Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Persistent directional selection on body size and a resolution to the paradox of stasis

Next week's lab meeting:

September 1st 2015, I am organizing the lab meeting at 10.00 in Argumentet.

Fika will be provided as usual. All are welcome!

Persistent directional selection on body size and a resolution to the paradox of stasis

Njal Rollinson & Locke Rowe

ABSTRACTDirectional selection on size is common but often fails to result in micro-evolution in thewild. Similarly, macro-evolutionary rates in size are low relative to the observed strength ofselection in nature. We show that many estimates of selection on size have been measured onjuveniles, not adults. Further, parents influence juvenile size by adjusting investment peroffspring. In light of these observations, we help resolve this paradox by suggesting that theobserved upward selection on size is balanced by selection against investment per offspring,resulting in little or no net selection gradient. We find that trade-offs between fecundity andjuvenile size are common, consistent with the notion of selection against investment peroffspring. We also find that median directional selection on size is positive for juveniles butno net directional selection exists for adult size. This is expected because parent-offspringconflict exists over size, and juvenile size is more strongly affected by investment peroffspring than adult size. These findings provide qualitative support for the hypothesis thatupward selection on size is balanced by selection against investment per offspring, whereparent-offspring conflict over size is embodied in the opposing signs of the two selectiongradients.



Friday, August 21, 2015

An exciting semester with interesting lab-meetings with EXEB

 Posted by Erik Svensson

As you know, Tobias Uller's group is growing fast, as he has recruited several new postdocs through his grant from The Wallenberg Foundation. Apart from being good for Tobias research, it also benefits the rest of us, as we can now look forward to several interesting lab-meetings this fall, where the new EXEB members will give talks and present results from their previous research.

Apart from these talks by new members, we will of course also keep to our traditional format of discussing scientific articles or - when preferred - giving inputs on talks, grant applications and manuscripts. The content of each lab-meeting will as usual be decided by the person responsible that data, who usually also brings "fika", introduces the paper(-s) to be discussed and so on.

The person responsible each Tuesday is also expected to announce the lab-meeting the week before (ideally on Thursday or Friday) by a short blog post, with relevant links to paper(-s) if it will be discussion about a paper. Otherwise, just a few words about the content of the forthcoming talk/activitiy.

Below is the schedule for the autumn, with name indicated at each date. Note that we from now on aim to start on Tuesdays at 10.00 - rather than 10.30 - and rather finish a bit earlier. Note also that we have some vacant slots (mainly in November), in case somebody would like to take care of more than one lab-meeting or invite somebody from the outside.

I have also taken the liberty to indicate whether the person responsible is expected to give a research talk, and in other cases I have just left it open for decision. Note that the first meeting talk will be this Tuesday (August 25) by Nathalie Feiner (see her recent blog post).

Autumn schedule (Tuesdays at 10.00 in "Argumentet")  

Tuesday August 25: Nathalie Feiner (talk):  "Anolis lizards, Hox clusters and transposable elements"

Tuesday, September 1: John Waller

Tuesday, September 8: Jessica Abbott

Tuesday, September 15: Katie Duryea

Tuesday, September 22: Anna Nordén

Tuesday, September 29: Beatriz Willink

Tuesday, October 6: Hanna Laakkonen (talk)

Tuesday, October 13: Erik Svensson

Tuesday, October 20: Reinder Radersma

Tuesday, October 27: Antonio Cordero (talk)

Tuesday, November 3: Tobias Uller

Tuesday, November 10: Weizhao Yang (talk)

Tuesday, November 17: VACANT

Tuesday, November 24: VACANT

Tuesday December 1: VACANT

Tuesday, December 8: Adam Hasik (talk)

Tuesday, December 15: VACANT

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Lab-meeting by Nathalie Feiner on "evo-devo" and HOX-genes in Anolis lizards: September 25 (10.00)


I have already been around since a few weeks now and it's time to introduce myself! I'm the latest (and last, for now) addition to the Uller group, namely a postdoc working on Anolis lizards.
My background is in comparative genomics, and I did a fair bit of developmental genetics in a variety of vertebrate animals. After my PhD, I turned my interest towards organismal biology, and I am now interested in understanding how evolution really works. I designed a project on the Anolis lizards, a famous example of an adaptive radiation, which aims to include ecological, developmental and phylogenetic aspects in order to fully comprehend their evolutionary history. In particular, I am interested in the relationship between developmental processes and the course of evolution – how can ontogenetic factors bias evolution and how strong is this influence? I would like to take the opportunity of next Tuesday's EXEB meeting and present my past work on Anolis lizards, Hox clusters and transposable elements (and what the hell they have to do with each other!).

Including Fika, of course!

Time: Tuesday, August 25, 10.00 (note changed time!) 
Place: "Argumentet", 2nd floor, Ecology Building

Sunday, August 16, 2015

First lab-meeting for autumn 2015: ESEB summary and group selection

Posted by Erik Svensson 

It is time to kick off the EXEB labmeetings for this coming semester, and what would be better than do it this coming Tuesday (August 18)? Especially when several of us have been to the ESEB Congress and we can have a nice brief discussion about our impressions of where the field of evolutionary biology might be going.

In the same general spirit, I suggest we discuss a paper in Nature from last year on the prospects for group selection in a socially polymorphic spider system. This work has been performed by Jonathan Pruitt and Charles Goodnight, the latter being a long-term champion of group selection. 

As group selection has historically been a very controversial topic in evolutionary biology, I hope we will have a stimulating discussion about this paper. See also the "News & Views"-article in the same issue of Nature, which can be found here. 

Note different meeting time!

When: Tuesday August 18 at 10.00
Where: "Argumentet", 2nd floor, Ecology Building 

Pruitt, JN (Pruitt, Jonathan N.)[ 1 ] ; Goodnight, CJ (Goodnight, Charles J.)[ 2 ]

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Introducing new EXEB member: Antonio Cordero

Posted by Erik Svensson on behalf of Antonio Cordero

New postdoc: Antonio Cordero

I am a new postdoc in the research group of Tobias Uller. Broadly speaking, my work will aim to address important conceptual gaps concerning the role of developmental plasticity in ecology and evolution of reptilian systems. I recently completed my PhD at Iowa State University, USA, where I studied the developmental basis of phenotypic innovation and repeatability in turtles. My work integrated embryology, genetics, phylogenetics, and morphometrics. In Lund, I plan to continue using a multidisciplinary approach to address compelling questions in ecological and evolutionary developmental biology.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Good bye and see you soon! / hejdå! vi ses!

Posted by Jessica Abbott on behalf of Anais Rivas Torres

Hello everyone! Since I'm leaving soon, I would like to invite you to fika. I will provide something sweet on Tuesday. And we can just talk about how it's going or talk about some scientific hot topic. I hope see as many people as possible. Place and time as usual.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Maternal effects and epigenetics in humans

Elmar Tobi from Leiden University Medical Centre is visiting this week. He will give us an informal overview of his research showing how exposure to poor nutrition during early development affects the epigenome, using the famous longitudinal study of the Dutch hunger winter cohort. In other words, maternal effects, epigenetics, and how they affect health and disease.

The title is: Epigenetic consequences of the Dutch famine

If you want to check out Elmar's papers you can find a list here.

The talk starts at 15.15 on Thursday in Argumentet and will be followed by a trip to the pub later in the afternoon/early evening. There are more good reasons to join because you can also meet Antonio Cordero who just arrived to do a postdoc in Tobias' group. More about him later on this blog.