news aggregator

May 31, 2015

22:00
With consequences for disease severity, resistance or clearance of a pathogen infection by an individual can be enhanced by a previous exposure to that pathogen, occurring either within an individual or even in its parents. This form of immune memory, traditionally thought the province of the vertebrate adaptive immune response, can also arise from innate immune pathways of vertebrates and invertebrates, and through distinct pathways in plants and bacteria. Researchers studying this phenomenon rarely interact across taxonomic boundaries, however, and use a preponderance of disparate terms to describe this innate immune mediated memory, including immune memory, immune priming, trained immunity, and systemic acquired resistance. This catalysis meeting will facilitate a synthesis of disparate researchers to better understand commonalities among these different forms of innate immune memory and key consequences for disease. We will use this opportunity to produce a broad interest synthesis manuscript elaborating upon specific avenues by which an improved understanding of innate immune memory will inspire future research, with direct and indirect benefits for human health. First, better understanding of how vertebrate immune memory works in retaining specific memory stands to improve vaccine design and delivery. Second, the specificity of immune memory could be manipulated to leave harmful pests, vectors, and human parasites susceptible to pathogen mediated biocontrol, while improving the health of beneficial organisms such as agricultural plants, animals, and pollinators that ensure human food security. Our approach aims to identify model systems functionally analogous to human innate immune memory that maximize our flexibility to interrogate the genetics, constraints, and functional manipulations of innate immune memory. Finally, this synthesis will elucidate fundamental concepts underlying host-pathogen evolution and the limits of immunological plasticity.
Source: NESCent

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 10, 2015

22:00
Building non-model species genome curation communities
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

May 3, 2015

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 26, 2015

18:00
Background: Recent studies suggest there is a relationship between intervertebral disc herniation and vertebral shape. The nature of this relationship is unclear, however. Humans are more commonly afflicted with spinal disease than are non-human primates and one suggested explanation for this is the stress placed on the spine by bipedalism. With this in mind, we carried out a study of human, chimpanzee, and orangutan vertebrae to examine the links between vertebral shape, locomotion, and Schmorl’s nodes, which are bony indicators of vertical intervertebral disc herniation. We tested the hypothesis that vertical disc herniation preferentially affects individuals with vertebrae that are towards the ancestral end of the range of shape variation within Homo sapiens and therefore are less well adapted for bipedalism. Results: The study employed geometric morphometric techniques. Two-dimensional landmarks were used to capture the shapes of the superior aspect of the body and posterior elements of the last thoracic and first lumbar vertebrae of chimpanzees, orangutans, and humans with and without Schmorl’s nodes. These data were subjected to multivariate statistical analyses.Canonical Variates Analysis indicated that the last thoracic and first lumbar vertebrae of healthy humans, chimpanzees, and orangutans can be distinguished from each other (p0.4590). The Procrustes distance between pathological humans and chimpanzees was found to be smaller than the one between pathological and healthy humans. This was the case for both vertebrae. Pair-wise MANOVAs of Principal Component scores for both the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae found significant differences between all pairs of taxa (p0.367). Together, these results suggest that human vertebrae with Schmorl’s nodes are closer in shape to chimpanzee vertebrae than are healthy human vertebrae. Conclusions: The results support the hypothesis that intervertebral disc herniation preferentially affects individuals with vertebrae that are towards the ancestral end of the range of shape variation within H. sapiens and therefore are less well adapted for bipedalism. This finding not only has clinical implications but also illustrates the benefits of bringing the tools of evolutionary biology to bear on problems in medicine and public health.
16:30

"Late night" broadcasting on United States network / cable TV starts at about 11:00 or 11:30 pm, and goes for a couple of hours. Many networks broadcast similar shows during this time, which directly compete against each other for the available audience (which is currently estimated to be slightly in excess of 10 million people per night at 11:30 pm). Many of these shows have been on for a long time. Most of them are recorded on several weekday nights in front of a live audience, and they are usually associated with only a very few presenters over time (almost always men!).


For example, since the early 1990s we have had:
NBC Tonight Show



NBC Late Night



CBS Late Show
CBS Late Late Show



ABC Kimmel Live
ABC Nightline

ComedyCentral Daily Show

ComedyCentral Colbert Report
TBS Conan 11:35-12:35



12:35-01:35



11:35-12:35
12:35-01:35



11:35-12:35
12:35-01:05

11:00-11:30

11:30-12:00
11:00-12:00 Jay Leno 1992-2009
Conan O'Brien 2009-2010
Jay Leno 2010-2014
Jimmy Fallon 2014-
David Letterman 1982-1993
Conan O'Brien 1993-2009
Jimmy Fallon 2009-2014
Seth Meyers 2014-
David Letterman 1993-2015
Tom Snyder 1995-1999
Craig Kilborn 1999-2004
Craig Ferguson 2005-2014
James Corden 2015-
Jimmy Kimmel 2003-
Ted Koppel 1980-2005
Three-anchor team 2005-
Craig Kilborn 1996-1998
Jon Stewart 1999-
Stephen Colbert 2005-2014
Conan O'Brien 2010-
Eventually, the presenters retire or move elsewhere, and the other presenters then move around among the shows. This has lead to the so-called "Late night wars", in which the NBC studio executives in charge repeatedly show that their personnel management skills are often lacking. For example, David Letterman was expected to replace Johnny Carson when he retired as the host of the NBC Tonight Show in 1992, but the job was given to Jay Leno, instead. So, Letterman moved to a directly competing show on CBS. When Leno subsequently moved to another show, Conan O'Brien took over. However, Leno then moved back again, and so O'Brien moved to a directly competing show on TBS. The media interest in these shenanigans exceeded their interest in the shows themselves.

Another substantial decision was that by ABC, at the end of 2012, to swap the timelsots of Nightline (which used to run 11:35-12:00) and Kimmel Live (which ran 12:00-13:00). This had a notable effect on the audience numbers, because Nightline was one of the top two shows in its original timeslot whereas Kimmel Live currently gets about 1 million viewers fewer per night in that same slot. On the other hand Nightline in its new timelsot gets about the same audience as Kimmel Live did when it occupied the slot. That seems to be a net loss of audience for ABC.

The Nielsen Media Research viewing data are available online at the TV by the Numbers site. They provide the weekly averages for each show in millions of viewers, based on what is known as "live plus same day" viewing (ie. the audience at the time of broadcast plus same-day viewing of video recordings). The data I have looked at run from early December 2011 to the end of December 2014 (161 weeks). Unfortunately, these data rely on NBC press releases (rather than direct access to Nielsen), so there are some missing data.

The comparison of these shows can be visualized using a phylogenetic network, as a tool for exploratory data analysis. To create the network, I first calculated the similarity of the nine shows using the manhattan distance; and a Neighbor-net analysis was then used to display the between-show similarities as a phylogenetic network. So, shows that are closely connected in the network are similar to each other based on their audience figures across the three years, and those that are further apart are progressively more different from each other.


The network shows a gradient of increasing audience size, from bottom-left to top-right. So, the Tonight Show consistently got a average nightly audience of c. 3.5 million people, while Conan had c. 0.8 million. The two CBS shows both consistently did somewhat worse than their NBC timeslot competitors.

The two ABC shows apparently did well, but this is confounded by the timeslot swap noted above. Nightline did well for the first year (before it was moved) but not for the second two years, while Kimmel Live did the opposite. This is what creates the big reticulation in the middle of the network, as all of the other shows had fairly consistent audiences throughout the three years.

However, there was a steady decrease in the total audience size across the three years, from c. 12 million per night (at 11:30 pm) at the end of 2011 to c. 10 million at the end of 2014. The only major exception to this was at the time when Jimmy Fallon took over from Jay Leno (early 2014). For several weeks the Tonight Show audience increased to >8 million per night, so that the total audience was c. 15.5 million (a 50% increase). This shows just how many people are available to be added to the late-night viewing, compared to how many watch regularly. So, why are they not watching in the other weeks? It seems that Late Night Television is not reaching its full potential.

06:00
Background: Mating between close relatives often leads to a reduction of an individual’s fitness, due to an increased expression of deleterious alleles. Thus, in many animal taxa pre- as well as postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance mechanisms have evolved. An increased risk of inbreeding and hence a loss of genetic variation may occur during founder events as in most cases only few individuals establish a new population. The threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) is a small externally fertilizing fish species subject to strong sperm competition. Sticklebacks inhabit both marine and freshwater environments and anadromous populations have repeatedly established new genetically less diverse freshwater populations. Previous studies showed that anadromous sticklebacks strongly suffer from inbreeding depression and when given the choice females prefer to mate with unrelated males. Results: The present study aimed to address whether there exists a postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance mechanism solely based on sperm-egg interactions in sperm competition experiments. We used F1 individuals that originated either from a large, genetically heterogeneous anadromous population or from a small, genetically less diverse freshwater population. For each population, eggs of two different females were in vitro fertilized by the same two males’ sperm in a paired study design. In the main experiment one male was the female’s full-sib brother and in the control experiment all individuals were unrelated. The results revealed that fertilization success was independent of relatedness in both populations suggesting a general lack of a postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance mechanism. Instead, male quality (i.e. sperm morphology) predicted paternity success during competitive fertilization trials. Conclusion: In sticklebacks, there is no evidence for postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance. Sperm morphology predicted paternity instead, thus sperm quality traits are under strong sexual selection, presumably driven by the high risk of sperm competition under natural conditions.

April 25, 2015

01:09

Six (6) permanent positions providing advanced bioinformatics support, located at SciLifeLab Bioinformatics Platform nodes across Sweden. The SciLifeLab bioinformatics platform (http://bit.ly/1mGwtUf) is a national infrastructure in rapid growth and development, now looking for 6 permanent staff members to join the Bioinformatics Long-term Support team (a.k.a WABI), placed at bioinformatics nodes in Ume, Linkping, Gteborg, and Lund. The advertised staff will be fully integrated in the national Bioinformatics Long-term support team, and will aid the build-up of the national platform by establishing local platform nodes. To be considered for these positions * you now need to submit a formal application to the respective university, following the below links * you will have to apply to each position individually if you are open to work in any of the cities below. Please follow the links for more information and application forms: Lund: http://bit.ly/1PyRcdg Gteborg http://bit.ly/1OnlRgv Ume http://bit.ly/1OnlS3W Linkping http://bit.ly/1OnlRgz We are looking forward to receive your applications at the latest May 7, 2015 (a week later for Linkping). You are always welcome to contact both the local contact person or the Bioinformatics Long-term Support managers regarding these positions. Bjrn Nystedt, bjorn.nystedt@scilifelab.se, +46 (0)73-402 62 31 Thomas Svensson, thomas.svensson@scilifelab.se, +46 (0)73-625 14 88 Managers, SciLifeLab Bioinformatics Long-term Support http://bit.ly/1mGwtUf Bjorn Nystedt, PhD Manager, SciLifeLab Bioinformatics Long-term Support (WABI) http://bit.ly/1PyRcdj BMC E10:3206, entrance C11 Husargatan 3, SE-752 37 Uppsala Phone: 018 - 471 4413 E-mail: bjorn.nystedt@scilifelab.se bjorn.nystedt@scilifelab.se via Gmail

Source: EVOLDIR
01:09

PHD STUDENT POSITION in INSECT METAGENOMICS The position forms part of a group of 15 PhD students now being recruited to the EU-funded Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network BIG4. The core of BIG4 is interdisciplinary, cutting-edge research on the diversity and evolution of the four largest insect orders: Hymenoptera, Diptera, Coleoptera, and Lepidoptera (Biosystematics, Informatics and Genomics of the 4 big insect groups). The program offers unique opportunities in terms of preparing students for an academic or a business career. The training will include secondment to other European labs in the network, and to small companies in the biotechnology and IT sector. The program also includes network-wide training events, and seeks to build student skills in creativity and innovation. The position is one of three PhD student positions that will be formally associated with the Department of Zoology at Stockholm University, which will award the PhD degrees. The position will be hosted by the Ronquist lab at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, which is one of the world leaders in the development of software for computational phylogenomics using Bayesian statistical methods. The lab also has a strong research tradition in insect systematics and evolutionary biology. The successful candidate for this position will develop new methods for analyzing environmental samples using massively parallel sequencing. In particular, we will be focusing on methods allowing broad qualitative and quantitative taxonomic analysis of the insect fauna found in Malaise trap samples and soil samples. We will then use these methods to study the composition and spatial structure of insect faunas. We are looking for candidates with a broad background, preferably including studies or training in entomology, genomics, bioinformatics, and programming. We expect that you will be creative and independent while being a good team player. Fluency in spoken and written English is essential. We will pay particular attention to scientific and creative talent and potential. To be eligible for the position, you need to fill the formal requirements to start a PhD program in biology, broadly construed, and have less than 4 years of research experience counted as time of employment in research since receiving the degree for enrollment in a PhD. You cannot have resided or carried out your main activity (work or study) in Sweden for more than 12 months in the 3-year period immediately prior to the recruitment under the project. Starting date is August 15, 2015. The position is for four years. The Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM) is one of the leading institutions of its kind in Europe. It combines a venerable tradition and unique collections with cutting-edge research in geology, paleontology and biology. The museum is close to Stockholm University, the Royal School of Engineering (KTH) and the Karolinska Institute. The Stockholm Phylogenomics Group (http://bit.ly/19BItn2) engages research groups from all of these institutions. The Department of Bioinformatics and Genetics at NRM is focused on research in computational phylogenetics, population genetics and genomics. It also runs a DNA sequencing facility and hosts several national and international infrastructures. The application should consist of a personal letter, a statement describing research interests and career goals (max 3 pages), a CV, and a transcript of your MSc diploma or equivalent. The application should be marked with dnr 2.3.1-182-2015 and sent to rekrytering@nrm.se. Applications should be received no later than May 29, 2015. Fredrik Ronquist Professor, Dept. Bioinformatics and Genetics Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm email: fredrik.ronquist@nrm.se Fredrik.Ronquist@nrm.se via Gmail

Source: EVOLDIR
01:09
We are now looking to appoint a postdoc to work on Sorbus genetics, focusing on S. porrigentiformis, using next generation sequencing methods. This two-year job is now live on Kew.org and Kewnet. Please share the following link on EvolDir. http://bit.ly/1PyRcdc Dr Michael F. Fay FLS Head of Genetics Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Richmond Surrey TW9 3AB UK Chief Editor, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society Tel (44) (0) 20 8332 5315 Fax (44) (0) 20 8332 5310 Mike Fay via Gmail
Source: EVOLDIR
01:09
We invite all members of the choanoflagellate research community to participate in the 2015 International Choanoflagellate Workshop. The goal of this meeting will be to build the choanoflagellate research community by fostering collaborations and providing a forum for presenting research on choanoflagellate biology. Past meetings have featured research on topics as diverse as evolution, microbial ecology, fluid dynamics, host-microbe interactions, cell biology, comparative genomics, biomineralization, and more! The workshop will be held at the Station Biologique Roscoff beginning the evening of Tuesday, June 16 and finishing late afternoon on Friday, June 19. Roscoff is accessible either by a short taxi ride from the Brest airport or by train from the CDG airport. *At this time, we invite you to register for the meeting by May 1, 2015 at this link*: http://goo.gl/forms/QmLYlbSBgD All attendees are encouraged to either present a talk or a poster. When registering, please provide a title and abstract, and indicate your preferred presentation type. Speakers will be selected based on talk titles and a goal of highlighting the full breadth of research ongoing in the community. If you have any questions about the meeting, please don’t hesitate to contact us at choanoflagellate@gmail.com. We look forward to seeing you! *Nicole King* Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor of Genetics, Genomics and Development Department of Molecular and Cell Biology University of California, Berkeley kinglab.berkeley.edu http://bit.ly/1PyRbWM Lab Manager: Heather Middleton (middletonhl@berkeley.edu) Administrative Assistant: Rosa Lewandowski (rlewando@berkeley.edu) nicoleking.ucb@gmail.com via Gmail
Source: EVOLDIR
00:22
GRADUATE POSITION A PhD scholarship on invasion ecology is available in the Rollins lab in the Centre for Integrative Ecology at Deakin University. Project: Although invasive species are a massive threat to biodiversity, and costly to society, we still do not understand the evolutionary processes that shape invasions. Invasive populations often show rapid evolutionary change in novel environments but attempts to identify the underlying genetic basis of these changes have been largely unsuccessful. This PhD is part of a larger project exploring an innovative and untested alternative possibility: that invader evolution is primarily driven by epigenetic change. Using an iconic Australian invasive species, the cane toad, we will conduct a multi-generational experiment to manipulate DNA methylation levels and quantify the effects on phenotypic traits important to invasion and which have been shown to change across the introduced range in Australia, including traits related to dispersal ability, immune function and personality. We will also be investigating the plasticity of these traits and determining whether this relates to changes in epigenetic state. The larger project is well-resourced and multi-disciplinary, combining the efforts of molecular ecologists at Deakin University with invasion ecologists (Professor Rick Shine and his team) from the University of Sydney. Selection criteria: This PhD project will be primarily based at our collaborator?s field station in the Northern Territory but will also include time at the Deakin University Geelong campus. We seek an ecologist with an interest in epigenetic inheritance who will work closely with team members who are conducting genetic/epigenetic analyses. There will be flexibility to tailor the PhD project to your specific interests if they are aligned with our research direction. We seek someone who is hard-working and enthusiastic about invasion ecology and herpetology. The ideal candidate will have some field experience, a demonstrated ability to work independently and well-developed organisational skills. Preference will be given to applicants with at least one first-authored publication. Scholarship/application details: The successful candidate will be awarded a PhD stipend of AUD$25,392 per annum (tax-free) over three years. Applicants should send an email to Dr. Lee Ann Rollins (lee.rollins@deakin.edu.au) including: 1) a CV; 2) academic record (subjects and marks); 3) a one-page summary of your research interests and career goals; and 4) details of 3 referees (including any previous research supervisors). Closing date for applications is 22nd May. Dr. Lee Ann Rollins Research Fellow School of Life and Environmental Sciences Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment Deakin University, Pigdons Road, Geelong VIC 3217 +61 3 5227 2084 lee.rollins@deakin.edu.au www.deakin.edu.au Deakin University CRICOS Provider Code 00113B Lee Rollins via Gmail
Source: EVOLDIR
00:06

PHD STUDENT POSITION in INSECT PHYLOGENOMICS The position forms part of a group of 15 PhD students now being recruited to the EU-funded Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network BIG4. The core of BIG4 is interdisciplinary, cutting-edge research on the diversity and evolution of the four largest insect orders: Hymenoptera, Diptera, Coleoptera, and Lepidoptera (Biosystematics, Informatics and Genomics of the 4 big insect groups). The program offers unique opportunities in terms of preparing students for an academic or a business career. The training will include secondment to other European labs in the network, and to small companies in the biotechnology and IT sector. The program also includes network-wide training events, and seeks to build student skills in creativity and innovation. The position is one of three PhD student positions that will be formally associated with the Department of Zoology at Stockholm University, which will award the PhD degrees. The position will be hosted by the Ronquist lab at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, which is one of the world leaders in the development of software for computational phylogenomics using Bayesian statistical methods. The lab also has a strong research tradition in insect systematics and evolutionary biology. The successful candidate for this position will be using genomic approaches to analyze phylogenetic relationships among gall wasps, which have proved hard to resolve using traditional methods. The genomic data will then form the basis for identification and functional analysis of genes involved in the transitions between parasitoids, gall inducers and inquilines in this group of insects. We are looking for candidates with a broad background, preferably including studies or training in entomology, genomics, bioinformatics, and programming. We expect that you will be creative and independent while being a good team player. Fluency in spoken and written English is essential. We will pay particular attention to scientific and creative talent and potential. To be eligible for the position, you need to fill the formal requirements to start a PhD program in biology, broadly construed, and have less than 4 years of research experience counted as time of employment in research since receiving the degree for enrollment in a PhD. You cannot have resided or carried out your main activity (work or study) in Sweden for more than 12 months in the 3-year period immediately prior to the recruitment under the project. Starting date is August 15, 2015. The position is for four years. The Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM) is one of the leading institutions of its kind in Europe. It combines a venerable tradition and unique collections with cutting-edge research in geology, paleontology and biology. The museum is close to Stockholm University, the Royal School of Engineering (KTH) and the Karolinska Institute. The Stockholm Phylogenomics Group (http://bit.ly/19BItn2) engages research groups from all of these institutions. The Department of Bioinformatics and Genetics at NRM is focused on research in computational phylogenetics, population genetics and genomics. We run a DNA sequencing facility and host several national and international infrastructures. The application should consist of a personal letter, a statement describing research interests and career goals (max 3 pages), a CV, and a transcript of your MSc diploma or equivalent. The application should be marked with dnr 2.3.1-182-2015 and sent to rekrytering@nrm.se. Applications should be received no later than May 29, 2015. Fredrik Ronquist Professor, Dept. Bioinformatics and Genetics Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm email: fredrik.ronquist@nrm.se Fredrik.Ronquist@nrm.se via Gmail

Source: EVOLDIR

April 24, 2015

23:34
PHD STUDENT POSITION in INSECT TAXONOMY / BIODIVERSITY INFORMATICS The position forms part of a group of 15 PhD students now being recruited to the EU-funded Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network BIG4. The core of BIG4 is interdisciplinary, cutting-edge research on the diversity and evolution of the four largest insect orders: Hymenoptera, Diptera, Coleoptera, and Lepidoptera (‘Biosystematics, Informatics and Genomics of the 4 big insect groups). The program offers unique opportunities in terms of preparing students for an academic or a business career. The training will include secondment to other European labs in the network, and to small companies in the biotechnology and IT sector. The program also includes network-wide training events, and seeks to build student skills in creativity and innovation. The position is one of three PhD student positions that will be formally associated with the Department of Zoology at Stockholm University, which will award the PhD degrees. The position will be hosted by Savantic AB (http://bit.ly/1Gtkuss), a consultant company specializing in bridging the gap between the research and business worlds. All consultants have a doctoral degree in physics. Specialty areas include image analysis, medical technology and environmental technology. The academic training will be provided by the Ronquist lab at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, which is one of the world leaders in the development of software for computational phylogenomics using Bayesian statistical methods. The lab also has a strong research tradition in insect systematics and evolutionary biology. The successful candidate for this position will focus on the use of citizen science in accelerating research and discovery in insect systematics. For a suitable group of poorly known insects, we will develop visual identification aids based on advanced image analysis. The aim is to generate interest among citizen scientists in contributing to the systematic research on the chosen group, using a commercially viable app. We are looking for candidates with a broad background, preferably including studies or training in entomology, genomics, bioinformatics, and programming. We expect that you will be creative and independent while being a good team player. Fluency in spoken and written English is essential. We will pay particular attention to scientific and creative talent and potential. To be eligible for the position, you need to fill the formal requirements to start a PhD program in biology, broadly construed, and have less than 4 years of research experience counted as time of employment in research since receiving the degree for enrollment in a PhD. You cannot have resided or carried out your main activity (work or study) in Sweden for more than 12 months in the 3-year period immediately prior to the recruitment under the project. Starting date is August 15, 2015. The position is for four years. The Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM) is one of the leading institutions of its kind in Europe. It combines a venerable tradition and unique collections with cutting-edge research in geology, paleontology and biology. The museum is close to Stockholm University, the Royal School of Engineering (KTH) and the Karolinska Institute. The Stockholm Phylogenomics Group (http://bit.ly/19BItn2) engages research groups from all of these institutions. The Department of Bioinformatics and Genetics at NRM is focused on research in computational phylogenetics, population genetics and genomics. We run a DNA sequencing facility and host several national and international infrastructures. The application should consist of a personal letter, a statement describing research interests and career goals (max 3 pages), a CV, and a transcript of your MSc diploma or equivalent. The application should be sent to Karin Carlsson at Savantic AB (karin@savanticab.com). Applications should be received no later than May 29, 2015. Fredrik Ronquist Professor, Dept. Bioinformatics and Genetics Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm email: fredrik.ronquist@nrm.se Karin Carlsson Savantic AB email: karin@savanticab.com Fredrik.Ronquist@nrm.se via Gmail
Source: EVOLDIR
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Background: The Mormon Metalmark (Apodemia mormo) species complex occurs as isolated and phenotypically variable colonies in dryland areas across western North America. Lange’s Metalmark, A. m. langei, one of the 17 subspecies taxonomically recognized in the complex, is federally listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973. Metalmark taxa have traditionally been described based on phenotypic and ecological characteristics, and it is unknown how well this nomenclature reflects their genetic and evolutionary distinctiveness. Genetic variation in six microsatellite loci and mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I sequence was used to assess the population structure of the A. mormo species complex across 69 localities, and to evaluate A. m. langei’s qualifications as an Evolutionarily Significant Unit. Results: We discovered substantial genetic divergence within the species complex, especially across the Continental Divide, with population genetic structure corresponding more closely with geographic proximity and local isolation than with taxonomic divisions originally based on wing color and pattern characters. Lange’s Metalmark was as genetically divergent as several other locally isolated populations in California, and even the unique phenotype that warranted subspecific and conservation status is reminiscent of the morphological variation found in some other populations. Conclusions: This study is the first genetic treatment of the A. mormo complex across western North America and potentially provides a foundation for reassessing the taxonomy of the group. Furthermore, these results illustrate the utility of molecular markers to aid in demarcation of biological units below the species level. From a conservation point of view, Apodemia mormo langei’s diagnostic taxonomic characteristics may, by themselves, not support its evolutionary significance, which has implications for its formal listing as an Endangered Species.