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May 21, 2015

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

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
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 10, 2015

Building non-model species genome curation communities
Source: NESCent

May 6, 2015

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

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

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

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 29, 2015


NeighborNet produces splits graphs based on distances between the taxa, rather than using the original character data. This approach can produce what we might call inconsequential splits in the graph — that is, splits that are not explicitly supported by the character data. Here, I present a simple example to illustrate the extent to which this can occur.

The data are taken from: Nanette Thomas, Jeremy J. Bruhl, Andrew Ford, Peter H. Weston (2014) Molecular dating of Winteraceae reveals a complex biogeographical history involving both ancient Gondwanan vicariance and long-distance dispersal. Journal of Biogeography 41: 894-904.

This dataset consists of a set of eight morphological features of the pollen from 31 extant plant taxa plus two fossil samples, as shown in this data matrix:

T_lanceolata        00111011
T_stipitata         00111011
T_purpurescens      00111011
T_xerophila_x       00111011
T_xerophila_r       00111011
T_vickeriana        00111011
T_glaucifolia       00111011
T_membranea         00111011
T_insipida          00111011
T_perrieri          00111010
D_winteri           00111010
D_grenadensis       00111010
B_comptonii         00011010
B_howeana           00011010
B_semicarpoides     00011010
B_whiteana          00011010
B_queenslandiana_q  00011010
B_queenslandiana_1  00011010
P_axillaris         00011011
P_colorata          00011011
Pseudowinterapollis 00011011
B_pancheri          01001011
Harrisipollenites   01001100
Z_acsmithii         01001101
E_stipitatum        01001101
Z_bicolor           01001101
Z_balansae          11001101
C_dinisii           1-111101
C_madagascariensis  1-111101
W_salutaris         1-111101
P_macranthum        1-111101
C_ekmanii           1-111101
C_winterana         1-111101

Note that there are only nine groups of taxa (separated by the dashed lines) — within each group the data are identical. Each character has two states: present / absent.

The resulting NeighborNet, as produced by default using the SplitsTree4 program, is shown in the first graph.

As expected, the taxa form nine groups. There are a number of apparently well-supported splits (ie. with long edges) separating these groups. There are also a number of smaller splits, and a whole series of very tiny splits. None of these latter two groupings are explicitly present in the dataset — the only splits supported by the characters are plotted onto the graph using the character numbers. (Note that character 5 is uninformative.)

The series of very tiny splits are present throughout the graph as extremely short edges. For example, a detailed view of the bottom left-hand corner of the graph is shown in the next figure.

Note that these six taxa have identical character data, and therefore their separation into four groups is entirely an artifact of the NeighborNet algorithm.

So, one needs to be careful when interpreting small splits in such a graph — they may have biologiocal support and they may not.

Graduate Meeting of the Zoological Systematics group of the German Zoological Society June 5th to 6th 2015 Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Ecology of the University of Bonn, Germany To whom it may concern, On behalf of the Zoological Systematics group of the German Zoological Society Thomas Bartolomaeus and Torsten Struck invite you to participate at the graduate meeting at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Ecology of the University of Bonn. The topic of the meeting are the challenges that cryptic speciation poses to taxonomic, evolutionary biological and ecological research. The invited speakers will speak about the specific requirements to taxonomically describe cryptic species, the foundations and problems of automatic species delineation, the pros and cons of different marker systems with respect to cryptic species and the impact of cryptic species on ecological and evolutionary biological studies. For more detailed informations see the flyer of the meeting (link to the flyer is below). Besides the invited speakers there is plenty of time and opportunity to present the own research as a presentation and poster as well as for discussion. Please register inclusive an abstract for presentations or posters till May 8th 2015 by E-Mail to: Best wishes by the speakers of the Systematics group, Sven Bradler & Torsten Struck Flyer with Information about graduate meeting: Torsten Struck via Gmail

March 28, 2015

Dear all, I am pleased to announce that the mini symposium “Trade-offs and adaptive syndromes in evolution ”, will be held during the - MMEE 2015 - Mathematical Models of Ecology and Evolution Conference in Paris Jul 8th- 10th 2015. Conference pre-registration Deadline is on May 1st. Payment and registration deadline is June 1st. Symposium description: Many models of evolution have focused on single traits ignoring covariation and coevolution of them. The joint evolution of several morphological, behavioural or life-history traits that share evolutionary history, needs to be investigated to be able to draw conclusions about syndromes which result from different proximate and ultimate causes. Trade-offs and feedbacks are expected to shape the strength of adaptive syndromes and studying them will greatly improve our understanding of closely related trait changes in evolution. Confirmed speakers: François Massol (Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille 1’Bâtiment SN2) Title: Joint evolution of dispersal and the allocation of dispersal cost in heterogeneous landscapes; Claus Rüffler (University of Uppsala) Title: Does Organismal Complexity Favor the Evolution of Diversity? If you are interested in contributing a poster or talk to this symposium, please indicate so (select mini-symposium 8. Trade-offs and adaptive syndromes) during abstract submission. Bests, Helene Weigang Helene Weigang PhD Candidate Biomathematics Group Department of Mathematics and Statistics University of Helsinki P.O. Box 68 (Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2b) Kumpula campus, EXACTUM, room B418 via Gmail

If you are headed to SMBE this summer, then you might want to make an early stop in Paris on your way to Vienna. Henrique Teotónio and I are organizing a symposium on “Linkage and the limits to selection” as part of the Mathematical Models in Ecology and Evolution meeting, July 8-10 at the Collège de France in Paris. Nick Barton and Dimtri Petrov are our featured speakers, and there will be contributed talks as well. Our symposium is scheduled for the last day of the meeting for extra convenience for those heading to SMBE. There are several other symposia on adaptation at the meeting that should be of interest to this group as well, in addition to keynote talks by Michael Doebeli, Maria Servedio, Josh Plotkin, Régis Ferrière, and others. Hope to see you there. via Gmail

—001a11c39ce21100ae0512486f69 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8 Dear Colleagues, The field of population genetics has a remarkable tradition of being a tight-knit and nurturing community. In order to better foster that sense of community for the popgen groups in the Midwest, we thought it would be fun to organize a short scientific conference to which we could bring our labs and have meaningful introductions and interactions. After a successful first trial last year (Evidence on, we are excited to run this meeting again. Thus, we’d like to invite you to come and bring your group to the meeting of the MidWest Population Genetics group, which will be held on July 25-26th at the University of Michigan. The meeting will begin Saturday and continue to Sunday with a BBQ on Saturday evening. The keynote speaker will be Goncalo Abecasis, chair of Biostatistics at the University of Michigan. Thirteen 25 minute talks will be selected from submitted abstracts. Students are especially encouraged to attend and present their work. There will be a small prize for best poster and best talk by a student or postdoctoral fellow. Space is limited, so if you do plan to attend, please RSVP to or sign up on by June 1, and submit your abstracts by June 1 to so we can finalize our program. There is no registration fee. The tentative schedule follows below. We do hope that you can make it and help establish this as an important meeting for the population geneticists in our region! All the best, Don Conrad, WashU John Novembre, Chicago Bret Payseur, Wisconsin Sebastian Zollner, Michigan Draft Agenda: Saturday 12:00-1:30pm Registration and light lunch 1:30-3:30 Four 25 minute talks 3:30-4:30 Posters 4:30-5:30 Keynote 7:30-11 BBQ Sunday 8-9 Breakfast 9-10:30 Three 25 minute talks 10:30-10:45 Break 10:45-12:15 Three 25 minute talks 12:15-1:30pm Lunch 1:30-2:25pm Three 25 minute talks —001a11c39ce21100ae0512486f69 Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Dear Colleagues,

The field of population genetics has a remarkable tradition of being a tight-knit and nurturing community. In order to better foster that sense of community for the popgen groups in the Midwest, we thought it would be fun to organize a short scientific conference to which we could bring our labs and have meaningful introductions and interactions.  After a successful first trial last year (Evidence on, we are excited to run this meeting again.

Thus, we’d like to invite you to come and bring your group to the meeting of the MidWest Population Genetics group, which will be held on July 25-26th at the University of Michigan.  The meeting will begin Saturday and continue to Sunday with a BBQ on Saturday evening.

The keynote speaker will be Goncalo Abecasis, chair of Biostatistics at the University of Michigan.  Thir teen 25 minute talks will be selected from submitted abstracts. Students are especially encouraged to attend and present their work.  There will be a small prize for best poster and best talk by a student or postdoctoral fellow.

Space is limited, so if you do plan to attend, please RSVP to  or sign up on by June 1, and submit your abstracts by June 1 to  so we can finalize our program. There is no registration fee.

The tentative schedule follows below. We do hope that you can make it and help establish this as an important meeting for the population geneticists in our region!

All t he best,

Don Conrad, WashU

John Novembre, Chicago

Bret Payseur, Wisconsin

Sebastian Zollner, Michigan

Draft Agenda:


12:00-1:30pm Registration and light lunch

1:30-3:30 Four 25 minute talks

3:30-4:30 Posters

4:30-5:30 Keynote

7:30-11 BBQ


8-9 Breakfast

9-10:30 Three 25 minute talks

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45-12:15 Three 25 minute talks

12:15-1:30pm Lunch

1:30-2:25pm Three 25 minute talks

—001a11c39ce21100ae0512486f6 via Gmail

*Postdoctoral bioinformatician in Evolutionary genomics, UNamur, BE* A 3-year postdoctoral bioinformatician position is available to work on the genome evolution of bdelloid rotifers within the group of Prof. Karine Van Doninck (Laboratory of Evolutionary Genetics and Ecology) at the University of Namur (Belgium). The postdoctoral researcher will work on two projects, funded by ARC and FNRS-MIS, with as main objective to investigate theorigin and causesof the genomic peculiarities found in the bdelloid rotifer /A. vaga/. Using next-generation sequencing (NGS) we previously characterized the degenerate tetraploidgenome structure of the bdelloid rotifer /Adineta vaga/ with massive genomic rearrangements involvingmost of the longest scaffolds. As a consequence, no homologous pair of chromosomes could be identified within this genome providing the first genomic hallmark of ameiotic evolution within this bdelloid rotifer clade. Another peculiarity observed in the genome of /A. vaga /is the high percentage of genes (8%) of non-metazoan origin and probably//acquired through horizontal gene transfer (HGT) (see Flot et al_Nature_2013). These features could be//conferred by their long-term ameiotic evolution.//Nonetheless, the unusual//lifestyle of many bdelloid rotifers, involving repeated cycles of desiccation//and the associated DNA DSBs (see Hespeels et al_JEB_2014), may also contribute to genome structure//evolution.//In order to determine the origin and causes of these genomic//peculiarities we are starting a comparative analysis of//genomes of different bdelloid species that diverged a long time ago,//including lineages that have lost the ability to withstand desiccation, and of an /A. vaga/ clone submitted to several rounds of desiccation. The postdoc will conduct bioinformatic analyses of genomic (and transcriptomic) data generated by the team. The current team of researchers working on bdelloid rotifers within the 2 projects include 3 Principal Investigators (Prof. K. Van Doninck and Dr. F. Chainiaux from UNamur and Prof. B. Hallet from UCL), 2 postdoctoral researchers, 3 PhD students, 2 Master students and 2 technicians.// *Contacts:* Prof. Karine Van Doninck, University of Namur, Laboartory of Evolutionary Genetics and Ecology *Application://* Applicants should have a PhD in a relevant area. Priority will be given to candidates with a proven track record (with several publications as a first author) who will express their motivation to the project. The position is for 3 years starting latest on the *1^st of July 2015. *The closing date for applications is *5^th of May, 2015. *Interested applicants should send a cover letter (briefly describing research experience, interests, and career goal), curriculum vitae (with list of publications), and the names of three references (including address, phone number and Email) to Karine VAN DONINCK (** via Gmail


—Apple-Mail=_7AE1A3EE-185A-4316-A805-BAEC39417C6B Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252 Postdoctoral Research Associate in Evolutionary Genomics Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, United Kingdom. Salary: 33,410 - 42,380 per annum (maximum starting salary 35,190 per annum) Closing date: 24 April 2015 (midnight BST) This is an exciting opportunity for a Research Associate with interests in speciation and evolution. The successful candidate will carry out cutting edge research on the genetic mechanisms of ecological speciation in a well-known group of anciently asexual animals, the bdelloid rotifers. You will sequence whole genomes for related bdelloid species living in different habitats and use population genomic analyses to test alternative mechanisms behind their divergence. The work will involve bioinformatics, statistical methods in population genomics and computer models. You will work closely with a Research Technician who will conduct molecular labwork. The position is funded for up to 3 years by the Natural Environment Research Council and will be based at the Silwood Park Campus. The successful candidates will work closely with Professor Tim Barraclough and his research group. You must have a PhD or equivalent qualification in evolution, ecology, genetics or a closely related discipline, and one or more first author (or joint first author) publications. The successful candidate will have expertise in population genomics and/or statistics and modelling with a strong interest in evolutionary biology. Experience of bioinformatics including scripting and/or programming is essential. While not essential, experience of handling and archiving large datasets and experience of genome assembly and/or population genomics analysis, would be an advantage. You must have experience of working in a team, be able to develop and apply new concepts and have a creative approach to problem-solving. You must also have excellent verbal and written communication skills and be able to write clearly and succinctly for publication. Further details of the research group can be obtained from the research group website: For more information or with queries, contact Tim Barraclough at Our preferred method of application is online via our website (please select “Job Search” then enter the job title or vacancy reference number including spaces - NS 2015 053 JT into “Keywords”). Please complete and upload an application form as directed. Alternatively, if you are unable to apply online, please contact Mrs Christine Short on 020 7594 2276 or email to request an application form. Closing date: 24 April 2015 (midnight BST) Committed to equality and valuing diversity. We are also an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Two Ticks Employer and are working in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people. via Gmail

Vacancy: Postdoc in Synthetic Biology We are looking for an enthusiastic, motivated Postdoc on Synthetic Biology with a strong background in or affinity with experimental work in microorganisms. Candidates should be proficient in molecular biology, proactive, independent, team player and have the ability to engage with professionals in adjoining fields. The candidate should apply the concepts of synthetic biology enhance our understanding of the fundamental principles of signalling and regulatory networks in living organism, to generate a mechanistic understanding with the aim of constructing novel synthetic systems. Experience and willingness to interact with colleagues on large-scale genome engineering and re-factoring, and interplay of the circuits designed and the host chassis (eg. through omics and detailed biochemical measurements) will be a substantial bonus. Using an interdisciplinary and integrated approach the candidate should be able to work on a small scale/network level to develop/design, e.g., sensing devices for synthetic signalling networks within and across cells or the design of (opto) signal-sensing systems. The candidate should have working experience or be interested in applying in designing and implementing synthetic networks exhibiting complex dynamic behaviour, such as adjustable time-delayed expression kinetics, tuneable synthetic oscillators or modular logic gates. He/she should be interested in applying mathematical, physical and engineering principles in the design process. We ask For this position we request: - A proficiency in molecular biology (prokaryotic expertise being a bonus); - A sound knowledge physiology, biochemistry and Synthetic Biology; - Some computational competences such as scripting and experience in interacting with modelers would be advantageous; - The candidate is required to have a PhD in Biotechnology, Microbiology, Molecular Life Sciences or related fields; - Fluent in English, both written and spoken; - The candidate will collaborate in a team with scientists at departments of Systems and Synthetic Biology and of Microbiology. We offer We offer you a temporary position for a period of 2 years with possibility for extension or, under specific circumstances, to engage in a Tenure Track systems at the WUR. Gross salary 2855 to 3783, based on a fulltime employment and dependent on expertise and experience. We not only offer a competitive salary but also good (study) leave and a pension of the ABP Pension Fund. More information For more information about this position, please contact Prof. Vtor Martins dos Santos, chair Systems and Synthetic Biology, telephone number +31 317482865. For more information about the contractual aspects, please contact Mrs. J. van Meurs, HR advisor, telephone number +31 317480101. Interested? You can apply online at until 30th April 2015. We are Systems Biology is one of the spearheads of the Wageningen UR, which invests considerably in this area. The mission of the Laboratory of Systems and Synthetic Biology is to contribute to the elucidation of the mechanisms underlying basic cellular processes, evolution and interactions among microbes and between microbes and their environment (including the human host) and to translate this knowledge into applications of biotechnological, medical and environmental interest. The Agrotechnology & Food Sciences Group is part of Wageningen UR where fundamental and applied sciences complement each other. As an important European player, we carry out top-level research and work alongside authoritative partners within the international business world as well as the government on ‘Healthy food in a biobased society’. We have a crucial role in innovations within the market. Entre preneurship and professionalism are what define us. In short, we are an interesting, international employer of stature. Wageningen University and Research centre delivering a substantial contribution to the quality of life. That is our focus - each and every day. Within our domain, healthy food and living environment, we search for answers to issues affecting society - such as sustainable food production, climate change and alternative energy. Of course, we do not do this alone. Every day, 6,500 people work on ‘the quality of life’, turning ideas into reality, on a global scale. Met vriendelijke groet, Kind regards, Carolien Pinkster Secretary Wageningen University Laboratory of Systems and Synthetic Biology Wageningen Centre for Systems Biology (WCSB) Laboratory of Microbiology Building 316 Dreijenplein 10 6703 HB WAGENINGEN the Netherlands phone +31 317 482105 fax +31 317 483829 email In the office at: Tuesday / Thursday / Friday 08.30 - 17.00 hours “Pinkster, Carolien” via Gmail
PhD in Plant-Herbivore Interactions (Switzerland) Herbivores and their natural enemies have a profound impact on plant growth and yield. A major aim in plant biology is, therefore, to understand the factors that influence herbivore damage and predation by higher trophic levels in order to improve ecosystem management and pest control strategies. This project investigates the dynamics of plant herbivore natural enemy interactions in the rhizosphere, with a focus on plant toxins and climate change. The successful candidate will work on the interaction between maize, its most important herbivore pest Diabrotica virgifera and entomopathogenic nematodes as promising biocontrol agents. Using analytical, molecular and ecological approaches, he/she will investigate how plant secondary metabolites influence the interaction, and how soil abiotic factors that are likely to be altered by climate change affect the different players of the system. The PhD project is closely associated with the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR), a world-leading institution in climate sciences. We look for an enthusiastic PhD student with strong interests in plant-herbivore interactions. Applicants should have a firm background in one of the following fields: Molecular biology, biochemistry, plant physiology, analytical chemistry, entomology, ecology. All our projects are highly integrative and require willingness to embrace multiple disciplines within the domain of plant- environment interactions. Excellent University grades at the MSc. level are expected. Fluent spoken and written English are prerequisites for this position. We offer an inspiring research environment, including state-of-the art research facilities, intensive supervision and an exciting project of considerable fundamental and applied relevance. The institute of Plant Sciences is located at the shore of the river Aare, close to the vibrant centre of the city of Bern. The PhD student is paid according to University standard rates and will benefit from the courses offered by the Graduate School of the OCCR ( How to apply: Send a single pdf including a letter of motivation, a CV with University grades and the names and addresses of two referees to The position is available immediately and will remain open until filled. Contact: Prof. Matthias Erb, Institute of Plant Sciences, University of Bern, Altenbergrain 21, 3013 Bern, Switzerland, Matthias Erb via Gmail

March 27, 2015


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APPLICATIONS FOR SCHOLARSHIPS | UNIVERSITY OF PORTO CALL FOR TWO BIODIV PROJECTS The Doctoral Programme in Biodiversity, Genetics and Evolution (BIODIV) invites applications for two scholarships under the following specific projects: Project 1: Optimising global biodiversity conservation priorities in a changing world. Project 2: The genetic basis of divergent vocalizations in singing birds. The scholarships are funded by FCT ( – Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology. The call for applications is open between 10 and 27 of April 2015. Information about the programme and on ‘How to apply’ is available at Best regards, Maria Sant’Ana E: T: + 351 252 660 411 F: + 351 252 661 780 CIBIO Divulgação via Gmail

March 26, 2015

Conference: Peru.Andes.Amazon.Meeting.Oct15-18 The Peruvian NGO “Centro de Ecologia y Biodiversidad” (CEBIO) invites you to join us at the International Meeting: Biodiversity and Conservation of the Tropical Andes and the Amazon Rainforest Registrations are now open. The meeting will be held from October 15 to October 18, 2015 at Lima, Peru. The objective of the conference is to bring together foreign and Peruvian scientists involved in biodiversity research and conservation of flora and fauna in the Tropical Andes and the Amazon Rainforest. The conference will include plenary talks, symposia, oral and poster presentations . Meeting themes: Biodiversity, conservation, biogeography, systematics, climate change, tropical ecology, DNA barcoding, bioinformatics, next generation sequencing. Abstract submission closes on May 1, 2015. Please be kind and forward this announcement to others who may find this conference of interest. Yours sincerely, The Conference organizing Committee, “Frank Azorsa (CEBIO)” via Gmail