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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: via Gmail

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
Source: Cladistics
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.

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:
  • The interesting use of illustrative medallions, which seems to have been not uncommon at the time.
  • The consequent difficulty the illustrator has had in fitting the pedigree into the page, even though most of the descendants have been left out.
  • The pedigree is explicitly designed to establish noble ancestry, but females are included even when they are not in the direct line of descent.
  • The rulers nominally change families, from the Ottonian to the Hohenstaufen to the Salian dynasties, as a result of females in the direct line of descent.
  • Number 4 is Henry II, who made an appearance in an earlier post as the husband of Cunigunde of Luxembourg (The first royal pedigree).
  • Number 11 is Frederick I Barbarossa, who also made an appearance in an earlier post (Does it matter which way up a tree is drawn?).
  • The latter two points make it clear that the earliest written pedigrees were all closely related genealogically, and involved the attempts by certain parts of the German nobility to take control of the Holy Roman Empire, consisting at that time of what is now mostly Germany and Italy. Family descent was an important part of establishing who got to rule next.


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 * 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. Apologies for multiple copies. Please forward to anybody who might be interested. 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 ( 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 ( 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 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: “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 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 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) ( 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 t +1 865 974 9350 f +1 865 974 9461 To receive email notifications of blog updates, click here To subscribe to our bi-monthly newsletter, click here 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: To apply please send a CV, contact details for three references, and cover letter stating qualifications, previous work and motivation to Simon Segar ( The deadline for applications is April 20th 2015, with a preferred start date of June 1st. Simon Segar via Gmail

I am looking for a MSc student to join my research team at The University of British Columbia (Okanagan Campus) to take part in a conservation genetic study of a mammalian species at-risk. This opportunity recently emerged and I am hoping to find a highly motivated graduate student to join the project in May/June 2015, although I will consider applicants that require a September 2015 start date. The project offers opportunities for both laboratory and field-based research, and direct collaboration with researchers and managers from government and participating universities. Individuals with a population genetics background and strong analytical skills are especially encouraged to apply. Prior experience with molecular laboratory techniques and working in a field setting are desirable. Visit the Ecological and Conservation Genomics laboratory website ( for more information on our current research directions. Additional information about our Biology graduate program at UBC can be found at the following website: To apply, send me via e-mail ( a CV, unofficial transcript, and contact information for at least two references. Dr. Michael Russello, Associate Professor Department of Biology The University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus 3247 University Way, FIP346 Kelowna, BC Canada V1V 1V7 via Gmail


Hello, We are recruiting field assistants for the 2015 field season on the Tsaobis Baboon Project. We have prevously used this website to annunce the position and would like to do it again since we found it very useful. The advert and the “graphical ad” are written (and attached) below. We would be so grateful if you could post this announcement on the EvolDir website. Kind Regards, Claudia Martina Luna Large Animal Research Group Department of Zoology University of Cambridge Downing Street Cambridge CB2 3EJ E: *Tsaobis Baboon Project Volunteer Field Assistants* The Tsaobis Baboon Project is a long-term study of desert baboons in Namibia. Based at the Institute of Zoology (the research arm of the Zoological Society of London), and affiliated with the Gobabeb Research and Training Centre (Namibia), our aim is to carry out fundamental research in behavioural ecology and population ecology, and to inform conservation policy and practice for social species. We are seeking to appoint four 3-month volunteer fieldworker positions between 1 July and 30 September 2015. The fieldwork will primarily involve daily follows of baboon troops on foot, collecting behavioural data from individually recognisable animals and their associated ecological conditions. Further information about the Tsaobis Baboon Project, the volunteer fieldworker positions, and the application procedure can be found on the Project’s webpages: * *The deadline for applications is 9am Tuesday 24th March 2015* via Gmail


March 7, 2015


Computational Biology of Pathogen Drug Resistance Evolution The Ferdig lab (, in The Eck Institute for Global Health and the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame, is seeking a computational biologist with interest in network-based inference and large-scale data integration. The fellow will work both independently and as part of a collaborative team using whole-genome approaches to study drug targets and drug resistance evolution in the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. A range of available projects includes: (1) Characterization and mining of transcript and regulatory networks of drug resistant parasites; (2) Systems genetics, using segregating parasite populations and mutant parasite libraries along with genome-scale data to connect genotypes to phenotypes; and (3) Integration of newly generated and existing public data to find drug targets, map chemical/cellular space not currently exploited by drugs and to predict effective drug combinations. To align with these projects, the candidate should have a strong working knowledge of cellular mechanisms and biological pathways along with interest/expertise in one or more of the following: • Regulation of gene expression; network analytical methods and data mining; accessing and integrating data resources; evolutionary genomics • Mining of biological information, including transcript data from both microarrays and RNAseq; machine learning; skills in scripting languages such as Python, Perl, Matlab, or R. The position is designed to ensure a strong training trajectory for a computational scientist aspiring to an independent research career. This includes a rich opportunity to interface with other quantitative/computational/evolutionary biologists across campus, including the Interdisciplinary Center for Network Science Applications (iCeNSA,, along with collaborators at other institutions. Salary will be at standard levels per NIH and institutional guidelines. Submit a current C.V. and names of 3 references to Dr. Michael Ferdig, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, IN 46556-0369, (574) 631-9973. The Eck Institute for Global Health (EIGH, is a university-wide institution that recognizes health as a fundamental human right and endeavors to promote research, training, and service to advance health standards for all people, especially people in low- and middle-income countries who are disproportionately impacted by preventable diseases. The University of Notre Dame is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minority candidates are encouraged to apply. via Gmail


—_000_142568384021272227anueduau_ Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”iso-8859-1” Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable REMINDER: ABSTRACT DEADLINE APPROACHING! As a part of the Behaviour 2015 conference that will be held in Cairns, Australia, on 9-14 August 2015, we are pleased to announce a symposium on the topic “Female song: fitness costs and benefits”. Symposium summary: Bird song, traditionally regarded as primarily a male trait, is in fact widespread among female songbirds and was likely present in the ancestor of modern songbirds. These recent findings challenge the view that sexual dimorphism in the expression and complexity of song is largely the outcome of sexual selection on males. It is now clear that understanding the evolution of bird song requires explaining variation within and among species in the expression and complexity of female song. To do this, we need a better understanding of the nature of variation in female song in different contexts and systems, as well as the fitness costs and benefits of variation in the expression and complexity of female song. The aim of this symposium is to draw together current research on female song with the goal of understanding the fitness costs and benefits of the diversity of female singing behaviour apparent among songbirds. Abstract submissions for oral presentations can be submitted until 16 March 2015: For more details, please don’t hesitate to contact us: Michelle L Hall - Naomi E Langmore - The conference is a major international meeting and a great opportunity to meet and interact with other scientists in the field, as it will be a joint meeting of the International Ethological Conference (IEC), Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASSAB), Australasian Evolution Society (AES), and International Society for Applied Ethology: Australasia, New Zealand and Africa Region. —_000_142568384021272227anueduau_ Content-Type: text/html; charset=”iso-8859-1” Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable


As a part of the Behaviour 2015 conference that will be held in Cairns, Australia, on 9-14 August 2015, we are pleased to announce a symposium on the topic “Female song: fitness costs and benefits”.

Symposium summary:

Bird song, traditionally regarded as primarily a male trait, is in fact widespread among female songbirds and was likely present in the ancestor of modern songbirds. These recent findings challenge the view that sexual dimorphism in the expression and complexity of song is largely the outcome of sexual selection on males. It is now clear that understanding the evolution of bird song requires explaining variation within and among species in the expression and complexity of female song. To do this, we need a better understanding of the nature of variation in female song in different contexts and systems, as well as the fitness costs and benefits of variation in the expression and complexity of female song. The aim of this symposium is to draw together current research on female song with the goal of understanding the fitness costs and benefits of the diversity of female singing behaviour apparent among songbirds.

Abstract submissions for oral presentations can be submitted until 16 March 2015:

For more details, please don’t hesitate to contact us:

Michelle L Hall –

Naomi E Langmore –

The conference is a major international meeting and a great opportunity to meet and interact with other scientists in the field, as it will be a joint meeting of the International Ethological Conference (IEC), Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASSAB), Australasian Evolution Society (AES), and International Society for Applied Ethology: Australasia, New Zealand and Africa Region.

—_000_142568384021272227anueduau via Gmail


University of Oregon Posting 15063 Position Announcement Post-doctoral Research Scholar: Bioinformatics of Host-Microbe Systems Microbial Ecology and Theory of Animals Center for Systems Biology We are seeking a postdoctoral research scholar with significant expertise in bioinformatics and research interests at the intersection of mathematics, biology and computer science to join the Microbial Ecology Theory in Animals (META) Center at the University of Oregon ( The META Center is an NIH-funded Center of Excellence in Systems Biology, focused on the development and application of biological theory, integrated with empirical studies, to better understand host-microbe systems. Every multicellular organism is associated with a diverse array of microbes, and although it has become evident that these microbes contribute significantly to their hosts V and that hosts influence their microbiota - the biological mechanisms underlying these interactions are still unclear. The META Center aims to generate fundamental new knowledge regarding these interactions by integrating concepts from genomics, developmental biology, ecology and evolution, and by developing new approaches for imaging, mathematical modeling, systems and functional biology, and analysis of next generation sequence data. The ideal candidates will have a demonstrated record of past scholarly success and experience in developing and applying computational methods in the analysis of complex data sets, especially those that address problems that are computationally challenging and data intensive. Preference will be given to candidates who can work independently as well as a member of a research team. Optimal candidates will be willing to work in a highly interactive group of researchers spanning a wide range of disciplines, and be eager to challenge themselves by working in novel areas bridging mathematics, biology and computer science. A strong interest in addressing fundamental questions about host-microbe systems using insights from ecological and evolutionary theory is especially desirable. This position also provides an opportunity to develop innovative curriculum for undergraduate and graduate level courses in bioinformatics. The successful candidate will support and enhance a diverse learning and working environment. Applicants must have a Ph.D. from a relevant discipline, such as physics, mathematics, statistics, computer science, ecology, evolution, systems biology, microbiology, genomics or a related field. The positions are initially for a 1 year term with the possibility for renewal contingent upon satisfactory performance. The start date is flexible, but preference will be given to applicants who can begin before June, 2015. Please email questions regarding these positions, the META Center, or its scientific mission to any of the META Center scientists listed below: Karen Guillemin ( William Cresko ( John Conery ( To apply, please include as a single attachment: (1) a brief cover letter explaining your background and career interests (2) CV (including publications), (3) names and contact information for three references. Submit materials to Subject: META Posting 15063 To ensure consideration, please submit applications by April 2, 2015. This position will remain open until filled. Women and members of groups underrepresented in science are encouraged to apply. We invite applications from qualified candidates who share our commitment to diversity. The University of Oregon is an EO/AA/Veterans/Disability institution committed to cultural diversity. via Gmail

PostDoc: Human Social Behavior University of Jyvskyl, Finland JOB DESCRIPTION: The postdoctoral researcher will work in the project “Evolution of Conflict and Cooperation in Human Groups”, funded by the Academy of Finland and led by Dr. Mikael Puurtinen. In this project, we study factors influencing levels of cooperation and competition in human groups, and are especially interested in the interplay of within-group cooperation and between-group competition. The main focus of the postdoctoral researcher will be on the design and execution of decision-making experiments to investigate e.g. the role communication, social sanctions, and group identifiers have in mediating the nature of within- and between-group interactions. However, there is considerable scope for the postdoctoral researcher to develop his/her own research ideas. The project involves development of theory to complement the empirical studies, and theoretically oriented researchers are also encouraged to apply. For published work on the topic by the research group see: Between-group competition and human cooperation . Proc R Soc B 2009. Costly punishment prevails in intergroup conflict . Proc R Soc B 2011. The joint emergence of group competition and within-group cooperation . Evolution and Human Behavior 2015. DURATION: The position will be filled for a maximum of two years. The starting date for the position is flexible, between May 1st 2015 and January 1st 2016. SALARY: euro 37,560 - 43,800 per annum, depending on qualifications. Healthcare included. QUALIFICATIONS: PhD in Biology, Psychology, Economics, or a related field. The applicant must possess a thorough understanding of evolutionary concepts. Excellent written and good oral English skills are required. The applicant is expected to have good skills in experimental design and in statistical analysis of experimental data. Experience in programming and/or mathematical modelling is considered an asset. THE PLACE & THE PEOPLE: The position is at the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Jyvskyl, Finland. To quote a recent international evaluation: “This is a very happy, collaborative and successful department with highly motivated and enthusiastic members of uniform high quality.” The postdoc will join a group led by Dr. Mikael Puurtinen (Academy Research Fellow 2013-2017), which at the moment consists of the PI, one Post-Doc, two PhD students and one MSc student. The applicant will also become a member of the Centre of Excellence in Biological Interactions (, which offers excellent networking possibilities among top scientists. APPLICATION: In the application, include a brief letter of motivation, CV, and contact details of two senior academics available for reference. View the full job announcement and submit the application by April 15, 2015. (link address: INFORMAL QUERIES are welcome, send email to Dr. Mikael Puurtinen Department of Biological and Environmental Science Centre of Excellence in Biological Interactions University of Jyvskyl, Finland tel. +358 50 3758975 “Puurtinen, Mikael” via Gmail
/A one-year Research Fellowship on ‘Crop Evolution and Domestication’ for a Postdoctoral Researcher and sponsored by the Universit Politecnica delle Marche, will be published soon ( This will be spent at the Forschungszentrum Julich Gmbh, Institute of Bio and Geo Sciences, IBG2 Plant Sciences (, in Germany. For more information please contact the Project Leader: Prof. Roberto Papa ( Prof. Roberto Papa Universit Politecnica delle Marche D3A-Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 ANCONA ITALY phone +39-0712204984/280 mobile +39-3393921616 email: Roberto Papa via Gmail
2015 CALL FOR NOMINATIONS The Rohlf Medal The Rohlf Medal was established in 2006 by the family and friends of F. James Rohlf to mark his 70th birthday. He has been a longtime Stony Brook University faculty member and is currently Emeritus Distinguished Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution, and Research Professor in the Department of Anthropology. Recipients of the Rohlf Medal will be recognized for excellence in their body of work on the development of new morphometric methods or for their applications in the biomedical sciences, including evolutionary biology, population biology, physical anthropology, and medicine. The term ‘morphometrics’ is intended to include high-dimensional pattern analyses of biological shape, especially those that analyze shape in a comprehensive way, or of covariation of shape with other variables. The award can recognize advances in the mathematical or statistical theory underlying morphometric methods, new software that implements or visualizes new methods, or specific new biological findings that rely crucially on contemporary morphometric methods and represent major advances. Candidates for the Rohlf Medal may be self-nominated or nominated by others. They must possess a Ph.D. degree or the equivalent. The winning candidate must agree to attend the award ceremony in person in order to accept the Rohlf Medal and then deliver the award lecture. Nomination packages should include, (1) a description of the body of work (not to exceed two pages) on which the candidacy is based, (2) reprints of no more than three relevant papers and/or software products, (3) a curriculum vitae, and (4) the names and addresses of three referees. Nominating packages should be uploaded to the Rohlf Medal website ( and received by 5 pm, EST, 15 July 2015 to be assured of full consideration. The successful candidate will receive the Rohlf Medal and a cash prize at Stony Brook University, planned for October 26th, 2015. She or he will deliver a lecture that is appropriate for a broad audience, ranging from the exact sciences to the humanities, concerning the morphometric methodology, software, or findings for which the Rohlf Medal was awarded Paul O’Higgins Professor of Anatomy Centre for Anatomical & Human Sciences Department of Archaeology and Hull York Medical School University of York Heslington York YO10 5DD U.K. T: +44 (0) 1904 328872 E: W: Paul O’Higgins via Gmail

March 6, 2015


Dear colleagues, From: Researchers from the Australian Tephritid fruit fly community (e.g. CSIRO, QUT, Macquarie, Murdoch, SARDI, UNSW, UWS) are gathering for an inaugural semiannual workshop to discuss scientific advances on the biology of this species group. Topics can include ecology, chemical ecology, physiology, genetics, genomics, molecular biology techniques (e.g. RNAi/CRISPR) and any other discipline that may be of interest to our stakeholders. The meeting is free and open for anyone interested in networking with scientists working in this species group. Date: 2nd of April 2015 Time: 10am to 15:30 Venue: Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Building R2, Eucalyptus Seminar Registration required: Queries to: Registrations: If you’d like to give a talk, please let the organiser know by the 20th of March 2015. Otherwise, for catering reasons, please register before the 25th of March 2015. Accommodation can be provided at the Best Western Colonial Motel for $118 per room per night (up to 2 people per room), please contact Dr Alexie Papanicolaou for details. thank you, a via Gmail

Background: Non-indigenous taxa currently represent a large fraction of the species and biomass of freshwater ecosystems. The accumulation of invasive taxa in combination with other stressors in these ecosystems may alter the habitats to which native taxa are adapted, which could elicit evolutionary changes in native populations and their ecological interactions. Assessing ecological and evolutionary consequences of invasions simultaneously may therefore be the most effective approach to study taxa with complex invasion histories. Here we apply such an integrated approach to the cerithioid gastropod Melanoides tuberculata, a model system in invasion biology. Results: Molecular phylogenetics and ancestral range reconstructions allowed us to identify several independent Asian invasions in Lakes Malawi and Tanganyika, the Congo River, Nigeria and Cameroon. Some invasive M. tuberculata populations display much variation in shell morphology, and overlap in morphospace with M. tuberculata populations native to Africa. Experiments confirmed great ecophenotyic plasticity in some invasive populations, which, in combination with the overlap in disparity with native populations, masks invaders and their dispersal through Africa. Finally, the results of geographic modeling indicate that cryptic M. tuberculata invasions occurred primarily in densely populated areas. Conclusions: We reveal the continental nature of invasions of Asian M. tuberculata to Africa. Several of the affected ecosystems have high endemicity in Cerithioidea: Lake Tanganyika has an unparalleled diversity in freshwater cerithioids (>10 endemic genera) and the Congo Basin and Lake Malawi are home to the two largest endemic species clusters of Melanoides in Africa (~12 and ~8 species, respectively). Cerithioids perform ecologically important functions in the benthic ecosystems of African freshwaters, but invaders and ecosystem change pose risks to their native diversity. We draw suggestions for more effective conservation strategies from our integrated approach.
3-year research position in Evolutionary Genetics at Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), University of Oslo (UiO) The project is part of a larger research program entitled “On the role of hybridisation in evolution–the case of Eurasian Passer Sparrows ” funded by the Norwegian Research Council. Hybridization can have different evolutionary outcomes, ranging from speciation reversals to hybrid speciation. The Italian sparrow (Passer italiae) is the first documented case of hybrid speciation in birds (Hermansen et al. 2011). This bird originated from past events of hybridization between two divergent parental species, the house sparrow (P. domesticus) and the Spanish sparrow (P. hispaniolensis) some thousands of years ago. Today, the hybrid taxon is sympatric or parapatric with both parent species in certain regions, enabling investigations of current gene flow and the nature of reproductive barriers. Moreover, the parent species live sympatrically in large regions around the Mediterranean Sea, enabling comparisons of the reproductive barriers that isolate the parent species with those that isolate the hybrid species from either parent. The project integrates evolutionary genetic, genomic, quantitative genetic and ecological approaches to investigate the consequences of hybridization in the interplay with recombination and selection. Phenotypes of interest include beak morphology, plumage coloration, vocalization, migration behaviour and intrinsic reproductive barriers (genetic incompatibilities). Of genomic resources we have de novo assembled the house sparrow genome, which will be used as a reference for re-sequencing and genotyping efforts in this project. We aim at increasing our understanding of the modularity of the genome and of the processes of adaptation and speciation. The successful candidate will be allowed to choose aspects of the larger program as best fits her/his skills and research interests. She/he will also be encouraged to develop additional, complementary avenues of research. The candidate must have a PhD or other corresponding education in a relevant field, such as evolutionary biology, genomics, genetics and/or bioinformatics. Documented skills in population genetic/genomic and/or quantitative genetic analysis will be emphasized. The research will be conducted in close collaboration with Prof. Sætre and his group at CEES. The research team will also include other scientists from Norway, Sweden and Finland. The working language will be English. Fieldwork may be conducted at a variety of locations, including Italy and other Mediterranean countries. The application must include: Application letter, CV, copies of educational certificates, transcript of records, A complete list of publications and up to 5 academic works, Names and contact details of 2-3 references. Apply online within 24th March via Easyrecruit: Contact: Glenn-Peter Sætre, e-mail: Anna Runemark via Gmail