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March 10, 2015
The GBIF Ebbe Nielsen Challenge has closed and we have 23 submissions for the jury to evaluate. There's quite a range of project types (and media, including sound and physical objects), and it's going to be fascinating to evaluate all the entries (some of which are shown below). This is the first time GBIF has run this challenge, so it's gratifying to see so much creativity in response to the challenge. While judging itself is limited to the jury (of which I'm a member), I'd encourage anyone interested in biodiversity informatics to browse the submissions. Although you can't leave comments directly on the submissions within the GBIF Challenge pages, each submission also appears on the portfolio page of the person/organisation that created the entry, so you can leave comments there (follow the link at the bottom of the page for each submission to see it on the portfolio page).
Postdoctoral opportunities are available to work with Tim Connallon, in Monash Universitys School of Biological Sciences (Melbourne, Australia). I have broad research interests in evolutionary genetics, including the following areas: - The role of genetic constraints in adaptation - The evolution of sexual dimorphism - Sex chromosome evolution - Population genetic signals of adaptation - Adaptation with gene flow - Theoretical population genetics Current research in my group combines theory development, analyses of publicly available datasets, and quantitative genetics experiments using Drosophila. I am interested in theoretical and empirical projects that fit within the general areas mentioned above. There is considerable flexibility regarding the specific projects that may be undertaken, and these will ideally be designed in collaboration with the successfully candidate. The successful candidate should have a PhD in biology or a related discipline, a solid track record of independent scholarship, including high-quality publications, and good written and verbal communication skills. Strong quantitative or computational abilities are a plus. Two years of support is guaranteed, provided satisfactory progress is met, and there are good opportunities for extended support beyond the first two years. The position is at the postdoctoral academic level A, with starting salary of ~$75K per year AUD. The School of Biological Sciences at Monash houses a diverse and interactive group of academics, and the school provides a stimulating and supportive environment for carrying out research in ecology, evolution and genetics. Opportunities are excellent for scientific collaboration, for mentorship, and for developing an independent research program. For more information about the school, see: http://bit.ly/1wVow9r Interested candidates should please send a letter of research interests and a CV to firstname.lastname@example.org. Informal queries are encouraged at this time. Instructions for formal application through the Monash University system will follow in a subsequent post. email@example.com via Gmail
The following text can also be found at: http://bit.ly/1C3DewQ WWTF-funded positions in the Computational Biosciences, hosted by the Max F. Perutz Laboratories (MFPL), Vienna, Austria The WWTF Austria has launched a call for applications in the Computational Biosciences. The “Vienna Research Groups for Young Investigators” call by the City of Vienna and the WWTF will fund promising young scientists starting their first independent research group in Vienna. One to two positions with up to 1.6 Mio. EUR funding per group are available, for 6-8 years, with the possibility during this time of conversion to a tenure track position. See: http://bit.ly/1BrDhz7 The positions need to be hosted by a university or research institute in Vienna, so the MFPL (http://bit.ly/1C3DewS) is now seeking outstanding candidates from, but not limited to, the following areas: - Computational Biology - Bioinformatics - Computational Biophysics and Structural Biology - Computational Genomics - Computational Population Biology - Computational Phylogenomics Interested candidates should send their CV, brief career summary and research proposal, up to three publications, and the names of three referees, preferably as a single PDF, to Graham Warren (firstname.lastname@example.org). The deadline is April 20th 2015. This is a two-step procedure. Short-listed applicants will be invited to MFPL for interview in May and successful candidates will then be sponsored by the MFPL to apply for one of the WWTF positions, the deadline for which is July 15th 2015. Heiko Schmidt via Gmail
—_004_SG2PR02MB07156F6F8950181ADD0D9305AE180SG2PR02MB0715apcp_ Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary=”_000_SG2PR02MB07156F6F8950181ADD0D9305AE180SG2PR02MB0715apcp_” —_000_SG2PR02MB07156F6F8950181ADD0D9305AE180SG2PR02MB0715apcp_ Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”us-ascii” Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Hi Could you please post the following Graduate position? Thanks ‘Population Connectivity of Reef Fish in Tropical north-western Australia’ Application Closing Date: until filled PhD Project with Curtin University, Perth Australia This project will employ state of the art genotype-by-sequencing methodologies to generate a large volume of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and microsatellite DNA genetic data to provide the first comprehensive investigation of ecological connectivity in the Kimberley marine environment in NW Australia. The research outcomes will inform the management of fish and other exploited resources and also the design of marine protected areas and off-reserve assets in this remarkable yet understudied region. We anticipate that the approach used in this project will serve as a template for investigating ecological connectivity in other regions of Western Australia. The project is a partnership between Curtin University, the Western Australian Marine Science Institute (WAMSI) and the Department of Fisheries, WA. We are seeking an Australian or International postgraduate student to develop and deploy contemporary and next generation genomic markers for various fish species along the tropical coast of north-western Australia with the remote and environmentally extreme Kimberley region comprising the main focal area. One of the major aims of the PhD research will be to infer the routine distances of dispersal and patterns of connectivity among populations of key fish species along the NWA coast (e.g. stripey snapper, blue tuskfish and the range restricted Miller’s damselfish). Through the genetic analyses of key taxa with contrasting dispersive life histories the techniques utilised in this project will provide species- specific estimates of realised connectivity at reef-scale (hundreds of metres), inter-reef scale (kilometres-tens of kilometres) and inter-region scale (tens-hundreds of kilometres). Eligibility criteria: Students must have a First Class Honours or equivalent to be eligible for an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA), or if an international student have 1-2 publications in high quality, peer-reviewed journals and have lead or co-ordinated a significant research project to be eligible for a Curtin International Postgraduate Scholarship (CIPRS). Interested candidates should contact Dr Jennifer McIlwain (email@example.com) for further information and send a cover letter outlining their research interest and experience along with their CV. Dr Jennifer McIlwain Ph.D (Marine Ecology) Head of Department Department of Environment and Agriculture School of Science Curtin University Tel | +61 8 9266 9041 Email | firstname.lastname@example.org Web | http://curtin.edu.au [Description: email_logo.png] —_000_SG2PR02MB07156F6F8950181ADD0D9305AE180SG2PR02MB0715apcp_ Content-Type: text/html; charset=”us-ascii” Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
Postdoc:EvolutionaryGenomicsSexualSelection_University_of_Montana Post-doctoral RESEARCH FELLOW: EvolutionaryGenomicsSexualSelection The University of Montana, to study the genetic basis for rapid weapon evolution in rhinoceros beetles Application deadline: 31 March 2015 Start date: between May and June 2015 Doug Emlen at the University of Montana, Missoula, in collaboration with Laura Corley Lavine, Washington State University, is seeking an Evolutionary Biologist with programming/bioinformatics/genomics experience to explore the evolution of extreme weapons in rhinoceros beetles. This project focuses on populations of rhinoceros beetle that differ dramatically in the relative size of a weapon, a pitchfork horn projecting from the heads of males. The successful candidate will join our international collaborative team to help sample animals from populations across Asia, prepare and sequence whole genomic DNA from these samples using RAD-seq, and use divergence mapping approaches to screen for evidence of recent selection. In addition, the candidate will use RAD-seq to conduct a QTL analysis on F2 animals produced from a cross between a long- and a short-horned population. Proposed genetic studies build on a decade of prior research by the PIs and their collaborators on the developmental mechanisms regulating horn growth in this species, which have identified a rich suite of candidate developmental genes and pathways. The successful candidate will join a vibrant and productive department with a thriving evolutionary genetics group (http://bit.ly/1x9RTiJ), and will be expected to maintain consistently high research output in the form of quality publications, supervise and train students, contribute generally to research activities of the group, and participate in appropriate career development activities. The position is for two years subject to satisfactory annual progress. Requirements: - A PhD in evolutionary genetics, population genetics, or genomics, with extensive experience in next-generation sequencing, preferably RAD-seq - A publication track record in high-quality journals that clearly reflects the ability to conduct and publish research in the field of evolutionary genetics - Demonstrated evidence of a strong interest in applying state-of- the art molecular methods to current evolutionary questions with meticulous attention to detail and high quality lab work - Strong quantitative/programming skills are highly advantageous - Ability to work independently in a collaborative research team - Experience in or enthusiasm for supervision and training of students - Ability to communicate effectively with other scientists at the interface of lab and field ecology Send a letter that addresses these requirements and includes a brief statement about why you are interested in this post-doc plus a full academic CV that includes the names and contact details (email, phone) of 3 references, to Doug Emlen (email@example.com). Review of applications will begin on 31 March 2015, and will continue until the position is filled. Doug Emlen “Emlen, Doug” via Gmail
We have two Graduate Research Assistantships available for two graduate students (MS/PhD) to work on the population genetics and community ecology of invasive watermilfoil in Michigan waterways funded by the Michigan Invasive Species Grants Program. One student will focus on the genetics (microsatellites) and patterns of hybridization with native watermilfoil in relation to herbicide resistance, and one student will focus on understanding the ecology of invaded and treated communities within various waterways to help understand the effects of the invasive and its control, and design and implement management practices to better control invasive watermilfoil. Students will collaborate with each other and other members of a multifaceted team that includes university researchers, community and state agencies, and private and corporate interest groups. Minimal qualifications include a background in ecology, evolution, invasive species, and/or population genetics (through coursework OR research positions) and a growing interest in these fields. A strong academic record, evidence of excellent written and analytical skills, and enthusiasm for field and laboratory research will be highly favored. Interested persons should contact Dr. Erika Hersch-Green (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or Dr. Casey Huckins (*email@example.com*) by email and include a CV, a statement of interest in the research assistantship and their research interests in general, and the names of three references. Suitable candidates will then be contacted for an interview to discuss projects and reference letters will be requested. Invited students will need to submit a formal application to the graduate school at Michigan Technological University. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until April 15th or until the positions are filled. Erika Hersch-Green Department of Biological Sciences Michigan Technological University 1400 Townsend Drive Houghton, MI 49931 Office: 906-487-3351 Fax: 906-487-3167 Erika Hersch-Green via Gmail
Computational Dynamic Analysis of Biological Processes http://bit.ly/1B71nOI July 19 - July 25, 2015 Lipari Island, Italy Aim and scope: Processes is one of the most challenging research areas in modern life science. Topics such as Disease Dynamics, Drug Resistance, Immune System Analysis, Emerging Mutations, Microbiome Analysis, and Biological Networks Evolution involve intriguing and still unsolved problems. On the other hand, the availability of Next Generation Sequencing and other High-throughput techniques provide a strong support for scientists working in this field. Our main and special guest lectures will address the scope focusing on algorithms, computational models, biomedical and biotechnological results on this field. From the enclosed bibliography, it appears that the selected themes have received much attention in the scholarly literature ranging from Nature and Science to Bioinformatics Journals. Speakers Peer Bork Network Dynamics European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg, GERMANY Jeff Gore Evolutionary Game-Theoretic Models MIT, Massachussets, USA Laxmi Parida Evolutionary Dynamics IBM, Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY, USA Stephen Quake NGS and Cancer Dynamics Stanford University, California, USA Guest speakers Eric Jonasch Molecular Determinants of Renal Cell Carcinoma Ontogeny and Progression MD Anderson Cancer Center,Houston,Texas,USA Michael Levitt Stanford University, California, USA Participants will be arranged in a comfortable hotel at very special rates. The conference room (in the same hotel) is air-conditioned and equipped with all conference materials. Special areas are reserved to students for the afternoon coursework and study. The island of Lipari can be easilyreached from Milazzo, Palermo, Naples, Messina and Reggio Calabria by ferry or hydrofoil (50 minutes from Milazzo). Two kinds of participants are welcome. Students: Participants who are expected to do afternoon courseworks and take a final exam (The grades will be given following the ECTS grading scale). The course will involve a total of 24 hours of teaching. According to our university rules passing the final exam gives right to an equivalent of 6 ECTS credits in any Ph.D. program. Auditors: participants who are not interested in taking the final exam. Registration fee is 470 Euros. The fee covers the course material, bus+hydrofoil Catania airport-Lipari-Catania airport, social event. Late registration is 570 Euros. Applications can be submitted from November 1, 2014 up to May 29, 2015. Late registrations will be accepted until July 14th. Admission notification will start on March 2nd, according to registration time. Applicants must include a short curriculum vitae. The official language is English. School Directors Prof. Alfredo Ferro (University of Catania) Prof. Raffaele Giancarlo (University of Palermo) Prof. Concettina Guerra (Georgia Institute of Technology) Prof. Michael Levitt (Stanford University) Dr. Rosalba Giugno (co-director, University of Catania) Prof. Alfredo Pulvirenti (co-director, University of Catania) People interested in receiving further information about the school can contact: Lipari School Organization Prof. Alfredo Ferro — Lipari School secretary Universit degli Studi di Catania - Dipartimento di Matematica e Informatica Citt Universitaria - Viale A.Doria, 6 - 95125 Catania - ITALY Tel: +39 095 7383071 Fax: +39 095 7337032 / +39 095 330094 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Alfredo Ferro via Gmail
March 9, 2015
Dear everyone, Registration is now open for the 7th European Congress of Mammalogy in Stockholm (to be held 16-22 August 2015). To register and pay the conference fee, please follow the instructions at this page: http://bit.ly/1BroV1K Early Registration is until the 15th of April, and Late Registration will be between 16th of April and 16th of June. The aim of the European Congresses of Mammalogy is to foster communication between researchers working on issues of mammalian biology in the European arena, as well as providing a venue for the broad dissemination of European mammal research. The relaxed and friendly atmosphere of these congresses provides an excellent opportunity to hear the latest developments in various fields of mammalogy, to share research experience and expertise, and to develop new and closer contacts with colleagues from different countries. The conference will cover a broad range of topics in mammal biology, including Species Interactions, Population Genetics, Conservation Biology and Ecology & Landscapes. Please visit the conference website for further information: http://bit.ly/1tLnI5u via Gmail
300 million years of diversification: elucidating the patterns of orthopteran evolution based on comprehensive taxon and gene sampling
Orthoptera is the most diverse order among the polyneopteran groups and includes familiar insects, such as grasshoppers, crickets, katydids, and their kin. Due to a long history of conflicting classification schemes based on different interpretations of morphological characters, the phylogenetic relationships within Orthoptera are poorly understood and its higher classification has remained unstable. In this study, we establish a robust phylogeny of Orthoptera including 36 of 40 families representing all 15 currently recognized superfamilies and based on complete mitochondrial genomes and four nuclear loci, in order to test previous phylogenetic hypotheses and to provide a framework for a natural classification and a reference for studying the pattern of divergence and diversification. We find strong support for monophyletic suborders (Ensifera and Caelifera) as well as major superfamilies. Our results corroborate most of the higher-level relationships previously proposed for Caelifera, but suggest some novel relationships for Ensifera. Using fossil calibrations, we provide divergence time estimates for major orthopteran lineages and show that the current diversity has been shaped by dynamic shifts of diversification rates at different geological times across different lineages. We also show that mitochondrial tRNA gene orders have been relatively stable throughout the evolutionary history of Orthoptera, but a major tRNA gene rearrangement occurred in the common ancestor of Tetrigoidea and Acridomorpha, thereby representing a robust molecular synapomorphy, which has persisted for 250 Myr.
Morphological evolution and modularity of tetrapods The Goswami Lab in the Department of Genetics, Evolution & Environment at University College London is now accepting applications for a postdoctoral research position in evolutionary morphology and diversification of tetrapods. The successful applicant will be employed for three years to work as part of a team on a European Research Council-funded project conducting a large-scale quantitative analysis of evolutionary rates, morphological disparity, and phenotypic integration across tetrapods. The postdoctoral researcher will focus on a subclade of sauropsids ($B!H(Breptiles$B!I(B) and will be responsible for building a comprehensive dataset of 3-D images spanning their living and extinct diversity and extracting surface morphometric data from images. With these data, they will conduct extensive analyses to reconstruct the patterns and processes underlying ecomorphological evolution and identify the major intrinsic and extrinsic factors shaping clade diversity. Further duties will involve supervision of short-term undergraduate and Master$B!G(Bs student projects, assistance in field expeditions, and uploading new data to online resources for free dissemination. The postdoctoral researcher may take up their position from June 2015, although there is flexibility in start time. Applications for this position will be accepted via the UCL online application system until April 7, 2015. Informal enquiries and requests for further details can be directed to Anjali Goswami (email@example.com). Project Backgound: Morphological variation is the foundation of evolutionary theory, but the basic influences on morphological variation are still poorly understood. Developmental interactions are often discussed as a major control on variation, but direct analysis of this hypothesis has been hindered by the lack of quantitative comparative data. Similarly, robust analyses analysing both extrinsic and intrinsic influences on morphological evolution are often limited by data availability. Using advanced biological imaging techniques (CT- and laser scanning) combined with surface-based 3-D morphometrics, this project will build on existing work in mammals by providing the first broad comparative data on modularity and disparity of skulls, jaws and limbs for living and fossil tetrapods. Each team member in this project will focus on building and analysing an extensive 3-D morphometric dataset for a large clade on non-mammalian tetrapods, such as amphibians and sauropsids, which have incredible diversity in reproductive strategies, ecology and morphology. This project will require extensive international travel for data collection, as well as running analyses and implementing new code in R. In addition to working with new data, the postdoctoral researcher will integrate data provided by project collaborators in order to maximize taxonomic representation. In combination with existing data from an ontogenetic sequence of Xenopus, and juvenile and adult neontological and paleontological specimens of mammals, this project will produce a robust analysis of the relationships among modularity, morphological disparity, evolutionary rates across tetrapods and how each of these responds to major life history and ecological transitions as well as large-scale biotic and environmental events. In addition to training in biological imaging and quantitative analyses, there will be opportunities for international palaeontological fieldwork during the course of this project. Closing date: April 7, 2015 Details and link to the UCL application site available at www.goswamilab.com UCL Department / Division Division of Biosciences Specific unit / Sub department Genetics, Evolution & Environment Grade 7 Hours Full Time Salary (inclusive of London allowance) $B!r(B33,353 to $B!r(B35,196 per annum Key Requirements Applicants must have a PhD (awarded or about to be awarded) in relevant discipline. Experience of vertebrate morphology and experience of morphometrics and comparative methods. Applicants must also have a proven track record of high quality research in vertebrate evolution, comparative macroevolutionary analyses or a related field. Appointment at Grade 7 is dependent upon having been awarded a PhD. Or if about to submit a PhD, the appointment will be at Grade 6B ($B!r(B29,193 - $B!r(B30,783 salary, inclusive of London Allowance) with payment at Grade 7 being backdated to the date of final submission of the PhD thesis. For further information about the post please contact Dr Anjali Goswami on firstname.lastname@example.org For further information on the application process please contact Biosciences Staffing on email@example.com Dr. Anjali Goswami Reader in Palaeobiology Department of Genetics, Evolution, and Environment and Department of Earth Sciences University College London Darwin Building 218A Gower Street London WC1E 6BT +44 (0)20 7679 2190 www.goswamilab.com “Goswami, Anjali” via Gmail
Post-doctoral RESEARCH FELLOW: Quantitative molecular ecologist Monash University (Melbourne, Australia) to study ecology of telomere dynamics in fairy-wrens Application deadline: 28 March 2015 Start date: between April and Sep 2015 Anne Peters at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, in collaboration with Simon Verhulst, Groningen University, The Netherlands, is seeking an experienced Quantitative Molecular Ecologist to explore the ecology of molecular senescence (telomere attrition). Telomeres shorten as organisms age and short telomeres are associated with greater predisposition to diseases, accelerated organismal senescence and shorter lifespan. Telomere shortening rate is known to vary with external influences and individual quality. This project will use longitudinal sampling of telomere length in individual fairy-wrens, of known age and pedigree. The telomere information will be combined with state of the art statistical methods to study telomere dynamics in relation to life-history and ecology, to disentangle effects of senescence and selective disappearance, and to assess environmental and genetic effects on telomere attrition rate. As the successful candidate, you will join Anne Peters group studying behavioural and evolutionary ecology of fairy-wrens, based at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia). You will be expected to optimise and implement existing qPCR protocols for use in fairy-wrens and apply these to blood/DNA samples ( 2000 longitudinal samples). You will further be expected to maintain consistently high research output in the form of quality publications, supervise and train students, develop and submit grant proposals to external funding agencies, contribute more generally to research activities of the group, and participate in appropriate career development activities. The position (Level A, starting salary ~$75 p.a. with annual increments) is for three years subject to satisfactory annual progress. Requirements: - A PhD in molecular ecology, with extensive experience in qPCR, preferably of telomeres - A publication track record in high-quality journals that clearly reflects the ability to conduct and publish research in the field of molecular ecology - Demonstrated evidence of a strong interest in applying state-of-the- art molecular methods to current evolutionary and ecological questions with meticulous attention to detail and high quality lab work - Strong quantitative skills in the R-environment are highly advantageous, especially animal modelling framework - Ability to work independently in a collaborative research team - Experience in or enthusiasm for supervision and training of students - Experience in developing and submitting grant proposals - Ability to communicate effectively with other scientists at the interface of lab and field ecology - Strong command of English For further details about the host and institution see: http://bit.ly/1iYWkGw http://bit.ly/1n2gpy2 and http://bit.ly/1DoXLM8 Send a letter that addresses these requirements and includes a brief statement about why you are interested in this post-doc plus a full academic CV that includes including the names and contact details (email, phone) of 2-3 references, to Anne Peters (firstname.lastname@example.org) by the closing date of 28 March 2015. Anne Peters via Gmail
March 8, 2015
A Postdoctoral and Ph.D. positions in Computational Genomics and Phylogenetics are available at the Institute of Evolution at the University of Haifa. The research projects will be done in collaboration with the Phylogenetics and Computational Genomics lab of Prof. Sagi Snir. The positions are targeted to two projects: 1. Tree reconstruction in light of conflicting signals. Real life data provide high degree of incongruent data that needs to be reconciled into a single tree. This is normally done by means of supertree methods. We have developed several approaches to this that rely on non trivial algorithmic and computational/mathematical tools. We decompose the inputs into the most basic informational unit and summarise them across all the data. This data aggregation provides us with information that is invisible at the single tree level or at the level of the entire data collection. Using this novel techniques we are able to distinguish between e.g. toxic and non-toxic genes. We investigate both theoretical and practical questions associated with these approaches. 2. Detection and analysis of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in prokaryotes. HGT is a major factor in prokaryotic evolution and plays a significant role in developing antibiotic resistance. Current methods rely on a very strong and clear HGT signal that is frequently absent, e.g. HGT between strains of a species. We have developed several novel methods to detect HGT where existing methods fail. The methods use evolutionary signals, unique to HGT, that are detected by rigorous statistical approaches. The successful candidates must have familiarity with computational/mathematical biology. Essential requirements include proficiency in computer-programming skills, such as C/C++/Java and scripting languages (e.g. Perl, Phyton), demonstrated ability in applying the devised algorithms. Duties of the role will include algorithm development, implementation and testing by simulation and application on real biological data. The Institute of Evolution is world leading in broad aspects of evolution, both theoretical and practical. The team of Prof. Snir is characterized by works with both algorithmic and evolutionary appeal with ample collaboration with other leading labs around the world. Applicants should send a CV, a statement of research interests and the names and contact information for 3 references. Review of the applications will start immediately until positions are filled. The initial contract is for the postdoc is one year with possibility of extension. For Ph.D. students, the contract is for three years with possible additional year extension. Please send applications by email to: Prof. Sagi Snir, Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology and The Institute of Evolution, University of Haifa Mount Carmel, Haifa 31905 ISRAEL Tel: (972) 4 828-8774 Email: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org via Gmail
$1 DNA barcodes for reconstructing complex phenomes and finding rare species in specimen-rich samples
Several of the biggest challenges in taxonomy and systematics are related to a toxic mixture of small size, abundance, and rarity. There are too many species in groups with too few taxonomists and many of these species are very rare and hard to find because they are hidden in mass samples. To make matters worse, these species often have life-history stages that are morphologically so different that it is difficult to identify them as semaphoronts of the same species. We demonstrate that these biodiversity challenges can be addressed with cost-effective molecular markers. Here, we describe a next-generation-sequencing protocol that can yield barcodes at a chemical cost of
Background: Many butterflies possess striking structures called eyespots on their wings, and several studies have sought to understand the selective forces that have shaped their evolution. Work over the last decade has shown that a major function of eyespots is their ability to reduce predation by being intimidating to attacking predators. Two competing hypotheses seek to explain the cause of intimidation, one suggesting ‘eye-mimicry’ and the other their ‘conspicuousness’ as the reason. There is an on-going debate about which of these better explains the effectiveness of eyespots against predation. We undertook a series of indoor experiments to understand the relative importance of conspicuousness and eye-mimicry, and therefore how predator perception may have influenced the evolution of eyespots. We conducted choice tests where artificial paper models mimicking Junonia almana butterflies were presented to chickens and their preference of attack recorded. Results: We first established that birds avoided models with a pair of eyespots. However, contrary to previous, outdoor experiments, we found that the total area of eyespots did not affect their effectiveness. Non-eye-like, fan shaped patterns derived from eyespots were found to be just as effective as eye-like circular patterns. Furthermore, we did not find a significant effect of symmetry of patterns, again in discordance with previous work. However, across all experiments, models with a pair of patterns, symmetric or asymmetric, eyelike or non-eye-like, suffered from fewer attacks compared with other models. Conclusions: The study highlights the importance of pairedness of eyespots, and supports the hypothesis that two is a biologically significant number that is important in prey–predator signalling. We discuss the implications of our results for the understanding of eyespot evolution.
Source: BMC Evolutionary Biology
In a few recent blog posts I have discussed the early history of pedigrees, noting that they were usually presented as descent trees (with an ancestor at the top and the descendants below), although some later ones reversed this arrangement. This does not match our description of them as "family trees", of course, because the root of the pedigree is at the top.
I present here another early example, if for no other reason than that I have spent the past hour trying to decipher it. It is a Genealogy of the Saxon Dynasty, particularly the Ottonians. The picture is from the Chronica Sancti Pantaleonis, produced by the Benedictine monastery of Saint Pantaleon in Cologne in 1237 CE, which was itself based on the Chronica Regia Coloniensis [Royal Chronicle of Cologne], first compiled about 1177 CE in Michaelsberg Abbey, Siegburg.
Heinricus rex and Methildis regina are the founding couple in the double circle. Henry the Fowler did not himself become Holy Roman Emperor, but he created a situation where his descendants could do so, and did. They are numbered in the next diagram in the order in which they ruled. Number 9 is missing, this being Lothair II, who was not part of the family.
There are several things to note:
Call for Participation (apologies for multiple copies) Please forward to anybody who might be interested. Synthetic and Systems Biology Summer School - 2nd Edition Taormina - Sicily, Italy, July 5-9, 2015 http://bit.ly/ZWPdub email@example.com * News * New Speaker! Ron Weiss, MIT, USA ** Deadlines ** Student Application: March 31, 2015 Oral/Poster Submission: March 31, 2015 ** List of Speakers ** * Adam Arkin, University of California Berkeley, USA * Jef Boeke, New York University, USA * Angela DePace, Harvard University, USA * Forbes Dewey, MIT, USA * Karmella Haynes, Arizona State University, USA * Richard Kitney, Imperial College London, UK * Timothy Lu, MIT, USA * Philip Maini, Oxford University, UK * Giancarlo Mauri, University of Milano - Bicocca, Italy * Steve Oliver, Cambridge University, UK * Velia Siciliano, MIT, USA * Ron Weiss, MIT, USA * Nicola Zamboni, ETH, Switzerland ** Industrial Panel ** * Jon D. Chesnut, Life Sciences Solutions Group -Thermo Fisher Scientific, USA * Speaker TBA, Autodesk Inc., USA * Zach Serber, Zymergen, Inc. USA School Directors Jef D. Boeke, New York University, USA Giuseppe Nicosia, University of Catania, Italy Mario Pavone, University of Catania, Italy Giovanni Stracquadanio, University of Oxford, UK ** Short Talk and Poster Submission ** Students may submit a research abstract for presentation. School directors will review the abstracts and will recommend for poster or short-oral presentation. Abstract should be submitted by March 31, 2015. The abstracts will be published on the electronic hands-out material of the summer school. http://bit.ly/1zD5yVt http://bit.ly/ZWPdub firstname.lastname@example.org Apologies for multiple copies. Please forward to anybody who might be interested. email@example.com via Gmail
Ph.D. and M.Sc. Fellowships Offered at KAUST Red Sea Research Center Ph.D. fellowships offered Impacts of UVB Radiation on Red Sea biota Ph.D. Thesis to be co-supervised by Profs. Susana Agusti, Carlos M. Duarte and Christian R. Voolstra The Red Sea is an ultraoligotrophic environment characterized by highly transparent waters to damaging UVB radiation along with very high temperatures. Recent evidence suggests that Red Sea biota is highly vulnerable to UVB radiation, which is exacerbated by high temperature. However, UVB impacts has yet been assessed only for zooplankton and picoautotrophs. This project will characterize the impacts of UVB radiation on key Red Sea biota, encompassing keystone species in benthic (such as seagrass and corals) and pelagic (such as phyto and zooplankton and meroplankton) habitats. It will do so through field observations and field and laboratory experiments assessing impacts of UV radiation at multiple levels: molecular, cellular, physiological, organismal, holobiont and population levels. The project will also assess complex interactions mediated by UV for selected model species, including UV-driven constraints on organismal life history mediated by ontogenetic variability in their vulnerability to UV radiation as well as possible benefits of UV radiation on Red Sea biota driven by antagonistic effects resulting from UV impacts on pathogens, parasites and predators. Key qualifications (in addition to general KAUST requirements, see below): Prior research experience ideally including publications in international journals, SCUBA diving, solid underpinnings in marine and molecular ecology. Impacts of dust deposition on Red Sea microbial communities Ph.D. Thesis to be co-supervised by Profs. Carlos M. Duarte and Dr. Jesus M. Arrieta The Red Sea is an ultraoligotrophic environment characterized by blooms of the nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria Trichodesmiun sp.. These blooms appear to be associated to events of dust deposition. However, dust deposition, , a major feature of the Red Sea, is expected to have profound consequenecs on Red Sea biota, as it also delivers nutrients, organic carbon, pollutants and air-borne microbes. This project will characterize the inputs of elements and microorganisms associated with dust deposition and will assess their impacts on Red Sea microbial communities and the biogeochemical dynamics of this ecosystem. Key qualifications (in addition to general KAUST requirements, see below): Prior research experience ideally including publications in international journals, solid underpinnings in marine biogeochemistry and molecular ecology. Seagrass ecology and ecosystem functions in the Red Sea Ph.D. Thesis supervised by Prof. Carlos M. Duarte Seagrass are angiosperms adapted to life in the sea, forming productive and valuable ecosystems across the world. The Red Sea contains, in particular, dense multispecific seagrass meadows. However, there has been remarkably little research effort focused on Red Sea seagrass, largely restricted to the species composition and some aspects such as their value as sources of natural products and photosynthetic rates. Yet,seagrass represent arguably the most abundant higher plant vegetation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This Ph.D. project aims at filling the current gap in the ecology of seagrass meadows in the Red Sea while, at the same time, contributing to further our understanding of seagrass ecology in general. In particular, the goals of this research project include: (a) assessing patterns in the distribution and community structure of seagrass meadows in the Saudi coast of the Red Sea; (b) quantifying primary production of Red Sea seagrass meadows and the flux of carbon supporting their role as sources of carbon to the food web, carbon (as well as metal, pollutant, nitrogen and phosphorus) sinks as well as their roles as habitat. In addition we will the effect of seagrass meadows on the carbonate system as well as the rates of carbonate production in Red Sea seagrass meadows as well as their capacity to raise the seafloor, thereby sheltering coastlines from the impacts associated with sea level rise. Key qualifications (in addition to general KAUST requirements, see below): Prior research experience ideally including publications in international journals, SCUBA diving, solid underpinnings in marine and molecular ecology. Connectivity and gene flow across Seagrass and Mangrove populations in the Red Sea Ph.D. Thesis co-supervised by Prof. Carlos M. Duarte and Prof. Ester Serrao (Univ. of Algarve, Portugal) Seagrass and mangroves angiosperms form dense stands along the Red Sea. However, these stands are scattered and often separated by considerable distances, so the extent of gene flow along these system may be restricted and is not know. Moreover, the Red Sea coast spans, along its more than 1,000 Km, a broad range of climatic and productivity regimes. Limited gene flow among seagrass and mangrove stands may lead to local adaptation, whereas connectivity along the coast may maintain more diverse genetic pools able to cope with the changes predicted with climate change. This project will evaluate the gene flow and connectivity between seagrass and mangrove stands along the Red Sea Coast. Cross-transplants between distinct genotypes will test hypotheses on local adaptation. Key qualifications (in addition to general KAUST requirements, see below): Prior research experience ideally including publications in international journals, SCUBA diving, solid underpinnings in marine and molecular ecology. Metabolic balance in the Red Sea pelagic ecosystem Ph.D. Thesis co-supervised by Prof. Susana Agustí and Prof. Carlos M. Duarte The metabolic balance of the pelagic ecosystem represents the balance between the formation and degradation of organic matter and describes, therefore, the role of the ecosystem as a source or sink of CO2 and the magnitude of this role. Community metabolism has not yet been evaluated for the Red Sea pelagic ecosystem, where the extreme oligotrophic nature and warm nature suggests it may be dominated by heterotrophic processes. This project will evaluate, using a range of techniques including high-precision oxygen mass balances, stable isotope (18O and 13C) tracer additions and O2/Ar ratios, the metabolic balance of Red Sea planktonic communities. Key questions include: (1) is the Red Sea planktonic community a source or sink of CO2; (2) what role does the extreme temperature regime of the Red Sea plays in determining the metabolic rates of plankton communities from the upper and deep layers?; (3) how is the metabolic rates of Red Sea plankton communities affected by inputs of nutrients, organic matter and dust?, and (4) does materials released by Red Sea Coral Reefs affect planktonic metabolism in the nearby waters? Key qualifications (in addition to general KAUST requirements, see below): Prior research experience ideally including publications in international journals, solid underpinnings in marine biogeochemistry and plankton ecology. In addition we offer fellowships for project-based M.Sc. degrees on the following topics: Plankton ecology and microevolution UVB radiation Marine optics Microbial ecology Seagrass ecology Mangrove ecology Coral reef biogeochemistry About KAUST and the Red Sea Research Center King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (http://bit.ly/1B81MD5) has been established as a world-class international graduate level science and technology research university dedicated to inspiring a new age of scientific achievement in the Kingdom that will also benefit the region and the world. Inaugurated in early 2011, with the striking blue waters visible from its laboratory windows, the Red Sea Research Center is well-positioned and well-equipped to study the Red Sea with state-of-the-art facilities and world-class researchers. The Red Sea Research Center has delved into the volume of research necessary to formulate a comprehensive understanding of the Red Sea to conserve its rich ecology. The incredible biodiversity of the Red Sea holds untapped potential and serve as models for understanding biological systems and adaptation to extreme environments. The Red Sea Research Center is committed to developing an integrated understanding of coral reef ecosystems and their oceanographic context, the physical, chemical, biological, and geological environment, the stresses arising from natural as well as anthropogenic factors including overfishing pollutions, coastal development, and global climate change (http://bit.ly/1B81MD6). Successful students should apply to KAUST, indicating that they already have an offer from their supervisors (see below), as these positions are contingent on the students being admitted to KAUST. The application term is open and incoming applications are reviewed three times per year. see http://bit.ly/1B81MTm for details on the application process. All students admitted to KAUST will receive a very generous fellowship for the duration of their graduate studies. The benefits of the KAUST Student Fellowship include: • Full tuition support • Monthly living allowance (ranging between $20,000-30,000 annual, depending on qualifications and progression through degree programs) • Free housing • Medical and dental coverage • Relocation support • One return ticket home every year. Applicants for this position are expected to have a high GPA (>3.5 of a maximum of 4), experience and background knowledge in the field and impeccable English (oral and writing). PLEASE SEND CV, LIST OF PUBLICATIONS, A LETTER OF MOTIVATION (why you wish to conduct a Ph.D., what is your understanding of what a Ph.D. involves, why you want to undertake this project) AND NAMES OF TWO REFERENCES by April 10, 2015 TO: firstname.lastname@example.org “Carlos M. Duarte” via Gmail
Please distribute to interested colleagues. The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) is now accepting applications for its Tutorial, “Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics,” to be held August 10-15, 2015, at NIMBioS. OBJECTIVES: Quantitative genetic theory has been applied to a wide range of phenomena including the evolution of differences between the sexes, sexual preferences, life history traits, plasticity of traits, as well as the evolution of body size and other morphological measurements. This tutorial is for evolutionary biologists interested in how quantitative genetics theory can be tested with data, both from single species and with multiple-species phylogenies. Participants — graduate students, postdocs, and junior faculty — will learn how to use R to build and test evolutionary models. There is a need for evolutionary biologists to understand the field of evolutionary quantitative genetics because of the ability to collect large amounts of data by computer, the development of statistical methods for changes of traits on evolutionary trees and for changes in a single species through time, and the realization that quantitative characters will not soon be fully explained by genomics. The content of this tutorial will be similar to the workshop held at NIMBioS in 2014. For information about the Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics 2014 tutorial held at NIMBioS, visit http://bit.ly/1s7oyal. LOCATION: NIMBioS at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville CO-ORGANIZERS: Stevan J. Arnold, Integrative Biology, Oregon State Univ. and Joe Felsenstein, Genome Sciences, Univ. of Washington, Seattle INSTRUCTORS: Patrick Carter, Evolutionary Physiology, Washington State Univ., Pullman; Tyler Hether, Biological Sciences, Univ. of Idaho, Moscow; Adam Jones, Biology, Texas A&M Univ.; Emilia Martins, Biology, Indiana Univ., Bloomington; Brian O’Meara, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Univ. of Tennessee; Liam Revell, Biology, Univ. of Massachusetts, Boston; and Michael Whitlock, Zoology, Univ. of British Columbia CO-SPONSOR: The American Society of Naturalists For more information about the tutorial and a link to the online application form, go to http://bit.ly/1MgLt8g There are no fees associated with this tutorial. Tutorial participation in the tutorial is by application only. Individuals with a strong interest in the topic, including post-docs and graduate students, are encouraged to apply, and successful applicants will be notified within two weeks of the application deadline. FOOD AND LODGING: Breakfast and lunch will be provided at NIMBioS each day of the tutorial, as well as coffee and mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. NIMBioS is not covering other expenses for participants, but a block of rooms will be reserved at a nearby hotel. More information will be available on our website soon about lodging, room rates, and how participants can make reservations. APPLICATION DEADLINE: May 1, 2015 The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) (http://bit.ly/1MgLt8h) brings together researchers from around the world to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries to investigate solutions to basic and applied problems in the life sciences. NIMBioS is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Catherine Crawley, Ph.D. Communications Manager National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) University of Tennessee 1122 Volunteer Blvd, Ste. 106 Knoxville, TN 37996 e email@example.com t +1 865 974 9350 f +1 865 974 9461 http://bit.ly/1MgLt8h http://on.fb.me/1aUtadB http://bit.ly/1MgLt8l To receive email notifications of blog updates, click here http://bit.ly/1aUtadD To subscribe to our bi-monthly newsletter, click here http://bit.ly/1MgLv03 Joe Felsenstein via Gmail
*PhD: BCCeskeBudejovice.MontaneSpeciation* We are seeking a highly motivated postgraduate student to join our international team studying speciation in plants and insects along tropical altitudinal gradients. We are based at the Laboratory for Tropical Ecology at the Institute of Entomology, Biology Centre Academy of Sciences, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic, The successful applicant will have strong background in: Entomology Botany Bioinformatics Molecular ecology Population genetics And/or biostatistics He/she will be supervised by Simon Segar and expected to develop a research programme on speciation in *Ficus*, their pollinating wasps and symbiotic microbes of the wasps along a continuously forested altitudinal gradient in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The project will involve field work in PNG and the use of next generation sequencing to study the population genetics of plant/insect/microbe networks. The successful candidate will be expected to work closely with our collaborators at the University of Minnesota (USA) and the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at the University of Western Sydney (Australia). The position is fully funded (tuition, research and living expenses) for EU applicants only (but candidates from all countries are eligible). The duration of the position is four years and a completed MSc degree is required as is the equivalent of a 1st or 2.1 undergraduate degree in biology, ecology or a related field. The successful candidate will have to conduct field work in a tropical forest in often challenging conditions. They will be able to work independently and have experience with the collection and analysis of population genetic data. For further details of the project please and group see: http://bit.ly/1ErNq2x http://bit.ly/1lkhemv To apply please send a CV, contact details for three references, and cover letter stating qualifications, previous work and motivation to Simon Segar (firstname.lastname@example.org). The deadline for applications is April 20th 2015, with a preferred start date of June 1st. Simon Segar via Gmail
The Genealogical World of Phylogenetic Networks
BMC Evolutionary Biology