Monthly Archives: December 2012

PhD Position in NZ

Neil Gemmell (Otago) has a PhD on Genetic Basis of Complex Cognition in Calendonian Crows advertised. Details here:
PhD Opportunity Genetic Basis of Complex Cognition Otago NZ 2013


Postdoc in The Netherlands

Post-doc position in  population/evolutionary ecology

Job description: This post-doc position is part of a new research group that studies how individuals and populations respond to environmental variability. The post-doc will analyze existing long-term datasets (>25 years) on birds and develop and apply theoretical models to study the eco-evolutionary dynamics of trait change and population change in the wild. The project aims to understand how individuals respond (microevolution, plasticity, demographic change) to extreme climatic events –such as flooding of nesting sites— and whether the response will be fast enough for populations to keep up with climate change. The post-doc will interact with other group members and collaborators working on field-based projects; a limited amount of fieldwork may be part of the project.

Requirements: We are looking for an independent, highly motivated and creative person with good social skills. Prerequisites are (1) a recent PhD in population, behavioural or evolutionary ecology, (2) a high-quality publication record, (3) excellent skills in mathematical and statistical modelling, and (4) an interest in both evolutionary and ecological processes and how they interact. Experience with long-term datasets and fieldwork on birds is a bonus. Applicants should be willing to start early 2013.

Appointment: The appointment will be on a temporary basis for a maximum of almost 4 years, ending 1-1-2017. Salary depends on training and work experience. The maximum gross monthly salary coming with a full-time appointment will amount to €3.755,00 (scale 10 of the Collective Agreement for Dutch Universities). In addition we offer an 8% holiday pay, an end-of-year bonus, and extensive package of fringe benefits.

Location: NIOO is located in the university town of Wageningen, situated close to all major cities in the Netherlands. The vibrant town offers a living environment surrounded by beautiful scenery, plenty of entertainment, bars, sports, and cultural activities.

Information: Additional information about this position (vacancy number AnE-012716) is available upon request from Dr. Martijn van de Pol ( ). More information about the NIOO and the department can be found on our website (

Applications: Please send your application including a cover letter detailing your motivation for and expectations from this position, your CV including a summary of your past research, and contact information for three references to The closing date is 13 January 2013, and the interviews will be early February. Vacancy number AnE-012716

The Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO) is a top research institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). NIOO-KNAW focuses on fundamental and strategic research into individual organisms, populations, ecological communities, and ecosystems. The mission is to carry out excellent research in ecology.

Prof. Dr Marcel E. Visser
Head of Department Animal Ecology
Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW)

Professor of Seasonal timing of behaviour, Groningen University
Professor of Ecological genetics, Wageningen University

P.O. Box 50, 6700 AB Wageningen, The Netherlands
Phone: +31-317–473439
Personal page:

Matrices and Mulled Wine

Does anyone know how to sort a relatedness matrix to find around 30 individuals (out of 1100) who are not closely related to each other? You can have a look at my data if it helps.

On a side note, myself and a few others are off to the Leeds Christmas Market this Saturday (not intentionally clashing with the 1st year outing, we’ve had it planned for a while), so if you’re at a loose end feel free to come along! It’ll be the 1:18pm train from Sheffield.


Deadline for xmas meal food choice TODAY 2pm

Roast Turkey & stuffing
Steak & Ale Pie
Nutty Parsnip Pie
served with vegetables
Chicken & Tomato Casserole
Vegetarian chilli
served with rice
Mushroom & Stilton Pasta
Cheese & Onion Pie
Ploughmans Lunch
Olive & Feta
all served with salad & bread

Fruit crumble
Jam rolypoly
xmas pudding

Please email me if you arent around to record on the sheet in the lab but want to come along.


secret santa

sorry but I think Ive left organising secret santa too late to allow shopping time this year but if anyone else thinks its still doable and wants to arrange it – please go for it.

Accommodation required

Accommodation reqd for a Facility visitor for 6 weeks from the 26th January.
If you can help please contact Lilly directly –

Lab xmas meal at the Fat Cat – Friday 14th Dec 12.00

Everyone welcome,

The Fat Cat is doing a £7 lunchtime xmas menu again this year. We have the upstairs room booked from 12-3.30, but the pub is open all day and we are welcome to move to the rooms downstairs to continue tthe fffessstivies.

If you would like to come along please choose from the new xmas lunch menu (going online from tomorrow morning) and write what you want on the board in the lab by Tues 2pm please.


PhD – Evolution of Colour Polymorphism

Funding is available for a four year BBSRC DTP PhD studentship (deadline 9th  January), to be awarded on a competitive basis within the University of Nottingham, to investigate the evolution, genetics and development of colour polymorphism in snails

Studies on the classic shell colour and banding polymorphism of the land snail Cepaea played a crucial role in establishing the importance of natural selection in maintaining morphological variation. Cepaea is also a pre-eminent model for ecological genetics because the outward colour and banding phenotype is entirely genetically determined, primarily by a ‘supergene’ of at least five loci. Unfortunately, progress in understanding the evolution and maintenance of the Cepaea polymorphism stalled, partly because of a lack of genetic markers. With a view to re-establish Cepaea as a prominent model of molecular ecology, we are applying next generation sequencing methods to investigate the evolution, genetics and development of this colour polymorphism. Although the precise nature of the project will be determined by the state of play when the project begins and the interests of the student, I envisage that he/she will use Illumina RAD-Seq genotyping runs, along with RNA Seq methods and possible BAC mapping to home in on the genes in question. He/she may also develop new species/models to study (possibly involving fieldwork), enabling deeper comparative analyses, or develop in situ based methods to compare gene expression. The student will receive training in standard molecular lab methods, next generation sequencing and bioinformatic methods. The training programme also includes first year rotation projects, plus a three-month full-time placement outside of the research environment. Finally, as another research interest of the lab is in the evolution and development of sinistral snails, then a project in this area is also possible.

Applicants should have, or expect to receive, a good degree in a relevant subject, and an interest and enthusiasm for evolution. In the ?rst instance, prospective students should send a CV and an indication of general area of interest to; see also

Funding details:

Funding is available for four years from Autumn 2013. A full award would be fees plus an annual stipend. This is set by the Research Councils and was £13,590 for 2012/13. 2013/14 rates are currently to be confirmed.


Eligibility for full funding is restricted to UK residents (fees and stipend). EU students are eligible for fees only awards, unless the applicants fulfil the residency criteria for a full award. To be eligible applicants must have (or be expected to achieve) a first or upper second class UK honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK and/or a postgraduate Masters degree in a relevant subject. For full eligibility criteria visit:

How to apply:

Applicants should go to to download the application and reference forms. For more information regarding projects, training and structure of the DTP see

and Note that an important part of this BBSRC DTP scheme is a lab rotation during the first year. A full list of the possible projects under the Molecules, Cells and Organisms banner is here

Dr. Angus Davison
Reader in Evolutionary Genetics
School of Biology
University Park
University of Nottingham

0115 8230322

Gene Expression Workshop – Liverpool 21-24/01/2013

CGR Advanced Course in Genome-wide Gene Expression Profiling by Array and NextGen Sequencing, 21st – 24th January 2013, University of Liverpool.

Organised by Professors Andrew Cossins and Steve Paterson (University of Liverpool) and Dr Marta Milo (University of Sheffield).

Sponsored by The Physiological Society (

The draft programme and application form can be found at:

For more information, including a draft course programme, or to register for this course, please go to the CGR website at:
The deadline for both the Physiological Society travel grant application and Workshop application is 5.00 p.m. on Friday, 14th December 2012 and this will be strictly adhered to.   Accepted Workshop applicants will be notified by the Centre for Genomic Research at the latest by Friday, 21st December 2012.