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June 4, 2015

May 31, 2015

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 24, 2015


We are often told that flying is the safest way to travel, at least as far as the use of commercial airlines is concerned. In an early stand-up comedy routine, Shelley Berman noted: "Statistics prove that flying is the safest way to travel. I don't know how much consideration they've given to walking!" Well, actually, they have included walking.

Governments like to keep a track of these things, and the Department for Transport in Great Britain has released statistics on "Passenger casualty rates for different modes of travel" for 2003-2012. These modes include:
  • Air (passenger casualties in accidents involving UK registered airline aircraft)
  • Rail (passenger casualties involved in train accidents and accidents occurring through movement of railway vehicles)
  • Water (passenger casualties on UK registered merchant vessels)
  • Bus or coach (passenger casualties)
  • Car (driver and passenger casualties)
  • Van (driver and passenger casualties)
  • Motorcycle (driver and passenger casualties)
  • Pedal cycle
  • Pedestrian
The data are yearly averages for Great Britain from 2003-2012 inclusive, standardized as persons per billion passenger kilometres. The data are provided separately for the number of people killed, seriously injured, or slightly injured.

As usual, we can employ a phylogenetic network as a form of exploratory data analysis for these data. I first used the manhattan distance to calculate the similarity of the seven transportation modes for which there are complete data, followed by a Neighbor-net analysis to display the between-mode similarities as a phylogenetic network. So, modes that are closely connected in the network are similar to each other based on their accident figures across the ten years, and those that are further apart are progressively more different from each other.

The probability of incidents increases from right to left in the graph.

Some notable conclusions from the data are:
  • The probabilities of being killed, seriously injured or even slightly injured are all minuscule for air travel compared to anything else. This is a topic explored more thoroughly in an earlier blog post (A network analysis of airplane disasters).
  • You are much more likely to be injured in a bus than in a truck, but more likely to be killed in the truck than in the bus.
  • You are slightly more likely to be killed walking than cycling, but much more likely to be injured cycling.
  • A motorbike is the most effective way to get killed or seriously injured in Britain.

The walking versus cycling data are likely to surprise many people, but the average data across the 10 years are clear:

Pedal cycle
Motorcycle Killed
92 Seriously injured
1,043 Slightly injured
Danny Yee (Walking and cycling: relative risks) provides one explanation:
People who wouldn't even contemplate wearing special high-visability clothing or a helmet for a walk to the shops do so when cycling the same route.

May 23, 2015

THIRD INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL ‘OMICS SYNTHESIS CONFERENCE **important updates** **postgrads submitting abstracts entitled to full registration bursary (first-come-first-serve)** **talk abstracts due 29 May, poster abstracts due 6 June** University of St Andrews 6-8 July 2015 ABSTRACTS AND REGISTRATION ABSTRACT (TALK) DEADLINE: 29 May 2015 (extended from 25 May) REGISTRATION DEADLINE: 6 June 2015 The aim of this conference is to bring together researchers and organisations from a range of disciplines with shared interests in the development of new approaches for data handling, generation and analysis in environmental omics. Science areas of interest include bioinformatics, DNA-barcoding, genomics, metagenomics, metabarcoding, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, epigenetics, evolutionary and ecological omics, phylogenetics, study of ancient DNA and anthropology, new tools, resources and training, and beyond as applied to the study of the natural environmental and environmentally relevant organisms and systems. It is our hope is that the resulting interaction and exchange of ideas will lead to novel approaches, new collaborations and the consolidation of a wider integrated environmental omics community. EOS and this conference is supported by Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) through its Mathematics and Informatics for Environmental Omics Data Synthesis programme and the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Global Challenges programme. Professor Thomas R. Meagher School of Biology, Sir Harold Mitchell Building University of St Andrews St Andrews KY16 9TH UK +44(0)1334 463364 office +44(0)7793356889 mobile +44(0)1334 463366 fax Thomas Meagher via Gmail
Dear All, I have just uploaded a new version of DAMBE. The main news is that (distance-based method + pairwise alignment) performs much better than (maximum likelihood method + multiple alignment) based on extensive sequence simulations of amino acid, codon and nucleotide sequences of increasing sequence divergence. The difference in performance disappears only when sequences are easily aligned or when sequences experienced full substitution saturation (when no method can recover any true tree or subtrees). The function for (distance-based method + pairwise alignment) can be accessed by clicking ‘Phylogenetics|Distance-based methods|Phylogenetics with pairwise alignment’. If you wish to compare the performance by doing simulation yourself, here are the associated functions: 1. Do sequence simulation with indels, and save the resulting unaligned sequences into a FASTA file (The indels introduced in simulation leads to different sequence lengths. Make sure that some sequences will not accumulate so many deletions that only a few AA, codon or nucleotides are left). If you take a tree with 24 OTUs and simulate 100 sets, then the FASTA file will be >S1 Sequence… >S2 Sequence… … S20 Sequence… >S1 Sequence… >S2 Sequence… … S20 Sequence… … 2. To use DAMBE to reconstruct 100 trees from these 100 sets of sequences, start DAMBE and click 'File|Open file with multiple datasets’ to read in the file (You will be asked to enter “Number of sequences per set” and you should enter 24 if there are 24 OTUs per set of data. This is needed because FASTA files have no internal structure to indicate the beginning and ending of each set of sequences). In the dialogbox on what job to perform, click 'Distance-based phylogenetics’ and click 'Run’. In the following dialog boxes, just keep default values. 3. To analyze the sequences by ML method, e.g., (PROML and DNAML in PHYLIP), you can use DAMBE to do batch alignment and then save to PHYLIP format. That is, you click 'File|Open file with multiple datasets’ to read in the file and enter the number OTUs (e.g., 24). In the dialog box on what job to perform, click 'Align multiple sets of sequences’. You may use either the built-in alignment tool (ClustalW) or use external alignment programs (I often use mafft.bat). Once the sequences are aligned, you may save them to PHYLIP format. If you have simulated 100 sets of AA sequences, then it is better to save the 100 sets of sequences into multiple files and run PROML in a parallel fashion (otherwise it may take months). In DAMBE, once the alignment is done, you will be presented with the option of saving the multiple sets to one file or to multiple files. 4. If, in your simulation of 100 sets of sequences, the simulation program produce 100 separate files, each with 24 sequences, then you click 'File|Read multiple files for batch processing’. The rest is the same. 5. Once you have produced the trees in a file, e.g., outtree from PHYLIP, paste the “true tree” (the tree used in simulation) into the file as the first tree. You need to know which methods recover more true trees/subtrees. Click 'Phylogenetics|Robinson- Foulds analysis on trees’. This will compare the 100 reconstructed tree against the first tree (the true tree). By the way, DAMBE has a good codon alignment function that align codon sequences with a 64-by-64 score matrix. It is quite good. If you simulate codon sequences, then you should align them by codon instead of by nucleotide because aligning by codon is not only faster (the sequences are three times shorter), but also more accurate. There are also a number of minor bug fixes in this release. For those who do not know what DAMBE is: it is a comprehensive software package for data analysis in molecular biology and evolution, freely available at: Best Xuhua Xuhua Xia Professor Biology Department University of Ottawa Rm 278 Gendron 30 Marie Curie, Ottawa, Ontario Canada K1N 6N5 Tel: (613) 562-5800 ext 6886 Xuhua Xia via Gmail
A fixed term full-time Postdoctoral position (Level A) is available at the School of BioSciences (Faculty of Science), University of Melbourne. The Research Fellow will be responsible for designing, executing, and analysing field and laboratory experiments, as part of the research project “The dark side of night: species and community impacts of night lighting”, which is funded by an ARC Discovery grant. The research is part of an international collaboration between the University of Melbourne (Dr Theresa Jones and Prof Mark Elgar), the University of Exeter (Prof Kevin Gaston) and the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (Prof Marcel Visser). The position is located at The University of Melbourne and reports to the Chief Investigator. Salary: $64,863* - $88,016 p.a. (*PhD entry Level $81,998 p.a.) plus 9.5% superannuation For further information please visit the website: . Dr Theresa Jones Senior Lecturer - The Behaviour and Evolution Group The School of BioSciences, The University of Melbourne Victoria 3010, Australia Tel: +61 (0)3 90359576 Theresa Melanie Jones via Gmail
A PhD position at the School of Biological Science at the University of Portsmouth (UK) Supervisor: Rocio Perez-Barrales and W. Scott Armbruster Project title: Pollination competition and facilitation as ecological driver of floral diversity and evolution in Mediterranean Linum (Linaceae) Most plants in communities tent to interact indirectly by sharing pollinators, and these interactions can bring positive or negative effects to plant fitness. At community level, most of the research has focused on whether sharing pollinators is beneficial or costly for plants. This is surprising because the sign and net effect of the interaction is context dependent. For example, adjustments in flowering phenology of species can support the pollinator community during the entire blooming season and increase the residence time of pollinators. In contrast, co-flowering species can compete for the pollinator service, and the strength of these negative interactions may be a density dependent process in a spatially explicit context. All these processes are not mutually exclusive, and they vary temporally and spatially; in the longer term, they can structure species composition and combinations of different floral traits. This PhD project will (i) evaluate how facilitation and competition for pollinator service can structure plant communities by looking at (ii) rates of intra-specific pollen flow and inter-specific pollen flow to (iii) quantify the selective value of these complex interactions as drivers of floral evolution, speciation and differentiation of traits directly linked with female and male fitness. The research will be conducted in Mediterranean communities of flax species (Linum, Linaceae) in Spain, where often several species co$B!>(Bflower and share pollinators. We are looking for enthusiastic, independent and dynamic candidates with strong interest in plant-animal interactions. Candidates must have a good Master’s degree, or good degree in Biology or Environmental Biology, with a background in Plant Population Biology, Ecology and Evolution. The candidate should be familiar with the package R for data analysis of ecological and molecular data, and flexible to work in a team and independently. It is expected that (s)he will be an active part of preparation of grant proposal and manuscripts. The candidate will gain skills both in the field and the lab. The fieldwork will be conducted in Spain, and it would be beneficial for the candidate to speak Spanish. The lab work and greenhouse experiments will be conducted in the facilities of The University of Portsmouth. In addition the candidate will have access to the Graduate School Development Programme and Department Postgraduate Researcher Training, and will join the Biodiversity and Evolution research team at the School of Biological Science. Application should be sent before the 4th June on line at, but please contact me before applying at Rocio Perez-Barrales Lecturer in Evolutionary Biology School of Biological Sciences University of Portsmouth Rocio Perez-Barrales via Gmail

May 22, 2015


Dear colleagues, Recognizing that the difficult funding situation may have made the attendance of SMBE 2015 in Vienna for some people impossible, the Institute of Population Genetics has made 10 fellowships for SMBE attendance available. The fellowships entail a free registration to SMBE 2015 and will be awarded on a first come, first served basis with special attention given to the different time zones. In order to apply, please send a short email with the subject “conference fellowship” to explaining your need for the fellowship and a proof for the recently rejected grant. Please note that travel grants count as well as grants submitted by the advisors. Conference website: via Gmail

Background: Phylogeographic research has advanced in South America, with increasing efforts on taxa from the dry diagonal biomes. However, the diversification of endemic fauna from the semiarid Caatinga biome in northeastern Brazil is still poorly known. Here we targeted saxicolous lizards of the Tropidurus semitaeniatus species group to better understand the evolutionary history of these endemic taxa and the Caatinga. We estimated a time-calibrated phylogeny for the species group based on two mitochondrial and two nuclear genes and jointly estimated the species limits and species tree within the group. We also devoted a denser phylogeographic sampling of the T. semitaeniatus complex to explore migration patterns, and the spatiotemporal diffusion history to verify a possible role of the São Francisco River as a promoter of differentiation in this saxicolous group of lizards. Results: Phylogenetic analysis detected high cryptic genetic diversity, occurrence of unique microendemic lineages associated with older highlands, and a speciation history that took place during the Pliocene-Pleistocene transition. Species delimitation detected five evolutionary entities within the T. semitaeniatus species group, albeit with low support. Thus, additional data are needed for a more accurate definition of species limits and interspecific relationships within this group. Spatiotemporal analyses reconstructed the geographic origin of the T. semitaeniatus species complex to be located north of the present-day course of the São Francisco River, followed by dispersal that expanded its distribution towards the northwest and south. Gene flow estimates showed higher migration rates into the lineages located north of the São Francisco River. Conclusions: The phylogenetic and population structures are intrinsically associated with stable rock surfaces and landscape rearrangements, such as the establishment of drainage basins located to the northern and southern distribution ranges. The T. semitaeniatus complex preserved high genetic diversity during range expansion, possibly as a result of frequent long-distance dispersal events. Our results indicate that both the current course of the São Francisco River and its paleo-courses had an important role in promoting diversification of the Caatinga endemic T. semitaeniatus species group.
Background: Although males and females need one another in order to reproduce, they often have different reproductive interests, which can lead to conflict between the sexes. The intensity and frequency of male-male competition for fertilization opportunities is thought to be an important contributor to this conflict. The nematode genus Caenorhabditis provides an opportunity to test this hypothesis because the frequency of males varies widely among species with different mating systems. Results: We find evidence that there is strong inter- and intra-sexual conflict within C. remanei, a dioecious species composed of equal frequencies of males and females. In particular, some C. remanei males greatly reduce female lifespan following mating, and their sperm have a strong competitive advantage over the sperm of other males. In contrast, our results suggest that both types of conflict have been greatly reduced within C. elegans, which is an androdioecious species that is composed of self-fertilizing hermaphrodites and rare males. Using experimental evolution in mutant C. elegans populations in which sperm production is blocked in hermaphrodites (effectively converting them to females), we find that the consequences of sexual conflict observed within C. remanei evolve rapidly within C. elegans populations experiencing high levels of male-male competition. Conclusions: Together, these complementary data sets support the hypothesis that the intensity of intersexual conflict varies with the intensity of competition among males, and that male-induced collateral damage to mates can evolve very rapidly within populations.

PanAm EVODEVO V UC Berkeley 5-9 August 2015 [] COME ONE, COME ALL! EvoDevo2015 is coming together as the most exciting evodevo event of the year. If you have already registered and submitted your abstract, THANK YOU! We received over 200 submissions. The organizing committee will be selecting abstracts for oral presentations and you will be notified in the next couple of weeks. THERES SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE: Invited talks and the Contributed Sessions are selected to ensure taxonomic diversity and to include a wide variety of innovative tools and techniques for studying evodevo, demonstrating the international nature of the field and highlighting the exciting breath and depth of studies encompassed by the field of Evolutionary Developmental Biology. [] PRESENT YOUR LATEST FINDINGS: While abstract submission for oral presentations is closed, we are accepting abstracts for poster presentations and registrations until July 22nd, 2015. PICTURES ARE WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS!!! THE POSTER SESSION will extend the entire duration of the meeting, and will include large blocks of time (outdoors, with sunshine, food and drink!) for presenters to interact with the community surrounding their latest data. Use this forum to engage in direct conversation with your fellow scientists: students, postdocs and faculty will be presenting their latest data in the form of creative posters and interactive displays. DO NOT MISS the opportunity to be part of this historic event. Register now for the first biennial meeting of the PanAmerican Society for Evolutionary Developmental Biology! 5-9 August Berkeley, California via Gmail


Evolutionary Medicine We are looking for a brave, ambitious, fun and skilled post-doc with a very strong background in evolutionary biology who is interested in real time evolution in a US hospital setting. We want to do evolutionary risk analyses with a view to understanding the clinical decisions which drive resistance evolution. It is our contention that much of the conventional wisdom in this area has a very poor evidence base, and that understanding what is going on quantitatively will make possible evidence-based resistance management. This project is a collaboration between an Infectious Disease physician with a very strong background in evolutionary biology (Woods MD/PhD) and an evolutionary biologist with a strong interest in hospital infections (Read PhD), and will be primarily focused on data generated by clinicians during patient care. The position is based in the University of Michigan Hospital, Ann Arbor, with the expectation of considerable time at the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, Penn State. Here’s the formal stuff: RESEARCH FELLOW Job Summary The Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases is seeking a post-doctoral applicant to take the lead on development, implementation and analysis of ecological and evolutionary models of antibiotic resistance, which could include agent-based models and compartmental dynamical model, including model fitting and parameter estimation. Additionally, the application will be expected to gather and critical synthesize literature for metanalyses, as well as take the lead on writing of manuscripts for publication. This is a collaborative project between the labs of Robert Woods at the University of Michigan and Andrew Read at Pennsylvania State University. The position will be based at the University of Michigan, with some time spent at the Center of Infectious Disease Dynamics at Penn State. Required Qualifications Ph.D. required. Experience coding in R or python is a requirement. Significant publication track record in this area, ideally with post-doctoral experience. Desired Qualifications Experience fitting microbiological data to ecological and evolutionary models, and a track record of collaboration with mathematicians, statisticians, biologists, and public health officials is an advantage. Full details and application process at Informal inquiries to Bob Woods ( or me ( via Gmail


May 21, 2015


The INRA laboratory UMR 1290 Bioger (Thiverval-Grignon, France) has a two-year open position for a research engineer in genomics and bioinformatics in the team EGIP (Evolution and Genomics of Plant Pathogen Interactions). Position: We are seeking a motivated applicant interested in providing computational and bio-informatics expertise to different fungal genomics projects developed in the team (Illumina sequencing data handling, de novo genome assembly, polymorphism detection, genome annotation, transcriptomics). The applicant will work as a member of a multidisciplinary team with evolutionary biologists, geneticists, and plant pathologists with skills in bioinformatics and fungal genome analysis. Genome annotation will be performed in close collaboration with the JGI-DOE Mycocosm project. The contract may include a stay at the JGI office in Walnut Creek near San Francisco, CA, USA. Required qualifications: Master in biology or computer science; bioinformatics experience or working knowledge of bioinformatics tools; good understanding of Linux and solid programming experience; good practice of scientific English. Please send a CV and letter(s) of recommendation to Dr Marc-Henri Lebrun ( The position is open and review of applications will continue until the position is filled. BIOGER is located on the ground of the AgroParisTech School for Engineers in Agriculture at Thiverval-Grignon. The Campus is located in the country side South-West of Paris, close to a railway station easily connected to Gare Montparnasse ( via Gmail

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
Funding for postdoctoral fellow for 1.5 years (can be extended if funds available) for project on coloration and vision in Neotropical cichlids. Must be SCUBA certified. Start date flexible, but must be available for field-work starting January 2016. Contact Ethan Clotfelter ( at Amherst College, Massachusetts, USA with questions. Ethan Clotfelter via Gmail
The web site is a discussion forum for phylogenetic theory and applications. The primary goal of this forum is to discuss best practice and new developments in phylogenetics. Although we do have a Troubleshooting4 category for getting feedback on analyses, this is not a help site for running phylogenetics programs. We are just getting started, and we hope to become a great place to chat about phylogenetics for researchers and the broader community of students and science-interested citizens. Thank you and don’t hesitate to ping Erick or tweet to us if you have any questions or comments. “Foley, Brian Thomas” via Gmail
Analysis and Annotation of DNA Repeats and Dark Matter in Eukaryotic Genomes Dear Colleagues, LE STUDIUM, Loire Valley Institute for Advanced Studies, would like to remind you that the *Analysis and Annotation of DNA Repeats and Dark Matter in Eykaryotic Genomes Conference* - is open for registration.Click here to access the conference page and announcement . *Don’t miss the early bird registration rate and date of June 1st, 2015!* The Analysis and Annotation of DNA Repeats and Dark Matter in Eykaryotic Genomes Conference aims to shine light on current and emerging research trends for genomes classification by providing a platform for discussion with a peloton of internationally acknowledged leaders. Note this conference is the premiere event of the year for researchers to meet, discuss and share ideas on genic repeats and genomes classification! International leaders in the genomic research will gather to discuss, learn and share ideas on a number of areas. Please note there are also opportunities for poster sessions. For more information and to discover the full list of speakers please visit the conference page . This one-off conference is organised with Dr Yves Bigot, Research Director (CNRS - INRA Centre Val de Loire, France) and Dr Peter Arensburger (California State Polytechnic University, Pomona - USA). It offers a unique opportunity to meet like-minded researchers, build new collaborations and enjoy the famous local gastronomy and scenery of the Loire Valley region! We look forward to welcoming you to Tours, Loire Valley, France in next July 2015 and invite you not to miss the *June 1st, 2015* *early bird registration deadline*. The conference is open to a hundred participants (academics, post-doctorants, students and R&D scientists, enterprises). Sincerely, On behalf of the scientific committee, Nicola Fazzalari Scientific Director More infos : Facebook Website Email Sophie Gabillet via Gmail

Dear everyone, There is room for a small number of additional talks in each session at the 7th European Congress of Mammalogy. We have therefore extended the abstract deadline until June 1st. You can send in your abstracts at: Please don’t forget to also register after you have submitted your abstract. Registration can be done here (and is open until June 15th): via Gmail


May 20, 2015


Postdoctoral Researcher in Quantitative Genetics Salary Range: 31,342 - 37,394 per annum The Roslin Institute is a world-class centre for quantitative genetics, particularly of managed animal populations such as livestock and companion animals. We have a vacancy for a post-doctoral researcher in quantitative genetics to work alongside Dr. Pam Wiener (Roslin), Dr. John Hickey (Roslin) and Dr. Marie Haskell (Scotland’s Rural College) on the genomic dissection of behavioural characteristics in dogs. The post will involve the development of a low-density platform for genotyping two major dog breeds, characterisation of behavioural traits based on questionnaire data and genomic association and prediction analyses of the behavioural data. The successful applicant will have (or be close to having) a PhD in Quantitative Genetics, Population Genetics, Statistics, Biology, or a related area. The candidate will be expected to have experience of working with large-scale SNP marker data, for example, genome-wide association mapping and genomic prediction, and experience with multivariate statistical analysis. Demonstrable skills in project and sample management, ability to communicate effectively with the public and the oral and written communication of scientific results are also essential. The post-holder will join the Genetics and Genomics department at the Institute, which comprises 24 research groups. He/she will also join a large and active group of scientists across Edinburgh researching the genetics of complex traits. The successful candidate will have the chance to collaborate with leading researchers in the field and to present results at meetings and conferences. The post is funded for two years with the possibility of extension. For further information, please see or contact Closing Date: 12 June 2015 Applications can be made via this weblink: Pam Wiener The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies University of Edinburgh Easter Bush, Midlothian EH25 9RG, UK phone: 44 (0) 131 651 9209 email: “The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336 Disclaimer: This e-mail and any attachments are confidential and intended solely for the use of the recipient(s) to whom they are addressed. If you have received it in error, please destroy all copies and inform the sender.” via Gmail

Background: Traditionally, the evolution of terrestrial reproduction in anurans from ancestors that bred in water has been accepted in the literature. Still, the existence of intermediate stages of water dependency, such as species that lay eggs close to water (e.g., in burrows) instead of in bodies of water, supports the hypothesis of an ordered and gradual evolution in the direction of a more terrestrial form of reproduction. However, this conventional view has recently been challenged for some anurans groups. Leptodactylinae frogs are a remarkable example of anurans with an outstanding diversity in terms of reproductive features, with distinct water dependency among lineages. Here, we tested the hypothesis of a gradual and ordered tendency towards terrestriality in Leptodactylinae, including the existence of obligatory intermediate stages, such as semi-terrestrial reproductive strategies. We also addressed the association between reproductive modes and the morphological and ecological features. Results: An ancestral reconstruction analysis indicated that even though shifts from aquatic to terrestrial breeding occurred throughout the history of Leptodactylus and Adenomera, shifts from terrestrial to aquatic reproduction happened at almost the same frequency. Our results also demonstrated that reproductive modes for semi-terrestrial tadpoles were not necessarily an intermediate form between aquatic and terrestrial breeds. Correlations among reproductive modes and other life-history traits suggested that tadpole environment, clutch size, nuptial spines, and egg pigmentation were co-evolving and driven by water dependency. Conclusions: Our results found no evidence of evolutionary tendencies toward terrestriality in Leptodactylinae. We found reversals from terrestrial to aquatic tadpole development and no evidence of obligatory intermediate stages, such as semi-terrestrial reproductive strategies. We also found correlations between reproductive modes and other life-history traits driven by water dependence. Aquatic reproductive modes are associated with higher clutch sizes, lentic waters, and the presence of nuptial spines and egg pigmentation.