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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 7, 2014

22:00
Making science more reproducible has enormous potential to accelerate scientific advance, including for practicing individuals. Despite this, the tools and approaches that are already available are rarely taught. To address this, we are organizing a 4-day workshop aimed at developing, and later teaching, a short course curriculum for tools, resources, and practices for reproducible science. A part of the workshop will also be devoted to addressing gaps that hinder the broad adoption of such resources.
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 24, 2014

18:00
Background: Rhynchocypris oxycephalus is a cold water fish with a wide geographic distribution including the relatively warm temperate regions of southern China. It also occurs in second- and third-step geomorphic areas in China. Previous studies have postulated that high-altitude populations of R. oxycephalus in southern China are Quaternary glacial relics. In this study, we used the mitochondrial gene Cytb and the nuclear gene RAG2 to investigate the species phylogeographical patterns and to test two biogeographic hypotheses: (1) that divergence between lineages supports the three-step model and (2) climatic fluctuations during the Quaternary resulted in the present distribution in southern China. Results: Phylogenetic analysis detected three major matrilines (A, B, and C); with matrilines B and C being further subdivided into two submatrilines. Based on genetic distances and morphological differences, matriline A potentially represents a cryptic subspecies. The geographic division between matrilines B and C coincided with the division of the second and third geomorphic steps in China, suggesting a historical vicariance event. Pliocene climatic fluctuations might have facilitated the southwards dispersal of R. oxycephalus in matriline C, with the subsequent warming resulting in its split into submatrilines C1 and C2, leaving submatriline C2 as a relic in southern China. Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that geological events (three steps orogenesis) and climate fluctuations during the Pliocene were important factors in shaping phylogeographical patterns in R. oxycephalus. Notably, no genetic diversity was detected in several populations, all of which possessed unique genotypes. This indicates the uniqueness of local populations and calls for a special conservation plan for the whole species at the population level.
18:00
Background: The margins of a species? range might be located at the margins of a species? niche, and in such cases, can be highly vulnerable to climate changes. They, however, may also undergo significant evolutionary change due to drastic population dynamics; e.g., changes in population size and distribution, which may increase the chance of contact among species. Such species interactions induced by climate changes could then regulate or facilitate further responses to climatic changes. We hypothesized that climate change-induced species contacts and subsequent genetic exchanges due to differences in population dynamics take place at the species boundaries. We sampled two closely related Rubus species, one temperate (Rubus palmatus) and the other subtropical (R. grayanus) near their joint species boundaries in southern Japan. Coalescent analysis, based on molecular data and ecological niche modelling during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), were used to infer past population dynamics. At the contact zones on Yakushima (Yaku Island), where the two species are parapatrically distributed, we tested hybridization along altitudinal gradients. Results: Coalescent analysis suggested that the southernmost populations of R. palmatus predated the LGM (~20,000 ya). Conversely, populations at the current northern limit of R. grayanus diverged relatively recently and likely represent young outposts of a northbound range shift. These population dynamics were partly supported by the ensemble forecasting of six different species distribution models. Both past and ongoing hybridizations were detected near and on Yakushima. Backcrosses and advanced-generation hybrids likely generated the clinal hybrid zones along altitudinal gradients on the island where the two species are currently parapatrically distributed. Conclusions: Climate oscillations during the Quaternary Period and the response of a species in range shifts likely led to repeated contacts with the gene pools of ecologically distinct relatives. Such species interactions, induced by climate changes, may bring new genetic material to the marginal populations where species tend to experience more extreme climatic conditions at the margins of the species distribution.
03:03
Tenure Track Assistant Professor Evolutionary Systems Biology (1.0 fte) (214278) University of Groningen, the Netherlands Organisation Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has established an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative university offering high-quality teaching and research. Its 30,000 students are encouraged to develop their own individual talents through challenging study and career paths. The University of Groningen is an international centre of knowledge that counts among the best research universities in Europe and that is allied with prestigious partner universities and networks worldwide. The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (FMNS) The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences harbours a kaleidoscope of disciplines and research strengths. Research and education programmes range from nanomaterials to astronomy, from molecular biology to mathematics, from computer sciences to pharmacy, from neurosciences to industrial engineering, and from ecology and evolution to marine biology. Our researchers pursue fundamental questions while collaborating with partners from industry, the medical world and other realms of society. Frontline research groups explore new fields such as synthetic biology and evolutionary robotics. The Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies (CEES) CEES offers excellent opportunities and infrastructure for theoretical and experimental research in the field of ecology and evolution. Field programmes range from polar to tropical regions and comprise marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Theoretical work ranges from studying the origins of and implications of individual variation for the evolution of novel species interactions and speciation dynamics. Within FMNS, CEES collaborates closely with the Centre of Behaviour and Neurosciences (CBN) and the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB). The institute plays a leading role in various national and international research networks. Job description The Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies (CEES) has a vacancy for a tenure track position at assistant professor level in Evolutionary Systems Biology. The applicant is expected to develop a strong and internationally competitive research line that integrates evolutionary and mechanistic perspectives, thereby contributing to the integration of CEES research with that of its sister institutes CBN and GBB. Specifically we seek a new faculty member who investigates the molecular basis of adaptive evolution by combining approaches from evolutionary theory with techniques from systems biology. Ideally, the candidate combines theory development with experimental approaches, such as experimental evolution of micro-organisms, and has an interest to link to understanding of adaptive evolution at higher levels of organization (individuals, populations, ecosystems) . The successful candidate will actively participate in the teaching and research programmes of the faculty, provide state-of-the-art research training to MSc and PhD students, and acquire funding for establishing and sustaining a viable and internationally visible research group. Qualifications Candidates must have the motivation and dedication to establish an independent line of high-quality research and to acquire an internationally recognized position in the scientific community that leads to a positive evaluation after a term of five years and beyond. We are seeking proven affinity with teaching and the supervision of students. More specifically, candidates will need to have the following qualifications: - a PhD in the field of theoretical, mathematical or computational biology with proofs of a strong interest in Evolutionary Systems Biology - demonstrated knowledge and expertise in computational and analytical methods for the analysis of complex adaptive systems, such as network theory, bifurcation analysis, fitness landscape reconstruction and individual- based simulation - excellent research, teaching and organizational skills appropriate to career stage - excellent research accomplishments, as expressed in high-impact publications appropriate to career stage - evidence of successful acquisition of external funding appropriate to career stage - excellent communication skills and fluency in English - two or more years of academic international experience (outside The Netherlands). Conditions of employment The University of Groningen offers a salary depending on qualifications and previous experience. For candidates at the Assistant Professor level, the salary ranges from a minimum of 3,259 (salary scale 11 of the Dutch Universities) gross per month to a maximum of 5,070 (salary scale 12) gross per month for a fulltime position, excluding 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus and participation in a pension scheme for employees. Favourable tax agreements may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The successful applicant will be appointed for a period of six years.After a positive final evaluation in the sixth year of employment, she/he will be granted tenure to Associate Professor. We refer the applicants to the criteria of the Tenure Track system at the University of Groningen. For a complete description, applicants should consult the document: http://bit.ly/1rrtEJG Application Applicants are requested to submit: - a letter of motivation - an extensive curriculum vitae - a list of publications (with journal impact factor and number of citations) - a statement of research interests, accomplishments and future plans - a statement of teaching and supervision experience and a teaching vision - the names and contact details of three referees. The application deadline is 7 November 2014. Applications can be submitted online (by clicking on the “Apply” button on the bottom of the advertisement on the university website). N.B.: Please do not send applications to the email address of the contact persons. Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated. Information For information you can contact: * Prof. F.J. Weissing, Chair of the research group Theoretical Biology, f.j.weissing@rug.nl * Prof. H. Olff, Director of the research institute CEES, h.olff@rug.nl Paul Steerenberg via Gmail
Source: EVOLDIR
02:47
PhD: Biochemical and biophysical mechanisms underlying evolutionary change. Job description Cells are highly organized through complex gene regulatory and protein networks for faithful and precise function. These networks also need to be robust to genetic perturbations to buffer mutations that cells inevitably acquire during their lifecycle. Nevertheless, on long evolutionary timescales mutations are essential to allow organisms to adapt. In our recent studies we deleted nearly essential genes in budding yeast and subsequently evolved those mutants for 1000 generations. We found that those cells are remarkably adaptable. Three mutations are enough to nearly fully recover cell function; in this case, cell size and doubling time. This project aims to dissect the molecular changes underlying this adaptation. How do these mutations alter the biochemical/biophysical mechanism that comprise the specific cell function? Which properties of the network are maintained and which ones are lost? Can we learn general lessons from this lab evolution that we can apply to complex adaptation processes such as cancer formation? You will use quantitative fluorescence life cell microscopy as well as FRET measurements to investigate those questions. The aim is to combine the measurements with modelling, potentially in close collaboration with a theory group. Visit the lab website for more information: http://bit.ly/1rqMdh0 Requirements Applicants should have a Master’s degree in biology, chemistry, physics, or a related field, and enthusiasm for applying quantitative approaches to understanding biological phenomena. The position will be for a fixed term of four years and is expected to result in a PhD. Good communication skills in English are required. Applied Sciences at TUDelft The Faculty of Applied Sciences is the largest faculty of TU Delft, with around 550 scientists, a support staff of 250 and 1,800 students. The faculty conducts fundamental, application-oriented research and offers scientific education at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels. The faculty is active in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Applied Physics. A new Department of Bionanoscience has been established at TU Delft, dedicated to research at the interface between nanoscience, synthetic biology, and cell biology. It studies single cells in all their complexity down to the molecular level, from both fundamental scientific and application points of view. The new department operates as part of the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at the Faculty of Applied Sciences and aims at a leading international position. Conditions of employment TU Delft offers an attractive benefits package, including a flexible work week, free high-speed Internet access from home (with a contract of two years or longer), and the option of assembling a customised compensation and benefits package. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. Delft University of Technology strives to increase the number of women in higher academic positions; women are therefore especially encouraged to apply. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit www.phd.tudelft.nl for more information. Information and application For more information about this position, please contact Dr. ir. Liedewij Laan, phone: +31 (0)15-2782856 , e-mail: l.laan@tudelft.nl. To apply, please e-mail a detailed CV, a letter of application and references by March 1st 2015 Liedewij Laan Assistant professor Department of Bionanoscience Kavli Institute of NanoScience TUDelft Website: laanlab.tudelft.nl Tel nr: +31 (0) 15-2782856 Liedewij Laan - TNW via Gmail
Source: EVOLDIR
02:47
The George Washington University Faculty Positions in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics The newly established Computational Biology Institute at the George Washington University seeks founding faculty members to establish externally funded, internationally recognized, and interdisciplinary research programs in bioinformatics and/or computational biology. There are two open tenure-track faculty positions at any academic level, and we seek applicants concentrating in the areas of genome analysis, biodiversity informatics, translational medicine, and systems biology developing methods to address big data issues from a computational perspective. Basic Qualifications: Applicants must have an MD or PhD in Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, Computer Science, Mathematics, Genomics, or related discipline, with postdoctoral research experience, evidence of success in obtaining extramural funding, and a solid publication track record. Successful candidates will enjoy joint appointments at the CBI and an affiliated academic department (e.g., Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Biophysics, CASHP, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Integrated Systems Biology, Mathematics, Microbiology, Statistics, etc.) upon approval and have opportunities to establish partnerships with regional research centers of excellence, including Childrens National Medical Center, NIST, Janelia Farm, INOVA hospital system, Naval Research Laboratory, the Smithsonian, and the NIH intramural research program. Application Procedure: Applicants should submit an electronic application, and upload a cover letter emphasizing specific qualifications, a curriculum vitae, a description of research interests, and names and contact information of 3 references at: http://bit.ly/1rrpyBa Review of applications will begin on November 19, 2014 and will continue until positions are filled. Only complete applications will be considered. For further information about the Computational Biology Institute at George Washington University, please see http://cbi.gwu.edu. Employment offers are contingent on the satisfactory outcome of a standard background screening. For questions relating to this opportunity, please contact Keith Crandall, Director, Computational Biology Institute, The George Washington University, kcrandall@gwu.edu. The university is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer that does not unlawfully discriminate in any of its programs or activities on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law. Keith Crandall via Gmail
Source: EVOLDIR