Friday, March 26, 2010

Lab-meeting on March 31 2010

On Wednesday (March 31), we will have the last lab-meeting this spring before I go to South Africa, where I will be during the major part of April. When I am away, I encourage you to keep on running the lab-meeting, and the could be be organized by the senior members in the group, i. e. our three postdocs: Maren (, Machteld ( and Sophia ( Maren, Machteld and Sophia could probably also give input on manuscripts, statistics etc. while I am away. I encourage you all to utilize "Darwin" on Wednesdays, even for short meetings and even if you have no papers to discuss, since the room is booked for the whole spring.

This last Wednesday, I was thinking we should have an open meeting, without any paper to discuss, but rather general issues, statistics, practical questions and perhaps some brief planning of the coming field season. When I get back from Africa, by the end of April, the field season is approaching, and then we probably need a follow-up meeting.

When: Wednesday, March 31 at 10.00
Where: "Darwin"-room, 2nd floor, Ecology Building

Any fika-volunteer?


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lab-meeting: evolution of mate choice in swordtail fish

During the lab-meeting this coming week (Wednesday 24 March), our postdoctoral researcher Machteld Verzijden will give a presentation of the research that she performed during her previous postdoc in the laboratory of Gil Rosenthal in Texas. Machteld studied mate choice and sexual selection in swordtail fish, using some very clever video manipulations of the male sword (or rather, how females perceive the sword), and assessed the consequences in terms of mate choice and its effects of sexual selection. This will be a talk that everybody who has the slightest interest in fish, sexual selection, sensory ecology or all of these topics should come and listen to.

Also, we hope that our colleagues from the "Vision Group", Almut Kelber and Miriam Henze, will also join us for this lab-meeting to listen to this fascinating talk. I hope that we will have some very good scientific discussions about the fascinating intersection between sexual selection and sensory ecology. Everybody should be most welcome!

When: Wednesday, March 24, 10.15
Where: "Darwin-room", 2nd floor, Ecology Building

Any fika-volunteer???

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Lab-meeting: "The biology of speciation"

This coming week, I was thinking that we should discuss a thought-provoking article entitled "The biology of speciation", published in Evolution early this year (2010). One of the authors is well-known plant evolutionary biologist Douglas Schemske, a strong naturalist and deep thinker. This article takes a critical look at the concept of "ecological speciation", and questions the usefulness of this term, since ecology is more or less involved in most speciation events. Instead, the authors argues that Ernst Mayr's term "Biological speciation" is more useful. I hope you will enjoy this paper and that we will have some thoughtful discussions about it. Ecological speciation has been taken so much for granted the last decade, so it is certainly time to critically question its importance and ask if its role has been exaggerated.

Time and place as usual: "Darwin", 2nd floor, Ecology Building on Wednesday March 17 (10.15).

Any "fika" volunteer???

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lab-meeting on Tuesday 9 March at 13.00 on sexual dimorphism and sex-specific selection

Lab-meeting this coming week will be on Tuesday afternoon (13.00-15.00), not on our usual time on Wednesday mornings. We will discuss a recent paper in Evolution by our Dartmouth colleagues Robert Cox and Ryan Calsbeek on sexual size dimorphism and sex-specific selection in Anolis-lizards:

This paper should be of interest because of its links to sexual conflict, and incidentally, Bob and Ryan also has a Science-paper that will soon come out on how females manipulate offspring sex depending on the sire's body size in an adaptive fashion, i. e. a resolution of intralocus sexual conflict that you can read more about in this previous blogpost on one of my recent papers on another lizard species (Uta stansburiana).

When to meet? Tuesday March 9, 13.00
Where: "Darwin" room, 2nd floor, Ecology Building

Any fika-volunteer?