Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hi from Athens.

I’m having a good time here, filled with damselfly wings and the theory of Geometric Morphometrics during the daytime, and socializing and beers in the evenings. Shawn is part of a very lively and nice department!

The first week spoiled me with balmy summer temperatures (well, almost) and a spontaneous multiplication of my salamander species counts! There are gorgeous species to be found here, my favorite is the Red Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber) because of its beautiful coloration, and it is well worth strolling through the beautiful forest and looking under logs and stones for a (rare, I’ve been told) glimpse of it.

Our literature seminars are usually attended just by Shawn and me, but we gladly share our reading list in the hope to spark your interest in morphology and the statistical methods for its analysis:

The study of Dean C. Adams (Evolutionary Biology 2010, 10:72) is a nice real-world example of character displacement in salamanders driven by competitive selection in sympatric populations.

The underlying theoretical framework for such studies is described in an earlier paper by the same author (Dean C. Adams and Michael L. Collyer (2009) Evolution 63-5: 1143-1154), and historical overview and review of available methods for shape analysis can be found in Adams et al. 2004 (Ital. J. Zool. 71: 5-16. Another review paper by Christian P. Klingenberg (Nature 2010, Vol 11, 623-635) approaches the topic from an evo-devo perspective.

Dreaming of partial warps in Procrustes space…


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