Monthly Archives: September 2008

Mol Ecol Lab Meeting – Tues 7th Oct 10.30am

The next Mol Ecol Lab Meeting (i.e. everyone in Terry’s, Roger’s and Jon’s groups) will be in B52, 10:30-11:30am on Tuesday 7th Oct.There will be a talk from Robert on the work that he did for his Phd, entitled “Geographic structure and local adaptation in MHC class II of the Great Snipe (Gallinago media)” and Kang-Wook will be updating us on his PhD work on the plumage pattern of the Goudian finch Erythrura gouldia.

If you’ve any news that you would like me to mention at the meeting, such as accepted papers etc., please let me know (

Finally, I’m looking for people to give talks at the next meeting (Tues Nov 4th), so please email me if you’d like to volunteer!

Door Name signs

Hi all,

could you let me know if your room door sign needs updating (ie new person having come in / someone having left) by the end of each month so I can update and have the document laminated by the beginning of each month.

Please provide full name for each newcomer.

Many thanks!


TAB LAB Meeting

Dear all,

as discussed at the last meeting, there will be no meeting this Friday, as Terry will be away.  Instead, we will be meeting on Monday, in the very comfortable Finlay room (C floor).

Please note the meeting time: 12 to 1.30 (not 10am as previously advertised).


Job – Research Field Assistant – South Africa

please see below a job advert received from Dr. Carsten Schradin, email address below.

Research Field Assistant Needed for the Project: Socio-Ecology of Small Mammals in the Succulent Karoo of South Africa

Project: We study the reasons of group living, paternal care, communal nesting and social flexibility in the striped mouse. As this species is diurnal and the habitat is open, direct behavioral observations in the field are possible.
What kind of people are needed? Zoology students with a BSC or MsC are preferred as candidates. Applicants must have an interest in working in the field and with animals. Hard working conditions will await applicants, as the study species gets up with sunrise (between 5 and 6 o` clock), and stops its activity with dusk (19 o` clock). Work during nights might also be necessary. Work in the field will be done for 5-6 days a week. Applicants must be able to manage extreme temperatures (below 0 at night, sometimes over 40°C during days). Applicants must both be prepared to live for long periods in the loneliness of the field and to be part of a small group.
Work of field assistants: Radio-tracking, trapping and marking of striped mice; direct behavioral observations in the field; collection of blood samples; maintenance and cleaning of the research station. The research field assistant will learn all techniques at the field site.
Compensation: R 1500 /month for personal expenses and free accommodation.
Opportunity: This is a great opportunity for a student to get important experiences before starting a MsC or PhD.
Costs: Students have to arrange their transport to the field site, the visa and insurances themselves. Students get an invitation letter which they can use to apply for funding in their home country (eg. DAAD in Germany, SANW in Switzerland).
Place: The field site is in the Goegap Nature Reserve near Springbok in the North-West of South Africa. The vegetation consists of Succulent Karoo, which has been recognized as one of 25 hotspots of biodiversity. It is a desert to semi-desert with rain mainly in winter (June to September).
When and how long: As soon as possible. For a minimum duration of 8 months, preferably 12 months.
How to apply? Send a short motivation letter stating why and for which period you are interested and your CV via email to

More information under
Contact via e-mail:

Dr. Carsten Schradin
Research Assistant, Zoological Institute, Department of Animal Behavior,
University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.
Tel: +41 – (0)44 635 5486
Honorary Researcher at the School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences,
University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

Tennis on the park?

Hi folks-  a no. of us have been occasionally grabbing a bit of informal tennis on Western Park of a lunchtime (from the lab it is just 2 minutes walk to the other side of the park). Anyone else interested is welcome just make yourselves known (to me, Kang-Wook, Brian, Camille or Alex).



NERC online news site

The Natural Environment Research Council launches an online news site, Planet
Earthonline, today. It contains news, features, blogs and podcasts from across
the NERC community – grantholders, centres, facilities and students, and is
aimed at the general public.
Check it up on:

Postdoctoral Position on Nematode Population Genetics


Max-Planck Institute for Developmental Biology

The Department for Evolutionary Biology (Director Ralf J. Sommer) invites applications for a

Postdoctoral Position on

Nematode Population Genetics

The Department has an active research program in evolutionary ecology and evolutionary developmental biology studying the nematode model organism Pristionchus pacificus, the genome of which has recently been sequenced (Dieterich et al., Nature Genetics, 2008).An overview of our research can be obtained in BioEssays 28, 651-659 (2006). Pristionchus nematodes live in close association with scarab beetles and feed on microbes that grow on the carcass of the dead beetle. Our model species, P. pacificus is cosmopolitan and we have currently more than 100 wild isolates representing an enormous resource for natural variation. Mutation accumulation lines have been generated for several strains. We want to initiate a population genetic analysis in P. pacificus. Access to large-scale sequencing facilities, including next generation sequencing technology, is available. Experience in population genetics is absolutely required. The position is for two years with a possible extension for one more year.Funding would be available from 1. April 2009.Closing date for applications: 15. November 2008 Please submit applications to: Ralf J. SommerDept. for Evolutionary BiologyMax-Planck Institute for Developmental Biology72076 Tübingen, Germanyralf.sommer@tuebingen.mpg.de

The Nanodrop is now open for business! (next to BioAnalyser) I should have a protocol ready soon but it is very easy (Brian, Alex, Barabara, Juan and myself know how to use it). There is also a manual near it.


accommodation for visitor to MGF

Hi all,

a new visitor – Lewis Spurgin – registered on the molecular ecology
techniques training course in Sheffield from 10th-14th November,
and is scheduled to stay for another 2-3 weeks subsequently to test
some primers. Can anybody provide temporary accommodation?
Lewis offered to pay.
Contact him on

Nanodrop installation

Reminder- Nanodrop installation Tuesday 23rd 10am in B71