Monthly Archives: June 2012

Mol Ecol group meeting Tuesday, 03 July, 10:00 B52

Short-term changes: We will hear about Sharks Sparrows and Parakeets:

Hazel Jackson will tell us about “Population genetics of invasive ringneck parakeets (Psittacula krameri)”

and instead of hearing of sharks,

I will speak of the “Consequences of anthropogenic noise on passerine fitness”

swipe card access

Hi, As you all know we are introducing a new swipe system.The contractors are ready to start connecting doors to the ucard swipe system, replacing the grey fob system. They will start by putting all doors on A floor on the new system, if that goes according to plan they will continue with B floor Edwardian on Thursday.

 N.B. Your current ucard will operate on the new system.The contractors will continue next week until all the locks have been changed over.

If you don’t have an up to date Ucard then see me! Cheers, Andy

Picture from little Juanito

Here’s a picture of Martin, Juan’s little boy and here’s a comment from Juan, priceless: “here it is a picture of Martin this morning… I hate that kind of clothes but apparently his dad doesn´t have the right to choose, only his mum…”

A week in Scotland, all inclusive… if you hold a driving license


I am desperately looking for one person who currently holds a valid driving license and who would be able to join in a field trip to the coasts of Scotland next week (approximately from 26th June to 1st July). The driving would be shared between Roscoe (an undergraduate student) and you. Obviously all your expenses (transport, accommodation and food) would be covered by the project. So, in few words, all you need to do is to drive half of the time during one week and enjoy yourself the rest of the time.

FYI. I’m in my first year of PhD and supervised by Roger Butlin. My model organisms are periwinkles (marine snails).

Please don’t hesitate to contact me for further information. Contact me on my mobile 07428594812, as I am going on the PhD retreat for the weekend. Anyway this is my email

Mauricio Montaño-Rendón

Bionalyser is fixed!

Hi all- the problem with the Bioanalyser is now fixed. The priming
station was working sub-optimally (see troubleshooting extract below).
I have printed a copy of the molecular applications manual (all 295
tree-busting pages!) and placed it near the machine (it is a wealth of
info. re. maintenance and interpretation as are the resources pasted

From the manual- How can I check the priming station for proper operation?

It is recommended to perform the priming station seal test. Place an
empty chip in the priming station and pull back the plunger to the 1
mL position. Close the priming station and press the plunger down
until locked by the clip. Wait five seconds and then release the
plunger by pressing the release mechanism on the clip. If the plunger
moves back up to the 0.3 mL mark or higher in less than 1 second, the
seal is operating properly. If it is not working properly please clean
or replace the gasket unit, replace the syringe and the syringe
adapter. Please refer to the Maintenance and Troubleshooting Guide for
the detailed procedure.

The priming station should be checked regularly for proper seal
performance. If dried gel has contaminated the gasket or
syringe-adapter, replace them. A new syringe should be used with each
new kit. For detailed instructions, please refer to the Maintenance
and Troubleshooting Guide.
For a description of how the instrument works-

a couple of pages of resources”English%20(U.S.)%20Content”

cheers, Andy

matching genotypes

handy R package for detecting matching genotypes, accounting for mising data & genotyping error:

Mol Ecol meeting tomorrow TIME and PLACE CHANGE

it’s tomorrow, Tuesday 12th June, at 11:00h in the common room upstairs!

Demonstrators for UCAS days

Hi all,

UCAS visit days are a successful part of our undergrad recruitment program, not least because of the excellent demonstrations that our PhD students put on. One of these is the Mol Ecol lab demo, which I’m sure many of you will be familiar with. We could do with some new demonstrators because the current crop are either nearing the end of their PhDs or are switching to new, alternative demonstrations. I already have a few names but it would be great to grow the pool. Any volunteers?

We have a well-rehearsed demonstration that can easily be tailored to reflect the interests of whoever is demonstrating. You get paid the usual practical demonstrating rate, and of course it looks good on a CV.

Our summer open days (Fri June 15th, Fri July 6th, Sat July 7th and Tue Sept 4th) all involve around 30mins of your time. The winter/early autumn open days last around an hour. Typically you give the presentation/demo around 3 or 4 times during a single slot.

I always make sure that the workload is distributed fairly between demonstrators so that nobody is overburdened.

Any volunteers or possible volunteers please get in touch.
Many thanks

Mol Ecol group meeting Tuesday, 12 June, 10:00 B52

We will hear from

Sigrid (Hanyuan Zhang) about “Genetics of plumage colour pattern in Gouldian finch Erythrura gouldiae

and we welcome a visiting researcher from the CCB Trondheim, in Norway,

Ingerid Hagen, who will talk about: “Experimental evolution and high-density SNP-genotyping in house sparrows”