes play a crucial role during pregnancy, in the manifestation of several behavioral disorders, and in some cancers.
Source: NESCent
22:00
Why are some genes imprinted, where the maternally or paternally inherited copies are preferentially expressed? Ever since the paradoxical pattern of imprinted gene expression was discovered evolutionary theories have strived to answer this question. Consequently, theories built on different fundamental assumptions have proliferated. Although these theories should make distinct and testable predictions, there have been few tests aimed at formally differentiating between these competing ideas. However, despite the general lack of such tests, the ‘kinship theory’, and especially its most prominent component, the ‘conflict hypothesis’, has emerged as the favored theory. This predominance is most notably reflected in the literature outside of evolutionary biology, where the conflict hypothesis is regularly used to interpret the functions and effects of imprinted genes. The conflict hypothesis rose to dominance because it appears to explain the effects of the first imprinted genes discovered. However, data from a broader array of genes in model species and emerging insights from non-model species appear to challenge whether one hypothesis adequately explains all occurrences of imprinting. We propose a working group composed of theoretical, computational and empirical biologists that will develop a set of formal predictions and devise tests to differentiate between competing models for the evolution of genomic imprinting. In doing so, we also expect to identify unexplored problems in evolutionary theory. Understanding why genes are imprinted also has important implications for evolutionary medicine since imprinted genes play a crucial role during pregnancy, in the manifestation of several behavioral disorders, and in some cancers.
Source: NESCent
18:00
Background: The current taxonomy of the African giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is primarily based on pelage pattern and geographic distribution, and nine subspecies are currently recognized. Although genetic studies have been conducted, their resolution is low, mainly due to limited sampling. Detailed knowledge about the genetic variation and phylogeography of the South African giraffe (G. c. giraffa) and the Angolan giraffe (G. c. angolensis) is lacking. We investigate genetic variation among giraffe matrilines by increased sampling, with a focus on giraffe key areas in southern Africa. Results: The 1,562 nucleotides long mitochondrial DNA dataset (cytochrome b and partial control region) comprises 138 parsimony informative sites among 161 giraffe individuals from eight populations. We additionally included two okapis as an outgroup. The analyses of the maternally inherited sequences reveal a deep divergence between northern and southern giraffe populations in Africa, and a general pattern of distinct matrilineal clades corresponding to their geographic distribution. Divergence time estimates among giraffe populations place the deepest splits at several hundred thousand years ago. Conclusions: Our increased sampling in southern Africa suggests that the distribution ranges of the Angolan and South African giraffe need to be redefined. Knowledge about the phylogeography and genetic variation of these two maternal lineages is crucial for the development of appropriate management strategies.
03:21
The Dpartement de biologie of Universit Laval invites applications at the level of assistant (tenure-track), associate or full professor in systematics of vascular plants, bryophytes or lichens. The selected candidate will be appointed curator of the Louis-Marie Herbarium. The candidate will teach botany and plant systematics and develop an active research program in plant phylogeny, which may include a biogeographic approach and the use of genomic tools. He or she is expected to recruit and supervise graduate students. The candidate will ensure the development and promotion of the Herbarium and oversee the work of the Herbarium staff. Applicants should have a Ph.D. in biological sciences or exceptionally, in the process of being completed. Postdoctoral experience is desirable. Established researchers are welcome to apply. The appointee is expected to teach in French after a year, to possess an excellent publication record, and to demonstrate strong teaching abilities at all levels (e.g. introductory plant diversity and graduate course in plant taxonomy/systematics). Universit Laval has an affirmative action policy committed to reducing gender imbalance; qualified women are strongly encouraged to apply. Closing date: December 15, 2014. Starting date: September 1, 2015. Eligible candidates should submit a letter describing their qualifications and motivation for the position, a CV, and relevant publications to Line Lapointe, Chair, Dpartement de biologie, Universit Laval, Qubec, QC G1V 0A6. FAX: 418-656-2043, directeur@bio.ulaval.ca. The letter of intent should describe the research interests and teaching philosophy of the candidate as well as propose a development plan for the Herbarium over the next ten years. The name and address of three potential referees should be included in the CV. Le Dpartement de biologie de l’Universit Laval sollicite des candidatures pour un poste rgulier de professeure ou de professeur (adjoint, agrg ou titulaire) en systmatique des plantes vasculaires, des bryophytes ou des lichens, auquel est assorti le poste de conservateur de l’Herbier Louis-Marie. Le candidat ou la candidate devra enseigner la botanique et la systmatique vgtale, dvelopper un programme de recherche indpendant et subventionn dans le domaine de la phylognie, pouvant inclure une approche biogographique et les outils de la gnomique. Il ou elle devra contribuer significativement au recrutement et la formation d’tudiants aux 2e et 3e cycles. Il ou elle devra de plus assumer la gestion de l’Herbier Louis-Marie et de son personnel, poursuivre son dveloppement et en faire activement la promotion. Formation et comptence requises : doctorat en sciences biologiques (ou de manire exceptionnelle, en voie d’obtention); exprience postdoctorale souhaitable. Les candidatures de chercheurs tablis sont les bienvenues. Exigences : - Enseigner en franais dans un dlai d’un an. - Possder un excellent dossier de publications et de recherche. - Dmontrer une capacit offrir un enseignement dynamique aux trois cycles (dont un cours d’introduction la diversit vgtale et un cours de taxinomie/systmatique vgtale) L’Universit a une politique d’quit en matire d’emploi. Les femmes sont donc fortement encourages poser leur candidature. Date de clture : 15 dcembre 2014. Le candidat ou la candidate doit entrer en poste au plus tard le 1er septembre 2015. Les personnes intresses doivent faire parvenir un dossier de candidature  : Line Lapointe, directrice, Dpartement de biologie, Universit Laval, Qubec, QC G1V 0A6. Tlcopieur: 418-656-2043, directeur@bio.ulaval.ca. Ce dossier doit comprendre une lettre de motivation et d’intention, un curriculum vitae dtaill et un exemplaire des publications les plus pertinentes. La lettre d’intention doit prsenter les avenues d’enseignement et de recherche, ainsi qu’un plan de dveloppement de l’Herbier Louis-Marie pour la prochaine dcennie. Les noms et coordonnes de trois personnes pouvant fournir une lettre d’appui doivent galement tre inclus dans le curriculum vitae. Louis Bernatchez, MSRC, FRSC Chaire de recherche du Canada en Gnomique et Conservation des Ressources Aquatiques Dpartement de biologie, Institut de Biologie Intgrative et des Systmes (IBIS) Pavillon Charles-Eugne-Marchand 1030, Avenue de la Mdecine Local 1145 Universit Laval Qubec (Qubec) G1V 0A6 Canada Tl.: 1 418 656-3402 Tlc.: 1 418 656-7176 Courriel:Louis.Bernatchez@bio.ulaval.ca Web: http://bit.ly/1w817Qa Louis Bernatchez via Gmail
Source: EVOLDIR
03:20
FACULTY POSITIONS IN LIFE SCIENCES Yale-NUS College, a collaboration between the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Yale University, is seeking to hire one or more open rank, tenure-track, or tenured faculty members to complement our existing biology faculty. Preference will be given to those with an ability to teach across disciplinary boundaries and whose research is suitable to the involvement of undergraduates. Examples might include computational biology, microbial physiology, and developmental genetics of model organisms, but these examples are not meant to preclude any other area of research. Successful candidates will teach both within their specialties and in the Yale-NUS Common Curriculum, an innovative set of required courses that include Scientific Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning, and Foundations of Science (or Integrated Science for those likely to major in science). For information about the Common Curriculum, please refer to http://bit.ly/1w817PY. Salary, benefits, and leave policies will be competitive at an international level. Yale-NUS College is committed to supporting faculty research through various grants, research, and travel allowances; institutional assistance with proposal preparation; and administration of external grant funding. Full-time appointments are preferred, but joint appointments with other units of NUS may be negotiated. Applications are currently being accepted and reviewed, and review will continue until the positions are filled. Candidates are encouraged to submit their materials as soon as possible. For general inquiries, please refer to http://bit.ly/1wjPmDT, or email Jon Berrick, Search Committee Chair and Professor of Science, at: yale-nus.college@yale.edu. Yale-NUS College values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity. For additional information about the College and the faculty hiring process, including submission guidelines, and to apply, please visit our website at: http://bit.ly/1sjhreO. To directly access the application portal, please visit: http://bit.ly/1wjPmDU. Emily Marie Smith Assistant Director, Yale-NUS College New Haven Office for Planning and Development Yale Office of the Vice President for Global Initiatives 282 York Street, 2nd Floor New Haven, CT 06511 203-432-1317 (office) emily.m.smith@yale.edu http://bit.ly/1wjPmDT “Smith, Emily” via Gmail
Source: EVOLDIR
03:05
Title: MS Research- Hellbender Ecology and Conservation Agency: Purdue University Location: West Lafayette, IN Job Description: Seeking a highly motivated student for a MS position focusing on hellbender ecology and conservation. The selected candidate will assess post-release juvenile movements and survival, characterize juvenile habitat use, and conduct habitat modifications. This project will consist of intensive field work, up to nine months, at field sites located in southern Indiana. Transportation and off-campus housing will be provided. Graduate position begins in August 2015, but opportunities for field work can begin in May 2015. Qualifications: A student with a background in herpetology or related field is preferred. Experience using radio-telemetry is desired. Applicants must have a strong work ethic and the ability to work both independently and as a member of a team of graduate students working on hellbender ecology and conservation (e.g., students evaluating larval hellbender captive rearing techniques, developing ecological niche models, and hellbender genetics). Applicants also will work closely with a diverse group of scientists, state wildlife biologists, private landowners, and zoo personnel. Excellent writing and interpersonal skills are essential. Funding for research will be provided, but the successful student will need to secure a departmental assistantship through the application process from Purdues Department of Forestry and Natural Resources. Competitive students will have stellar GRE scores, grades/GPA, and letters of recommendation. Applicants are encouraged to visit http://bit.ly/MjkaSR to ensure they meet the minimum departmental requirements for admission. Students that do not meet minimum requirements will not be considered. To apply, electronically submit a single PDF that consists of a cover letter stating research and career interests, CV (including cumulative GPA and GRE scores & percentages), and contact information for three references to Dr. Rod Williams (rodw@purdue.edu). Only those applicants deemed competitive for a departmental assistantship will be asked to formally apply to the Purdue Graduate School and Department of Forestry and Natural Resources. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce. Stipend: ~$18,000/yr Last Date to Apply: November 14, 2014 Contact: Rod Williams E-mail: rodw@purdue.edu Web: http://bit.ly/MxYK56 Steven J.A. Kimble, PhD Postdoctoral Research Assistant and Vertebrate Collection Curator, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources Purdue University skimble@purdue.edu sjkimble@gmail.com http://bit.ly/MjkaSV Steve Kimble via Gmail
Source: EVOLDIR