Monthly Archives: December 2008

NERC PhD Studentship: Current and future conservation status of European bats

NERC PhD Studentship in Biodiversity and Macroecology

Project Title: Current and future conservation status of European bats

Supervisors: Dr. Kate Jones, Dr. Ben Collen, Prof. Tim Blackburn (Institute
of Zoology
, Zoological Society of London), Dr. Bob Smith (DICE, University
of Kent
) and Dr. Karen Haysom (The Bat Conservation Trust).

Project Outline: It is now critical to monitor and understand how
biodiversity is changing in order to mitigate the effects of anthropogenic
development. Bats provide a number of essential ecosystem services and may
act as a useful indicator of general ecosystem health. Since 2006, The
Indicator Bat Program has been collecting ultrasonic bat call data from
driven transects across Europe (see http://www.ibats. The PhD
project would develop techniques to automatically extract and identify
ultrasonic calls from these transect recordings and using these data, would
aim to address the following questions:

1) What are the current trends of European bat populations?
2) What is the impact of future global change on the conservation
of European bats?
3) How will currently protected area networks need to adapt in light of
future scenarios?

The successful candidate will have a good degree in a relevant subject,
excellent analytical skills, be interested in developing automatic analysis
and species identification of ultrasonic sounds, spatial environmental
modelling and implications of their work to conservation planning. Fluency
in another European language would be an advantage.

To apply, please send a CV and a covering letter detailing your research
interests by 12th Jan 2009 to Dr. Kate Jones (kate.jones@ioz. We will
hold interviews in early Feb 2009.

Visitor in January

Elzemiek Geuverink ( has recently started a PhD in our SPECIATION Research Training Network. She is based in Jyvaskyla in Finland but will visit here to discuss Littorina and AFLPs in January. She arrives on 18th and leaves on 23rd. If anyone can help here with accommodation for these few days, please get in touch with her.



Santa’s sack

Does anyone know if Santa’s sack made it back from the meal last year and where it is please?

(when found we’ll put it in Santas grotto (B54 foyer) ready for all the presents)

Lab computers

Hi All,

 I’ve updated R on all 4 mol ecol lab analysis (genemapper) computers to the latest version 2.8.0, for the AFLP course next week. Although I’ve deleted all short-cuts and quick-launches to earlier versions of R, these remain with their libraries of packages. You just need to browse to the earlier version of R to use it.

Please avoid editting the AFLP default plot settings (and other default AFLP settings) on genemapper until after the end of next week, so that the computers can be synchronised for the AFLP course. You can make your own table/plot settings with your own name if this causes a problem.

 Please check the projects you hold on genemapper on the lab computers. For at least one computer (the second from left) the genemapper database is full, making it difficult to add new projects. Please archive any projects that are old, or not in current use, and then delete these from the database(s)

Finally, all four of the lab computers will be in use for the AFLP course on the following dates and times:

Weds 10th December 1600 – 1730

Thursday 11th December 1430 – 1730

Friday 12th December 0930 – 1300

Please plan your use of the lab computers accordingly, as you will not be able to use them at these dates/times



Drinks: Mon 8th Dec

Curtis returns to the states next week, so we will be having leaving drinks to toast him farewell. I’m also a year older, so it would be great if you could join us for drinks in 197, next Mon 8th, from 6pm.

Bird Ringing

Hi everyone.

Is anyone likely to be going bird ringing in the next month or so?   I would really like to get some more experience and wondered if I might be able to join up with someone when they go out?  I have mist-netted passerines and ringed parakeets, pigeons and seabirds in the past but have never been ringing in the UK.

Many thanks,


Mol Ecol Lab Group Meetings

The details of the next few lab meetings (held on the first Tuesday of each month, 10-11am, B52) are:


Tuesday 6th January

Talks from:  Juan Galindo and Jake Gratten


Tuesday 3rd February

Talks from: Carole Smadja and Philine Feulner

Special guest chair: Katie Frith


Tuesday 3rd March

Talks from: Deborah Alongi and Richard Black

Special guest chair: Ian Cleasby


The recently published papers that were mentioned in the lab meeting are:

Meares K, Dawson DA, Horsburgh GJ, Glenn TC, Jones KL, Braun M, Perrin MR, Taylor T (2008) Microsatellite loci characterized in three African crane species (Gruidae, AVES). Molecular Ecology Resources.


Kupper C, Burke T, Szekely T and Dawson DA. 2008. Enhanced cross-species utility of conserved microsatellite markers in shorebirds. BMC Genomics, 9:502


Hewitt S, Macdonald DW, Dugdale H. 2008. Context-dependent linear dominance hierarchies in  social groups of European badgers, Meles meles. Animal Behaviour

Help for new PhD Student

Message from Johan:

Claudius (Roger’s new PhD student) is moving to Sheffield and could need a hand tomorrow Wednesday between 10-12. He will pick you up and give you a lift back to the Uni. If you have time to help him, give him a call at: 0049 17 6262 17 945.

BTO Conference weekend 6-7th December

Could anyone let Terry know if they are going to the BTO conference this weekend please?

Many thanks.