Monthly Archives: April 2013

Invitation to B party

Dear colleagues,
Finally we have overcome the long lasting winter and sunny spell is around us. But if you feel that is not enough and want to burn your youth then come to my special B-party that will change the first digit of my age (don’t ask what the actual one is). The agenda is as follows and please note that there is plenty of time to recover thanks to the bank holiday on 6th.
Date: 3 (Fri) ~ 4th (Sat) April 2013
5:00 pm – assembly at Interval
7:30 pm – dinner at East One in West One
9:30 pm – 80’s Disco at Flares/Reflex, 18 Holly Street, S1 2GT. You need to bring your ID if you don’t want to be kicked off by bouncer (yes I am talking about you Mauricio!)
1:00 am – Drink at some place (TBC).
2:30 pm – meeting at Foyer of APS and head for Graves Park animal house & 9 hole mini golf (clubs provided). Four spare seats in my car and free driving are provided on first come first served basis so please leave me the message if you want to come and also tell me if you have car and want to provide riding.
6:00 pm – Cherry tree pub at Carter Knowle Road (no riding provided from this point)

Hope all of you survive and meet at summit!

Kang-Wook (07982905116 plus two)

Accomodation wanted for acorn woodpecker student: mid June-Aug

Niles Desmarais is a student from Joey Haydock’s lab, Gonzaga Uni, USA. He is visiting our lab to genotype acorn woodpeckers, working with Hannah Dugdale. If anyone has a room to rent from ca 16 June – end August please could you email him (ndesmarais [@]

Training opportunity/ promotion: NERC Environment YES scheme

Environment YES is an innovative scheme for early career researchers in environmental science. Its aim is to increase entrepreneurial awareness in the environmental science community. The course is free to RO’s and participants.

NERC students are particularly encouraged to participate.

The scheme is run as a competition: teams of early-career researchers attend a three-day workshop where they are given training and guidance on innovation, business and how to commercialise their research.

At the end of the three-day workshop, teams pitch their ideas for an imaginary environmental start-up company in competition with each other. The winning teams from each workshop are invited to a final where they compete for a prize of £1000.

Places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. The competition is free and NERC will cover travel and subsistence costs for participants attending the workshops and final.

Teams of early career researchers can be formed across departments/ disciplines and across Universities.

More details and an application form can be found at:
Contact: Dr Michal Jane Filtness, “Filtness, Michal J.” <>
NERC Senior Science Programmes Officer: Postgraduate Trainin

Room available

Room available in Walkley for happy person. £72 per week, , or £288 per month. Available until at least mid June, probably longer. Please contact me ( or Rachel Tucker for further details.


The Evolutionary Ecology group based at Eawag Dübendorf and ETH Zürich in Switzerland is conducting research on host-parasite interactions. We are particularly interested in the topic of symbiont-mediated coevolution, that is in hosts adapting to their parasites by symbiosis with protective microorganisms, and in the parasites counteradapting to these protective symbionts. Our main study organisms are aphids, their bacterial endosymbionts and hymenopteran parasitoids of aphids.
To strengthen our team we are inviting applications for a
Postdoc Position in Genetics of Host-Parasite Interactions
We are seeking an enthusiastic postdoc with interest in host-parasite coevolution and experience in generating and analyzing next-generation sequencing data, ideally in transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq). A PhD is required for this position. The expected starting date is 1 October 2013, but can be negotiated.
This Postdoc position is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and is available for 2 years. The successful candidate will be working in the Evolutionary Ecology group led by Christoph Vorburger ( This group is associated with the Institute of Integrative Biology at ETH Zürich, Switzerland (, as well as with the Department of Aquatic Ecology at Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology ( These institutions offer a stimulating work environment, ample opportunities for collaboration, and excellent facilities, including the state-of-the-art Genetic Diversity Center ( Salary and benefits are competitive. Dübendorf is adjacent to Zürich, a city known for its excellent quality of life.
Applications have to be submitted online via the following link: . Please include a cover letter explaining your motivation, research interests and relevant experience, a curriculum vitae, publication list, and the names and contact details of three academic references as a single PDF file. Deadline for applications is 31 May 2013. For enquiries about this position please contact Christoph Vorburger (+41 58 765 51 96;

room required for a day or two (or longer) from Sunday

Hello, my name is Lilian and I am a visiting PhD student from the University of Aberdeen working on basking sharks. I’ll be soon spending a couple of weeks working at the Biomolecular Analysis Facility in Sheffield and am currently looking for a spare room. I’ll be there from the 21st April onwards and am looking for something close to the labs (walking distance if possible). I am 26 years old, non-smoker and easy-going. If anyone can help, please just drop me an email: . Thanks a lot!”

The Fourth Annual Manchester Molecular and Genome Evolution (MaGE) Symposium

The Fourth Annual Manchester Molecular and Genome Evolution (MaGE) Symposium is fast approaching: Friday 17 May 2013. Registration is free, but necessary, so if you would like to attend then please register at We are still accepting abstracts for talks and posters.

This annual symposium is an informal and friendly one-day meeting for those interested in Molecular and Genome Evolution from either the computational or experimental perspective. It will be held in the Michael Smith Lecture theatre in the Faculty of Life Sciences, at the University of Manchester.

This year talks will include:
Judith Mank (UCL) on “Sex-specific selection and the genomic basis of sexual dimorphism”
Lisa Crossman (TGAC, Norwich) on “Crowdsourcing outbreak genomics: E.coli 2011 and Chalara Ash Dieback”.
Terry Brown on “The genotype of a historic strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis”
Rok Krasovec (Knight lab) on “Social interactions determine mutation rate in Escherichia coli”
Florence Gutzwiller (Bergman lab) on “Evolution of the plant green-island phenotype and Wolbachia infection in leaf-mining micro-moths”
Maria Ninova (Griffiths-Jones lab) on “Lineage-specific microRNAs are expressed in the early development of Drosophila”
Jordi Paps (Oxford) on “Exploring the origins and major transitions of the Animal Kingdom with 21st century tools: a comparative genomics approach”

The remaining talks on the day will be chosen from those submitted, with a preference towards student and postdoc presentations, interspersed with the selection of titles from other more senior researchers in Manchester (and beyond). There will be prizes for the best submitted talk and the best poster.

We hope to see you in May!

Many thanks,
Douda Bensasson and Casey Bergman

ACTION required from all staff, students and visitors to the lab

message from the admin team on D floor:

We have been looking at ways of keeping up to date with details of members of staff, PG students and visitors in the department.  Based on a model used very successfully in BMS, we have designed a form to record people, their location, contact details etc.  This form can be accessed from the APS Staff & Students web page.

This is primarily aimed at new starters in the department, but to ensure we have a comprehensive data base we would like all current postdocs, technicians, visitors and postgraduate students to take a few minutes to complete the form.  It would be most helpful if you could mention this to other members in your group, in case they are not on our mailing lists – which is a big part of the problem!  There is no need for academic staff to do this as we have reasonably accurate information.

We would ask that when a new person joins your group you ask them to complete the form as soon as possible.

The information will be useful for admin staff, Stuart and Hazel.

In the near future we hope to instigate an Outduction form to be completed by people leaving the department.

Thanks for your co-operation.

Sue and the Admin Team

Terry’s group meeting – this Friday B52 12pm

2 PhD positions in Behavioural Ecology, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.

Project 1: Climate-related reproductive plasticity in male birds
Project Aims
Some Australian bird species have extended reproductive seasons, and breed across a wide range of social and environmental conditions. In such species males may have to maintain the production of viable sperm for prolonged periods (relative to well-studied species from the northern hemisphere). This project will examine individual strategies in sperm production against both climatic and social variation in two species of arid zone bird on which we have been conducting long-term behavioural and ecological research (the zebra finch and the chestnut-crowned babbler). This project develops on our recent work into both these species that has illuminated complex social and environmental sources of variation into reproductive investment. The project addresses questions relating to sperm competition, cooperative breeding, sexual conflict and climate change.
This project will involve long periods of field-work at a remote field station along with microscopy and molecular work to be conducted in the laboratory of Simon Griffith (Biological Sciences) at Macquarie University (Sydney). The project will also involve collaboration with Kate Buchanan (Deakin University), Andy Russell (Exeter University, UK), and Melissah Rowe (University of Oslo, Norway).

Project 2: The genetics of domestication in two model finches
Project Aims
The zebra finch and Gouldian finch are important captive model systems for the study of a broad range of questions in biology and most of this research is focused on highly domesticated populations that are sourced from populations of birds sourced from amateur aviculturists. This project will use a range of molecular approaches to investigate the effect of domestication on population genetics and genomic variation in these two species. In broad terms the project will use approaches from classical population genetics and emerging genomic techniques to investigate the genetic variation in domestic populations across the world and the selection that has resulted from many generations of artificial selection over the past century. This project develops on our recent work into both these species that has illuminated consistent differences between wild and domesticated populations in the nature of selection on a variety of life history and behavioural traits.
The project is based in the laboratory of Simon Griffith (Biological Sciences) and would involve collaboration with Lee Ann Rollins (Deakin University) and Terry Burke & (Sheffield University, UK).

Both of these projects are supported by ongoing ARC funding. Scholarships are available for residents from Australia or New Zealand but there will also be possibilities for international students to get scholarship funding.

The 2013 MQRES full-time stipend rate is $24,653 pa tax exempt for 3.5 years (indexed annually). In addition to external grant support for the project, up to $20,000 is available to cover direct research expenses and domestic conference travel. Additional internal funding opportunities of up to $10,000 are available to support travel to overseas laboratories or to attend international conferences.

Prospective applicants should have a first class Honours degree or equivalent, and additional relevant research experience and/or qualifications. A demonstrated ability to work in remote and harsh conditions as well as extensive experience with capturing and handling birds is desirable. A full driving licence is necessary.

Applications should include 1) your CV, 2) a brief statement of your reasons for applying (max. 500 words) and the project you are applying to work on, and 3) contact details of two academic referees. Applications should be submitted electronically as a single PDF file.

Applications for this position are required by May 10th 2013 and should be sent electronically to: