Monthly Archives: October 2012

Accomodation available in Sheffield in late November

Hi all,
please see below a message from Virpi Lummaa that looks for someone to take care of her home while away in late November (25th of November to 9th of December).

I am looking for someone to stay in the house while I am gone, the person can stay for free if they are willing to look after my fish (easy, just feed once a day and check that the heater and pump are working, and everything else is automatic). I will PAY 50 pounds if the person can stay in the house and also look after my dog. If someone wants to look after the house and fish but not the dog, there is an option that I put the dog in the kennels, but I preferred if I found someone who could look after the dog too, because she is very old and doesnt like kennels. She is low-maintenance: she needs to go out for a wee in the garden in the morning, go for 30 mins walk by 5pm in the nearby park daily, and food in the evening. Most of the other time she just sleeps, and unless there are fireworks, she just stays downstairs (in the event of fireworks, she wants to cuddle you!). The only thing is, that she is 65kg (Newfoundland) and does not get along very well with other dogs, so the person would need to be a bit used to dogs to make sure the walks go ok. Basically just keep her on the lead and not let go and say hello to others just in case. If anyone is interested, they can come and see her / come for a walk with us and decide then. She is very friendly with humans.

We are leaving on the 25th of Nov, and coming back on the 9th of Dec (2 weeks). The house is next to the Leppings lane tram stop (9 Willis Road, Hillsborough), 10-15 mins tramride door to door from Uni using the yellow line towards Middlewood, and very close to shops and Hillsborough park. It has 2 big bedrooms.

thank you!

Improving multipex PCR?

Advances in multiplex PCR: balancing primer efficiencies and improving detection success

Daniela Sint, Lorna Raso, Michael Traugott

Methods in Ecology and Evolution
Volume 3, Issue 5, pages 898–905, October 2012

Postdoc available

Ecology programme has just stared to advertise an extra Post doc position in our Institute.

Appointment is for 11 months, with the earliest starting date in January 2013. Net fellowship is 3,200 PLN monthly. In addition, we offer one-month internship at foreign scientific institution.

Candidates are required to contact IES Staff to discuss potential research project prior to the application. Candidates should hold a PhD degree for no longer than 5 years and be under 35 years of age.

Application deadline: 16 November 2012

List of candidates selected for interview will be announced by 23 November 2012

Interviews will take place 6 December 2012

Ranking list will be announced by 7 December 2012

For more information visit:

Terry’s group meeting tomorrow 2pm, B52

Dropbox space race

Join the space race on dropbox and get a minimum 3Gb of free space for two years. Well worth it for backing stuff up:

Accommodation for new staff member Caitriona

Caitriona will start working in the lab from 1st November and is looking for shared rented accommodation in the area around the University.

Please contact her directly on

Charity fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital – Aikidomarathon

Dear all,

I am raising funds for the Children’s hospital ( next Saturday 20/10. That day, I’ll be training in aikido for 14 hours, with only 5 minute break every hour; we’ll be starting at 7am and finish at 9pm, we have termed this the “Aikidomarathon.”

I have set up a webpage ( on which you can donate if you think this endeavour is crazy enough or if you want to support the work the Children’s Hospital carries out. Why not donate £1 for every hour I do 😉

We also have a Facebook page:!/events/196154627186044/

Thanks for your help!


PS: we welcome beginners, so if you want to take up this aikidomarathon challenge, speak to me in the locker room! ;-)))

Two postdoctoral research positions and a PhD studentship in evolutionary ecology

Jane Reid (Aberdeen) has three positions available on a newly awarded ERC project. All posts are to work on the well known song sparrow system on Mandarte island. Details below.


These posts are central to a European Research Council-funded project led by Dr Jane Reid that aims to 1) build new theory explaining the evolution and persistence of polyandry and inbreeding, and 2) test this theory using >20 years of complete life-history and pedigree data from free-living song sparrows (Melospiza melodia).
1) Postdoctoral Researcher in Theoretical Evolutionary Biology – available for three years in the first instance.

Responsible for developing new (co)evolutionary theory of reproductive strategies, specifically polyandry and inbreeding, using mathematical and/or simulation modelling approaches.

2) Postdoctoral Researcher in Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics – available for three years in the first instance.

Responsible for developing and implementing quantitative genetic and phenotypic analyses of long-term pedigree and life-history data from a wild population of song sparrows, specifically looking at polyandry, inbreeding, inbreeding avoidance and fitness components in males and females.

These posts provide exciting opportunities for highly motivated postdoctoral researchers with expertise and interest in theoretical evolutionary biology and/or quantitative genetic analysis of wild population data.  They will work within a successful international research team with ample opportunities for further collaboration, high-profile publication and career development, and flexibility to develop their own ideas and approaches in relation to the overall project aim.

Further details and online application forms are available at (School of Biological Sciences).

PhD studentship

Project title “Extra-pair reproduction, polyandry and relatedness: population-level consequences of individual reproductive strategy in song sparrows”

The project will use long-term data from socially monogamous but genetically polyandrous song sparrows to quantify within-year and among-year variation in reproductive strategy by individual females, and to quantify the consequences of this variation for population relatedness structure and genetic variation.

It offers an exciting opportunity for a motivated student with interest in linking theoretical and field biology to work within a leading international research project.  It will provide training in theoretical evolutionary ecology, statistical modelling and pedigree analyses, and opportunities for fieldwork and molecular genetic analysis according to the student’s interests.

Further details and online application forms are available at

Please get in touch with Dr Jane Reid ( if you have any queries about the posts or application process.

courses for online learning

Hi all,
A recent paper in PLoS Computational Biology has an excellent list of freely available resources for online learning. Most are full university courses (of varying levels) that have been made available by major US institutions (Berkley, UCLA, MIT, Yale…).
Anna 🙂

Searls DB (2012) An Online Bioinformatics Curriculum. PLoS Comput Biol 8(9): e1002632. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002632


Deadline extended to 24th October

Postdoctoral Research Fellow – ML4136


School of Biology, Salary: £30,122 – £32,901 per annum, Start Date:

As soon as possible, Fixed Term: 3 years

A three-year post-doctoral position is available to work in the laboratory of Mike Ritchie at the University of St Andrews, on a project which is collaborative with Stephen Goodwin at the University of Oxford. The aim is to adopt a multidisciplinary approach to examine the evolution of the fruitless gene in Drosophila. Studies will include sequencing, population genetics and selection analysis, genetic manipulation and behavioural analysis, and expression analysis. The ideal candidate will be an enthusiastic evolutionary or behavioural geneticist with an interest in the genetics of sexual behaviour and/or speciation. A PhD is essential and a work permit will be required for non-European citizens.

The work will be based at the Centre for Biological Diversity at the University of St Andrews, Scotland and will involve visits to collaborators (especially but not only at Oxford) and potential field-work.

This post is for 3 years starting as soon as possible.

Informal enquires to Professor Mike Ritchie email:, but further details available at the University vacancies website

PLEASE NOTE that formal applications cannot be made to Mike, but must be submitted via the University online e-recruitment system at (vacancy ML4136).

Some websites: Further details: (vacancy ML4136)

MGR Lab:

MGR Uni:

CBD @ St A:

SG Lab:

Please quote reference no: ML4136