chevron down chevron up


September 2021: PopGen Hike

We enjoyed a hike among the "Vienna Woods" with wonderful weather. After a long time with no social activities due to the pandemic, it was a special treat to spend time together! Dr. Sam Yeaman (Univ. of Calgary, currently on sabbatical) joined us and it was great to discuss latest research in person instead of zoom.

July 2021: Outreach

PhD students Dagny Runarsdottir and Lara Radovic reach out to young researchers at Children's University to explain how populations evolve.

July 2021: Alumni News

Congratulations to alumna Ana Marija Jaksic for having been selected as a runner-up for the prestigious best student paper award for papers published in MBE during 2020 with the paper Neuronal Function and Dopamine Signaling Evolve at High Temperature in Drosophila.

June 2021: Competition winner

Congratulations to Lara Radovic (Wallner group), winner of the student competition (genetics) at the Equine Science Society Virtual Symposium!

Link to talk abstract

June 2021: PhD defense

Congratulations to Huying Shang on successfully defending her thesis "Genomics of the speciation continuum in Eurasian Populus species".

May 2020: Faculty meeting

The faculty met online on 20th of May, 2020.

May 2021: SAB meeting

Also this year's SAB meeting had to be carried out online from May 17th to 20th. We enjoyed four afternoons of student presentations, discussions and informal interactions with our board members.

April 2021: PhD defense

Congratulations to Emmanouil Lyrakis (Schlötterer group) on the highest exam grade for his PhD zoom defense "The physiological and genetic basis of reproductive dormancy in Drosophila fruit flies".

April 2021: New associated faculty

We're happy that Rui Borges, junior group leader at Vetmeduni Vienna, just joined the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics as associated faculty.

March 2021: PhD defense

Congratulations to Martin Pontz (Bürger group) on successfully defending his thesis "Effects of epistasis in population genetic two-locus models" online.

March 2021: Faculty News

Congratulations to faculty member Barbara Wallner on completing her habilitation procedure at Vetmeduni Vienna!

February 2021: Alumni News

Alumnus Thomas Taus was promoted to Teamlead - Reporting and Analysis at Porsche Informatik GmbH in Salzburg, Austria. Congratulations!

February 2021: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship

Congratulations to our alumna Anna Maria Langmüller, she received a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship for 2 years of postdoctoral research at Cornell University and 1 year at Univ. of Vienna!

January 2021: Poster prize

Congratulations to Christina Hedderich on winning the 1st prize for her poster "Population genomics shows last European stand of Artemisia laciniata is diverse despite population size" at the poster competition of the virtual edition of the 54th Population Genetics Group Meeting.

December 2020: Award of Excellence

Congratulations to our alumna Sabine Felkel! She received the 3.000 Euro Award of Excellence by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research for her PhD thesis in the Wallner group "Y-chromosomal evolution in Equids: Deciphering the history of horses using Y-chromosomal NGS data" that she defended in September 2019.

December 2020: Faculty meeting

The faculty members met online on December 7.

October 2020: Monthly virtual dinner

In an effort to alleviate the missing social interactions during the crisis, we held a first virtual Zoom dinner with 30 participants. After the "plenary" welcome, we randomly divided into smaller groups for informal and much appreciated conversation while having dinner. Looking forward to our next monthly dinner night out in!

October 2020: PhD defenses

Two successful PhD defenses:

Congratulations to Kerstin Spitzer (Futschik group) on successfully defending her thesis "Improvement of statistical methods used in population genetics" online.

We also congratulate Gökce Aköz (Nordborg group) on successfully defending her thesis "Rediscovering Aquilegia as a model system while chasing chromosome four" during a virtual exam.

October 2020: EMBO short term fellowship

Congratulations to Aglaia Szukala! Aglaia received an EMBO short term grant for her upcoming 3-month research stay at the ETH Zürich.

October 2020: Seminars go online

Due to the pandemic, our international seminar series was turned into virtual visits and webinars for the upcoming Winter term. As the semester progresses, we’ll post webinars to our Youtube channel. The webinars started off with a talk by Günter Wagner (Yale Univ.), and as many as 50 people had tuned in! If you’d like to sign up, please have a look here:

September 2020: DZG Graduate Meeting

Faculty of PopGen Vienna organized the 25th DZG Graduate Meeting Evolutionary Biology. It was planned to hold the meeting at the Vetmeduni Vienna campus but due to the Sars-CoV-2 pandemic we were forced to hold the meeting online. Nevertheless, the meeting attracted many PhD students and interested colleagues. More information about the past meeting is available here. Several talks have been added to our YouTube channel.

August 2020: Erasmus+ grant

Congratulations to Aglaia Szukala! Aglaia received an Erasmus+ grant for her 3-month research stay at FU Berlin.

August 2020: Evolution explained to kids - online

The 2020 edition of "Kinderuni" (Children's University) could unfortunately not run "live" due to the Covid-19 crisis. Nevertheless, three of our students joined the efforts of Kinderuni to provide a fun, safe virtual contribution. Christina, Burcin and Elif prepared posters about evolution of horses in three languages for curious young researchers. "We were disappointed that we couldn't interact with the kids, and show them evolution under the microscope. It was a challenge to come up with a concept but it turned out to be fun to collaborate for the poster from our individual home offices."

August 2020: PhD defense

Congratulations to Christos Vlachos (Kofler group) on the successful (online) defense of his thesis "Towards the optimization of E&R experiments"

May 2020: Marshall Plan Scholarship

Congratulations to Marta Pelizzola on receiving one of the prestigious Marshall Plan Foundation grants to support her planned 6-month research stay at the Univ. of Chicago.

May 2020: SAB meeting

The faculty members met online on May 12.

May 2020: SAB meeting

This year's SAB meeting had to be carried out online. We enjoyed four afternoons of student presentations and interactions with our board members. We're grateful for their invaluable feedback, particularly during these demanding times.

April 2020: Alumni career News

We're proud of our alumnae Claudia Bank and Polina Novikova on their career advances:

Claudia Bank (currently PI at Gulbenkian Institute) was appointed professor at the Institute of Ecology and Evolution (University of Bern) and will move there in Autumn 2020.

Polina Novikova (currently PD at Gent University) will join the Department of Chromosomal Biology, MPIPZ Cologne as group leader in September 2020.

Congratulations to both!

March 2020

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, PopGen Vienna moved into home office mode. We stay connected during seminars, journal clubs and project discussions using online tools. Some cheering up is happening during virtual coffee breaks and beer hours - we wish all our friends and colleagues in the world to stay safe!

February 2020: Alumni career news

PopGen Vienna alumnus Christian Huber (currently ARC DECRA fellow at the University of Adelaide) accepted a faculty position at Penn State. His lab will be opening January 2021. Congratulations!

Alumna Ana Marija Jakšić (currently PD at Cornell Univ.) accepted a group leader position at the EPFL in Lausanne to work on experimental evolution of the cognitive brain in flies. Congratulations!

January 2020: New Year celebration

December had brought a sad closure to the year 2019, so we tried to welcome the new year with a positive outlook. 34 members and friends of the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics met for a creative night out to paint mugs for each other and enjoy dinner together. 

December 2019: More alumni career news

PopGen Vienna faculty alumna Andrea Betancourt (Univ. of Liverpool) was promoted to Professor! Congratulations, Andrea!

December 2019: PhD defense

Congratulations to Thomas Taus who defended his PhD thesis successfully on December 18th, 2020: "Experimental Evolution with Drosophila simulans under Thermal Stress"

December 2019:

PopGen Vienna students and faculty are shaken and deeply saddened by the loss of our dear colleague, faculty member and PhD advisor Christian Lexer. Our thoughts are with his wife and children and all members of his family.

Link to Obituary Univ. of Vienna

December 2019: Alumni career news

PopGen Vienna alumnus Andrea Fulgione will start a group leader position at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne in 2020. Congratulations, Andrea!

PopGen Vienna alumnus Tom Hill, currently postdoctoral researcher at Rob Unckless' Lab (Univ. of Kansas) received the KU Research Postdoctoral Achievement Award. Congratulations! The award is given annually to recognize outstanding postdoctoral fellows whose research has significantly influenced their fields and expanded intellectual or societal insights. Read more here

December 2019: Experimental Evolution course

Students of the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics organised the practical course "Experimental evolution: Bringing theory and practice together” from December 2 to 6, 2019 at the Vetmeduni Vienna. In the mornings, international experts of the field gave state-of-the-art research talks with free access for the interested local community. The afternoons were dedicated to practical units for the registered 28 participants. Two thirds of the participants arrived from European countries. Other participants traveled from as far as North America, Israel, Russia, South Africa and Australia to take part.

Students of the PhD program planned the entire course, invited speakers, screened applications from around the world and planned, taught and tutored all practical sessions for the participants to train on real data.

Link to course website

October 2019: Video channel

In October 2019, we started recording our international guest talks. Schedule and links to YouTube talks are available here

Click here for the PopGen Vienna YouTube channel

October 2019: PhD retreat

A record number of participants - 38 PhD students, postdocs, faculty and associated guests - followed the invitation to spend a couple of days at the yearly retreat in the Alps. Like last year, we enjoyed excellent talks and had ample opportunities for discussion. On our free afternoon, the weather played along and we spent a magnificent Autumn day at lake Altaussee and on top of the Loser mountain for hiking, biking and enjoying great local food.

September 2019: PhD defenses

Thomas Wolfe defended his thesis "Genomic interactions and their eco-physiological implications for the evolution of allopolyploid marsh orchids" at the University of Vienna.

Sabine Felkel defended her thesis "Y-chromosomal evolution in Equids: Deciphering the history of horses using Y-chromosomal NGS data" at Vetmeduni Vienna.


July 2019: travel awards

Aglaia Szukala and Mimmi Eriksson received travel awards by ÖFG (Austrian Research Community) to present their projects at the 2019 Evolution meeting in Rhode Island (USA).

July 2019: visiting student

Chaimae Belmouaden is a BSc student in biology and computer sciences at the University of Poitiers in France. During her internship, Chaimae spends 3 months at the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics, interacting with PhD students of the Schlötterer lab.

May 2019: Open University Day

Members of PopGen Vienna participated at Vetmeduni's Open University Day.

May 2019: SAB meeting

This years' Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) meeting took place from May 13 to 15. The students reported their progress in front of the Advisory Board, the program's faculty and fellow students. After the busy daily presentation schedules and the invaluable feedback by the SAB, the students further interacted with the board members in more relaxed settings over drinks and dinner.

May 2019: Faculty meeting

The faculty met on 15th of May, 2019.

April 2019: New associated faculty

We're happy that Neda Barghi, junior group leader at Vetmeduni Vienna, just joined the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics as associated faculty.

April 2019: Alumni career news

Congratulations to our Alumna Claudia Bank, group leader of the Evolutionary Dynamics laboratory at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC), on winning the SMBE Allan Wilson Junior Award 2019!

March 2019: Science Day

Members of PopGen Vienna participated at the Science Day of the University of Vienna.

February 2019: SMBE workshop

Members of the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics co-organised the SMBE 2019 satellite meeting "Towards an integrated concept of adaptation: uniting molecular population genetics and quantitative genetics"

January 2019: New associated faculty

We're happy that Kelly Swarts joined the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics as associated faculty.

Kelly Swarts is group leader affiliated with the Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology (Austrian Academy of Sciences) and the Max F. Perutz Laboratories (Univ. of Vienna).

January 2019: PhD defense

Ilse Höllinger just defended her thesis "Mathematical models of speciation and polygenic adaptation" at University of Vienna. Congratulations, and all the best for your further career!

Fond zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung
vetmed uni vienna
Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology
Universität Wien