News archive 2016

December 2016: Alumni career news

PopGen Vienna alumnus Tom Hill received one of the prestigious excellence awards for outstanding dissertations, bestowed by the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, for his thesis entitled "Hybrid dysgenesis in Drosophila simulans, caused by a rapid global invasion of the P-element". Congratulations!

December 2016: Christmas Event

We had a great time at this year's PopGen Vienna Xmas party: we met on a chilly winter evening in a painting studio in the 9th district to paint ceramic mugs. Everyone acted as Secret Santa painter for a colleague. After the painting we enjoyed burgers and craft beer at an American-style Microbrewery just around the corner. We’ll swap the creative and beautiful mugs during a get-together before the Christmas break.

November 2016: Mind The Gap Meeting

On October 31 and November 1 our students hosted the 5th MIND THE GAP meeting at the autumn-colored campus of the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna. Like at previous meetings of the series, MIND THE GAP brought together theoretical and empirical population geneticists. Nearly 80 international participants attended the conference in 2016. Previous meetings were organised in Freiburg (2009), Plön (2010), Cologne (2011) and Vienna (2013). Details about the meeting here

October 2016: PhD defense

Congratulations to Ágnes Jónás! She successfully defended her thesis "Inferring evolutionary trajectories from time series data” on October 25 at the Vetmeduni Vienna.

October 2016: PhD retreat

Recently we spent a social weekend with seminar talks at a hut village in Altaussee, at the foot of the Styrian Loser plateau. As opposed to previous years, the weather wasn't as mild as we were used to but we managed short hikes after discussing recent research results. Thirty participants (PhD students, postdocs, faculty and associated guests) enjoyed brainstorming together, discussing and socialising.

September 2016: Introductory course for PhD students

We're happy that also this year our introductory course was noted internationally. We welcomed our new cohort of students along with several external PhD students to PopGen Vienna's intense, 1-month course covering basic and advanced concepts in population genetics, Drosophila genetics, statistics, biomathematics, phylogenetics and bioinformatics.

Early Stage Researchers of the BINGO training network joined us from the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, and PhD students of Universities in Germany, Portugal and Greece.

July 2016: Evolution explained to kids

Two of our students joined the "Kinderuni" as teachers in July 2016 to bring the complex topic of evolution into the spotlight during a workshop with 25 school kids aged 10-12. The kids actively engaged in a lecture about the principles of DNA, organisms and evolution. In the following practical session they were fascinated to see DNA being extracted from Strawberries, and to observe fruit flies and mutants under the microscope.

July 2016: PhD defense

Polina Novikova successfully defended her thesis “Speciation in the Arabidopsis genus” on 13.07.2016 at the GMI. Polina presented her work on aspects of non-bifurcating speciation in Arabidopsis, as well as a special case of instant speciation - the origin of the allotetraploid Arabidopsis suecica. Congratulations, Polina!

June 2016: Faculty meeting

A faculty meeting took place on June 28th.

June 2016: PhD defense

Tom Hill successfully defended his thesis "Hybrid dysgenesis in Drosophila simulans, caused by a rapid global invasion of the P-element".

CONGRATULATIONS, TOM! Good luck for your next career step as Postdoc at the University of Kansas!

April 2016: Mini-Symposium: Frontiers of Population Genetics III

The yearly Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) meeting was concluded by a Mini-Symposium on April 27:

Venue: Seminar room Institut für Tierzucht & Genetik (building NA, 2nd floor), Vetmeduni Vienna

13:00 Opening remarks

13:05-13:50 Nick Barton – IST Austria
“Is it possible to find the alleles that cause variation in complex traits?”

13:50-14:35 Brian Charlesworth - Univ. of Edinburgh
“Associative overdominance- fact or fiction?”

14:35-15:10 coffee break

15:10-15:55 Jean-Michel Gibert – CNRS Paris
“Environmental and genetic bases of pigmentation variation in Drosophila”

15:55-16:40 Andrew Clark – Cornell Univ.
“Genomic analysis of silver foxes selected for tame/aggressive behaviors”

April 2016: SAB meeting

This years' Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) meeting took place from April 25-27. The students reported their progress in front of five members of our Advisory Board, the program's faculty and fellow students. After the busy schedule, the students further interacted with the SAB members in a more relaxed setting.

March 2016: New associated faculty

We're happy that Kirsten-André Senti and Robert Kofler joined the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics as associated faculty.

Kirsten-André Senti and his group will add a wealth of expertise in functional genetics including CRISPR/Cas9 mutagenesis. Kirsten's research interest focuses on the battle between transposable elements and their control by the piRNA pathway.

Bioinformatician Robert Kofler recently received an FWF grant. His group will investigate the evolution of transposable elements in different species and dissect the genetic basis of quantitative traits.

February 2016: Alumni career news

Congratulations to our former graduate student Raymond Tobler. After his recent relocation to the University of Adelaide, Ray is currently the lead postdoctoral researcher on the Aboriginal Heritage Project, a collaboration between the Australian Centre of Ancient DNA (ACAD) and the South Australian Museum (SAM), which aims to reconstruct the genetic history of Aboriginal Australia. Ray was recently awarded an Indigenous Discovery Fellowship that will enable his group to further extend the phylogenetic analyses and study paleo-demography and adaptation.

January 2016: Visiting Grant for one of our students

Congratulations to our PhD student Dominik Schrempf for receiving a Visiting Grant for three months, funded by Aarhus University for a research stay at the Bioinformatics Research Center (BiRC) in the group of Asger Hobolth.

January 2016: Faculty meeting

The faculty members had a meeting on January 14th.

January 2016: New master's program

Our faculty co-organised a new joint master's program at University of Vienna and Vetmeduni Vienna: Evolutionary Systems Biology

The ESB Master's program features:

  • Courses covering population genetics, comparative genomics, molecular evolution, EvoDevo and systems biology.
  • Practical courses introducing modelling, programming, and statistical data analysis to biologists.
  • An extensive research component, including rotations in multiple research groups, one-on-one training, and individual research projects.
  • Special skill courses on giving scientific talks and writing successful grant proposals.
Fond zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung
vetmed uni vienna
Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology
Universität Wien