Monday, November 30, 2009

New lab-publication about intralocus sexual conflict in polymorphic damselflies

Former PhD-student Jessica Abott and I have a forthcoming article ("Early view") in Evolutionary Ecology Research (EER) that might be of interest. It deals with intersexual genetic correlations in different female colour morphs of the damselfly Ischnura elegans, that we have studied intensively in our lab over the last ten years.

These intersexual genetic correlations differ significantly between the different female morphs, the most striking pattern being higher intersexual genetic correlations ("more male-like") in the androchrome (male-mimicking) female morph. The paper can be found here, and the title is "Morph-specific intersexual genetic correlations in an intraspecific mimicry system". Enjoy!

New ads from Google

You will note that I have now added ads from Google's AdSense, and I encourage you to click on these as often as you can! The reason is that the blogg will earn some revenue each time you click on these adds, something which is clearly needed these days of shrinking funding. When the governmental funding agencies shrink, we will have to rely on the market!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lab-meeting on November 25: signalling sexual and species identity

On Wednesday (November 25), I was thinking that we should do two things during our weekly lab-meeting:

1. We will start by discussing the Nature-paper by Billeter et al. of how Drosophila males and females signal sex and species identity using pheromones ("CHC:s").

Tom Gosden wrote about this paper in an earlier bloggpost, and it seems quite exciting also to those of us who are not particularly interested in pheromone communication. Signalling sex and species identity is clearly a general problem of interest to many evolutionary biologists, and not only those working with Drosophila. The paper can be downloaded here.

2. We will also give Anna Runemark som input on her "half-time seminar" that will take place next week at the Animal Ecology department meeting. Anna brings her laptop and some idéas of her presentation, and the rest of us provide feedback to help her.

Same time and place as usual: "Darwin"-room at 10.00, Wednesday November 25. Any fika-volunteer?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

An exciting week with the phenotype in the centre of focus: Thesis nailing, lab-meeting (18 November) and dissertation

We have an exciting week in front of us, starting with the nailing of Fabrice Eroukhmanoffs PhD-thesis on Monday 16 October at 15.00. This ceremony will take place at "The Oak" in the bottom floor of the Ecology Building, and drinks will of course be served. Hope to see you all there!

On Wednesday (18 November), we will have our regular lab-meeting in "Darwin" at 10.00. Fabrice will show his Powerpoint-presentation to get some last feedback before the thesis defence on Friday 20 November. We will also discuss a recent paper by David Houle in the journal PNAS, where he suggests that time is now mature for the formation of a new scientific field: "Phenomics". After all the other "-omics"-revolutions in biology (genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics), Houle suggests that we should now return to the most interesting unit of evolution, and what made most of us interested in biology in the first place: The Phenotype. In spite of all the many advances in genomics and other reductionistic fields in molecular biology, our knowledge about how phenotypes evolve, and how they should be measured and quantified is still quite limited. Hopefully, this paper will open up our eyes for a bright future in the field of evolutionary ecology, and give some new idéas for research. You can download the paper here. If the links do not work, contact me or Anna Runemark ( and try to get a PDF from us instead. By, the way, do we have any "fika-volunteer" on Wednesday morning?

The exciting week does not end on Wednesday, luckily. On Thursday, Fabrice's thesis opponent, Professor Andrew Hendry from McGill University (Canada) will give a research seminar at 13.00 in the "Blue Hall" (note the time: it is one hour earlier than the "official" Thursday seminar which starts at 14.00). Hendry has done a lot of research on rapid evolutionary change in natural populations, gene flow, "eco-evolutionary dynamics" and ecological speciation. Thetitle of Andrew's talk on Thursday 19 November is:
"Ecological speciation (or the lack there-of) in sticklebacks, guppies and Darwin's finches"
Finally, this exciting week with the phenotype in focus will have a grand finale on Friday November 20 in the "Blue Hall" at 10.00, when Fabrice will defend his thesis. I hope as many as possible can and will join in to see Fabrice defending himself against Andrew Hendry, who is known to be a very critical and detail-oriented scientist. Most welcome!

Monday, November 2, 2009

New PhD-thesis in the lab: Fabrice Eroukhmanoff

I am pleased to announce that a new PhD-thesis will now be defended in our group: Fabrice Eroukhmanoff's Magnum Opus "The interplay Between Selection and Constraints on adaptive Divergence and Phenotypic Evolution".
This is the third Ph.D.-student that has finished his/her thesis in our lab, the previous two were Jessica Abbott (2006) and Tom Gosden (2008). You can find an abstract and more informaton about the thesis here. Well done Fabrice!
The thesis will be defended on Friday November 20 in the Blue Hall (Ecology Building). The external opponent will be Professor Andrew Hendry from McGill University Canada, and the thesis committé will consist of Professors Anna Qvarnström (Uppsala University), Karin Rengefors (Limnology, Lund University) and Janne S. Kotiaho (University of Jyväskylä, Finland). The thesis defence is open to everyone, and I encourage you to participate in this exciting event.