Friday, February 27, 2015

The social essence of sexual selection

Posted by Beatriz Willink

For next Tuesday we will read a paper on the evolutionary neurobiology of male–female interactions, which argues for looking at sexual selection in a social context. I hope it inspires an interesting discussion.

When: 10:30 March 3, 2015

Where: Argumentet, Ekologihuset 2nd floor

Abstract: Darwinian sexual selection can now be seen in the broader context of social selection, or social competitionfor resources (under sexual selection, mates or fertilization success). The social-interaction aspects of sexually selected traits give them special evolutionary properties of interest for neurobiological studies of stimulus–response systems because they can account for highly complex systems with little information content other than stimulatory effectiveness per se. But these special properties have a long history ofbeing forgotten when other factors dominate the analysis of male–female interactions, such as the mistakenbelief that differential responsiveness to signals produced by competing rivals (“female choice”)requires an esthetic sense; that species recognition explains all species-specific sexual signals; and, morerecently, that successful signals must reflect good survival genes; or that male–female conflict involvesfemale resistance rather than stimulus evaluation. A “conflict paradox” results when male–female conflict is seen as driven by natural selection, whose costs should often move the hypothesized “sexually antagonistic co-evolution” of sensory-response systems toward the powerful domain of sexually synergistic co-evolution under sexual selection. Special properties of sexual selection apply to other forms ofsocial competition as well, showing the wisdom of Darwin’s setting it apart from natural selection as anexplanation of many otherwise puzzling and extreme traits.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sexual selection and sexual conflict in plants

Posted by Anna Nordén 

SEM image of pollen grains.
For the next lab meeting (Feb 24th) I thought we could focus on plants for a change. I suggest that we discuss a new review article by Åsa Lankinen and former lab member Kristina Karlsson Green, about sexual selection and sexual conflict in plants. Theories of sexual selection and sexual conflict have been extensively studied in animals (especially insects), and the authors wish to incorporate some of these theories to plant research. In the end, they also suggest three plant research fields where these theories could be helpful. I hope that we will all learn something new and broaden our perspectives a bit!

Time and place as usual (10:30 in Argumentet, ekologihuset 2nd floor). I will provide fika.

Authors: Åsa Lankinen and Kristina Karlsson Green

Friday, February 13, 2015

Lab-meeting about genomics and phenomics

Posted by Erik Svensson

This forthcoming Tuesday, we will discuss two papers, one chosen by Katie and one by me, which deal with genomics and phenomics, respectively. The latter term is still a bit unfamiliar to many, but "phenomics" is most likely a new word you would like to know, as it will hopefully become the new "buzzword" in the future and in the postgenomic era. Hopefully, we can have a general discussion of principal interest how to connect the more traditional field of genomics and the emerging field of phenomics.

You will find Abstracts and links to the two papers below. Time and place as usual:

When: Tuesday, February 18 2015

Where: "Argumentet", 2nd floor, Ecology Building

Sequencing pools of individuals - mining genome-wide polymorphism data without big funding

The analysis of polymorphism data is becoming increasingly important as a complementary tool to classical genetic analyses. Nevertheless, despite plunging sequencing costs, genomic sequencing of individuals at the population scale is still restricted to a few model species. Whole-genome sequencing of pools of individuals (Pool-seq) provides a cost-effective alternative to sequencing individuals separately. With the availability of custom-tailored software tools, Pool-seq is being increasingly used for population genomic research on both model and non-model organisms. In this Review, we not only demonstrate the breadth of questions that are being addressed by Pool-seq but also discuss its limitations and provide guidelines for users. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Labmeeting about neotropical biology in Guyana and genomics in the Czech Republic

Posted by Erik Svensson (all photographs above taken i Guyana in January 2015)

On lab-meeting this coming week, we were thinking that we shall not discuss any paper, but rather those of us who have been away (me, Beatriz and Katie) should talk a little bit about our expeditions to Guyana i South America and the Czech Republic, respectively. 

I hope to be able to process some of my many nature photographs from mine and Beatriz odonate research expedition, so that I can show them at the lab-meeting. Above is a slight teaser. Hopefully, I will have more on Tuesday. And Katie will tell us about what she learned in the genomics workshop and thoughts about the future and what she can use her new skills to do.

Any fika volunteer?

Time: Tuesday, February 3, at 10.30
Location: "Argumentet", 2nd floor, Ecology Building