Monthly Archives: February 2010

Accommodation needed for visitors

We are running the next Mol Ecol Techniques training course on the first of March. Three of the attendees will be staying with us after the course for approx 3 months and require accommodation. If you can help please can you let me know and I will pass on their details.


calculating fst with null alleles

Dear all,

While looking for the latest version of Geneclass, I have come across a program called FreeNA. From the description below, I think that it might be useful to some people.

FreeNA is a PC computer program which performs three major tasks on any microsatellite dataset harboring null alleles: (1) it estimates null allele frequencies for each locus and population analysed following the Expectation Maximization (EM) algorithm of Dempster, Laird, and Rubin (1977); (2) it estimates unbiased FST (Weir 1996) following the ENA method described in Chapuis and Estoup (2007); (3) it calculates the Cavalli-Sforza and Edwards (1967) genetic distance following the INA method described in Chapuis and Estoup (2007). All methods used in this program are tested and discussed in Chapuis and Estoup (2007).

Evolution & Behaviour Seminar Today

A quick reminder about today’s seminar.

Mike Brockhurst (University of Liverpool) will be talking on “Coevolution in space: experimental evolution of a bacteria-phage arms-race”
BMS Conference Room, 1PM.

It should be a good talk, combining experimental evolution with next-generation sequencing.

UCAS Open Day: Thursday 11th Feb 2-3pm


Tomorrow (Thursday) I will be doing a UCAS demonstration in the Mol Ecol Lab, lasting for about 1 hour. This will be at the central entrance to the lab and I will need access to the sequencer room at this time.

It will get really busy, so can I please please ask that you collect the plates/tips/septa/pipettes you need BEFORE 2pm tomorrow. The sequencer will be OUT OF BOUNDS during this time, so please load your plates before 2pm or after 3pm.

I get a bit nervous about this, so the usual rules apply or face my wrath… in particular, don’t barge through the group and don’t vortex loads of tubes on a machine 1 metre away from the talk like the BeadExpress man dared to do… or prepare to be scowled at. Severely.

Thanks for your understanding!

NERC PhD Studentship, ICL

A NERC funded PhD studentship is available to study the effects of environmental change on ecological and evolutionary interactions using a bird-moth-tree system at Imperial College London, in the Ecology and Evolution group at Silwood Park.

Project: Effect of climate change on ecological networks
Supervisor: Professor Ian Owens

The project would suit either an ecologist or evolutionary biology with good field skills and an interest in the effects of climate change. The student will receive training in field ecology, molecular methods and statistical analysis.

For information and queries regarding eligibility please see the following websites or contact the Campus Administrator at Silwood Park, Mrs Diana Anderson ( Applications for PhDs at Imperial College must be completed online (see link below). Once you have submitted your formal application please send an application letter and a copy of your CV via email to Diana Anderson so that we can process your application.

Deadline: 15 February, 2010

Web links:

Ecology and Evolution Group at Silwood Park:
Imperial College PhD application process:
NERC Studentship information:

Prof. Ian P. F. Owens

Free workshop in Manchester on science and the media

for more info, click Media workshop.

PhD studentship, Dept Genetics, Leicester

Mark Jobling has a fully funded PhD studentship available in Human Evolutionary Genetics (open to UK and EU students). Details are available at

TAB group meeting – B52 12 noon

As announced at the last meeting, group meeting 12 noon, B52.

sorry for the late notice!


RapidWeaver licence for just £17.23

This is for Mac users only who have the Leopard OS on their machine,

If you want to/have to create a webpage, then RapidWeaver is a very easy to use program that let’s you make great looking webpages in literally a few minutes.

So, I am not paid by the Realcom Software company, but I thought if one licence costs £52.76, but 5 licences cost just £86.15, then five people could have the program for just £17.23.

Please email me asap if you are interested:

As soon as I have two interested persons, I will buy the 5 licences package and give them away for £17.23 each.


Btw, my condolences to everyone who had to fight with KompoZer.

Biological Waste Training

Charlotte Winnert, the Environment Officer, is concerned about the low numbers of APS staff that have taken and completed a course in Biological Waste Training, especially as the new biological waste system has been in place for 18 months now. She has now implemented a non-compliance order. It is now vital to ensure that those working in APS labs either attend the briefing session that Charlotte and Maggi Killion are running, or to complete the on-line training session by the end of March if they have not already completed such training. Charlotte Winnert wants 90% of lab workers who generate biological waste to have attended the course or to have completed the on-line training. This also includes academics who supervise such lab work. The alternative may be that you are prevented from working in the labs. However, if your work is always non-lab-based please let Maggi Killion know so that she can update her records (and thereby increase our compliance). Two short courses have been organised (each taking a maximum of an hour):  Thursday 4th Feb, 2.30pm in the Common RoomWednesday 10th Feb, 2.30pm in the Common Room As space is limited, please Email Maggi (via Andy?) to let her know which session you will attend. The alternative is to do the on-line training at (use your CiCS username and password), but this may well take you longer to do.