July 2015: Visiting scientist

Research assistant professor Christopher Willett is visiting PopGen Vienna again for a month. Chris investigates the nature of genetic variation that underlies speciation and adaptation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In collaboration with members of the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics, he will continue to study the genes that interact deleteriously to generate postzygotic reproductive isolation in a copepod system. He also looks at thermal tolerance and its potential interactions with reproductive isolation.

Chris Willett

March 2015: visiting scientist

Dr. Giorgio Bertorelle from University of Ferrara, Italy, spends three months at the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics, working on NGS data analyses in conservation and evolutionary genetics.

Giorgio Bertorelle

October 2014: visiting scientist

EMBO fellow Dr. Fernando Diaz from the Universidad del Valle (Colombia) visits the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics from October 15, 2014 until January 15, 2015.

Fernando Diaz

"My work has been focused on thermal adaptation in the invasive pest whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) through quantitative genetics and experimental evolution. I just finished my PhD at the Universidad del Valle (Colombia) and would like to continue studying thermal adaptation but now using experimental evolution in combination with whole-genome sequencing. I will spend three months studying the reversibility of thermal selection between hot and cold environments in Drosophila melanogaster in collaboration with the scientific community at the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics."

September 2014: visiting scientist

Dr. Bertanne Visser is a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Insect Biology (Université François-Rabelais, Tours) in France. Her work has largely focused on the causes and consequences of evolutionary trait loss, specifically the loss of lipid synthesis in parasitic wasps. She is currently visiting the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics to collaborate and develop new research lines into the processes and mechanisms driving trait loss and reversion in parasitic wasps.

Bertanne Visser

September 2014: visiting scientist

Dr. Saber Qanbari is a research associate at the Division of Animal Breeding and Genetics (University of Goettingen) and visits the the group of Prof. Schlötterer at the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics during September 2014. His research mainly focuses on population genetics and genomics of domestic species. While in Vienna, he works on developing computational approaches to detect and localize signatures of past selection in the genome.

Saber Qanbari

March 2014: visiting student

Giuseppina Schiavo is a PhD student from the Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Division of Animal Sciences at the University of Bologna, Italy. She is currently spending her 2 months phD-internship at the Vienna Graduate School of Population genetics. During her stay Giuseppina is studying Copy Number Variations in cattle and pig based on high density Illumina SNP array data.

Giuseppina Schiavo

March 2014: visiting student

Daniel Fischer is a PhD student in Finland and also works as a bioinformatician at the MTT Agrifood Research Finland. His 3 weeks research visit is supported by the ESF. At the Vienna Graduate School of Population genetics he works together with Marlies Dolezal. The topic of the visit is the 'Identification of Signatures of Selection from Next Generation Sequencing Data'.

Daniel Fischer

March 2014: visiting student

Stefanie Walter is a bioinformatics master student from Berlin. She spends a 1 month internship at PopGen Vienna and works with our PhD student Kerstin Gärtner.

Stefanie will run simulations to get to know how LDhelmet and LDhat perform under different recombination rates and sample sizes. 

August 2013: Visiting scientist

Research assistant professor Christopher Willett visits us for a second time. Chris investigates the nature of genetic variation that underlies speciation and adaptation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In collaboration with members of the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics, he will continue to study the genes that interact deleteriously to generate postzygotic reproductive isolation in a copepod system. He also looks at thermal tolerance and its potential interactions with reproductive isolation.

Chris Willett

February 2013: visiting student

Mads Fristrup Schou is a PhD student in the Volker Loeschcke group at the section of Integrative Ecology and Evolution at Aarhus University, Denmark. He uses experimental evolution to assess the evolutionary potential of Drosophila melanogaster as a response to increasing temperatures. The experimental evolution setup included populations of different size, adding another perspective to the project. He conducted such an experiment in Denmark, where he focused on the change in phenotypic traits.

In collaboration with PhD students, postdocs and faculty of the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics he will work on genomic data obtained from the experimental evolution project. Genomic data from different time points will be used to address questions regarding patterns of selection and loss of genetic variance across different treatments and different population sizes.

Mads Fristrup Schou

July 2012: Visiting scientist

Dr. Nelson Martins is a postdoc in the Sucena group at the Gulbenkian Institute of Science (IGC) in Portugal and collaborates with members of the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics on experimental evolution of the fruit fly.

Read more here

March 2012: Visiting scientist

Dr. Deniz Erezyilmaz is research assistant professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology of Stony Brook University and asks large evolutionary questions in specific, molecular terms. She uses genomic tools to investigate the genetic basis of pupariation site choice and female choice in sexual selection in the D. simulans clade. Deniz collaborates with members of the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics to analyse large NGS datasets.

February 2012: Visiting scientist

Dr. Wolfgang Arthofer, assistant professor at the Molecular Ecology Group (University of Innsbruck), visits us during February and March. His research interests include the development and application of genetic markers, evolution, phylogeography and population dynamics of European insect species, symbiosis research and bioinformatics. In the frame of his collaboration with students and faculty of the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics, he will perform the NGS-based assembly and annotation of the transcriptome of an Alpine Drosophila species.

read more

from January 2012: Visiting scientist

Dr. Maria Servedio is an Associate Professor in the Biology Department at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, specializing in evolutionary theory.

Maria Servedio

Her research centers on developing mathematical models of speciation and mate choice. In particular, she has been exploring the evolution of premating reproductive isolation when speciation begins in allopatry, but secondary contact allows gene flow before the speciation process has been completed. While in Vienna, she is working with members of the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics (Reinhard Bürger group) and IST Austria to explore restrictions to the evolution of complete reproductive isolation that can occur with different assumptions about the genetics behind assortative mating.

Maria's website

from January 2012: Visiting scientist

Research assistant professor Christopher Willett investigates the nature of genetic variation that underlies speciation and adaptation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In collaboration with members of the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics, he will address questions about early stages of speciation and the evolution of thermal adaptation in copepods as a model system.

Chris Willett

"Working with the group of Christian Schlötterer will provide me with a great opportunity to learn cutting edge techniques of whole-genome genetic analysis and apply these techniques to the system on which I work", says Chris. In terms of speciation he is using this copepod system to study the genes that interact deleteriously to generate postzygotic reproductive isolation. He also looks at thermal tolerance and its potential interactions with reproductive isolation. He will work with us from January to August 2012.

January 2012: Visiting scientist

Dr. Martin Schäfer, postdoc at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies (University of Zurich), will continue his collaboration with PopGen Vienna (Schlötterer lab) in from January until the end of February:

Martin Schäfer

"My research focuses primarily on evolutionary ecology and population genetics. I am particularly interested in how sexual selection, drift and gene flow interact and contribute to phenotypic and genetic divergence between lineages. In order to approach these questions I use a variety of methods including fitness experiments in the laboratory, quantitative genetics as well as molecular tools. During my stay at the host institute I will be investigating the evolutionary diversification of male accessory gland proteins (Acps) in multiple Drosophila melanogaster populations. By comparing ancestral and derived (cosmopolitan) populations, we aim to get insights into evolutionary dynamics underlying this class of genes at the stages of differentiation before reproductive isolation has evolved."

 

from October 2011: visiting Fulbright Scholar

We're happy to announce that Bryant McAllister, Associate Professor at the Department of Biology (University of Iowa), decided to spend his Fulbright sabbatical at The Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics. Bryant was nominated for the prestigious Scholarship by the Austrian-American Educational Commission of the J. William Fulbright Scholarship Board in Washington D.C.

Bryant McAllister

From October 2011 until end of January 2012, Bryant will investigate evolutionary consequences of sexual reproduction and interact with our PhD students through discussions and lectures.

Brian's website

from October 2011: Visiting scientist

From October 2011 until the end of the year, Dr. Chantal Dauphin-Villemant (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Paris 6) stayed at PopGen Vienna for her collaboration with the Flatt group.

Chantal Dauphin-Villemant

In her research, Dr. Dauphin-Villemant investigates the biogenesis and endocrine function of steroid hormones; in both insects and vertebrates, steroid hormones play major roles in the control of development, reproduction, and aging. However, although steroid signaling is well conserved throughout evolution, the precise biosynthetic pathway that leads to insect steroids is still incompletely understood.

One of Dr. Dauphin-Villemant's major aims is to elucidate this metabolic pathway and to better understand the evolution of steroids. Her group has used biochemical approaches to measure insect steroid hormones with great sensitivity and has also been involved in the characterization of several enzymatic steps of this pathway. The insights from this work have improved the tools to understand the function of these hormones.

In collaboration with Thomas Flatt’s team, Chantal Dauphin-Villemant is presently interested in characterizing the steroidogenic function of Drosophila ovaries and in unravelling how ecdysteroid production affects longevity in female fruit flies.

 

May 2011: Visiting student

Bioinformatician Susanne Franssen is PhD student at the Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity (University of Münster, Germany). From May until the end of July she was hosted by PopGenVienna in Christian Schlötterer's group:

Susanne Franssen

"I am interested in microevolutionary processes in particular with respect to adaptation to abiotic stresses. As adaptive changes in organisms and populations are to a large extent detectable via changes in gene expression, RNA-seq experiments provide the opportunity to identify genes involved in adaptation to a specific environmental stressor with the appropriate experimental design. I am following this approach in the ecological key species Zostera marina (seagrass) and the model organism Drosophila melanogaster."

 

May 2011: Visiting scientist

During May 2011, Dr. Sophie Marion de Proce, postdoc at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (University of Edinburgh) was hosted by the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics (Schlötterer group):

Sophie Marion de Proce

"During my PhD in molecular evolution in Edinburgh, I worked mainly on the evolution of non-coding DNA. I tested for patterns of natural selection in introns in Drosophila, to test hypotheses about which categories of introns were most subject to selection. I am now working as a Postdoc to investigate whether the X chromosome and the autosomes evolve differently. Using a D. pseudoobscura polymorphism dataset, we expect to observe more evidence for positive selection and faster evolutionary rates on the X chromosome. This would imply that beneficial mutations are at least partially recessive and arising from new mutations.

I am currently visiting the Institute of Population Genetics to collaborate with Christian Schlötterer's group on obtaining a genome sequence for D. affinis, in order to use it as divergence data for our D. pseudoobscura dataset."

 

April 2011: Visiting scientist

Dr. Martin Schäfer, postdoc at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies (University of Zurich), visited PopGen Vienna (Schlötterer lab) in spring of 2011:

Martin Schäfer

"My research focuses primarily on evolutionary ecology and population genetics. I am particularly interested in how sexual selection, drift and gene flow interact and contribute to phenotypic and genetic divergence between lineages. In order to approach these questions I use a variety of methods including fitness experiments in the laboratory, quantitative genetics as well as molecular tools. During my stay at the host institute I will be investigating the evolutionary diversification of male accessory gland proteins (Acps) in multiple Drosophila melanogaster populations. By comparing ancestral and derived (cosmopolitan) populations, we aim to get insights into evolutionary dynamics underlying this class of genes at the stages of differentiation before reproductive isolation has evolved."

 

January 2011: Visiting scientist

From January 2011, Dr. Patricia Moore (Associate Professor in Evolution and Development, University of Exeter) spent sabbatical time at The Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics (Flatt group).

Patricia Moore

A fundamental challenge for research in biodiversity during this critical period of climate change is to understand how organisms respond, in both the short- and long-term, to stressful environments.  Altering reproduction is one response to stressful environments, increasing an individual’s chance of survival by sacrificing the number of offspring produced.  The decision to reproduce or not under stressful conditions has been addressed in the past either in a mechanistic or ecological perspective.

Dr. Trish Moore’s research focuses how the environment affects female reproductive potential.  She investigates the evolutionary outcome of changes in the female reproductive system, the conserved physiological mechanism of oocyte apoptosis, and the role of genetics in individual variation in female fertility and response to environmental stress.

In collaboration with Dr. Thomas Flatt’s team, Dr. Moore will take a novel, integrative approach to exploring the role of reproduction in ameliorating environmental stress, using molecular genetic techniques required to study physiological mechanisms underlying life trade-offs in Drosophila.

 

October 2010: Visiting scientist

Until the end of 2010, Dr. Chantal Dauphin-Villemant (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Paris 6) was hosted by the graduate school as a visiting researcher in the Flatt group.

Chantal Dauphin-Villemant

In her research, Dr. Dauphin-Villemant investigates the biogenesis and endocrine function of steroid hormones; in both insects and vertebrates, steroid hormones play major roles in the control of development, reproduction, and aging. However, although steroid signaling is well conserved throughout evolution, the precise biosynthetic pathway that leads to insect steroids is still incompletely understood.

One of Dr. Dauphin-Villemant's major aims is to elucidate this metabolic pathway and to better understand the evolution of steroids. Her group has used biochemical approaches to measure insect steroid hormones with great sensitivity and has also been involved in the characterization of several enzymatic steps of this pathway. The insights from this work have improved the tools to understand the function of these hormones.

In collaboration with Thomas Flatt’s team, Chantal Dauphin-Villemant is presently interested in characterizing the steroidogenic function of Drosophila ovaries and in unravelling how ecdysteroid production affects longevity in female fruit flies.

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