Bird Watching at Mendon Ponds

Last weekend a few graduate students went over to Mendon ponds to catch a glimpse of local birds. They encountered a large mixed flock of nuthatches, titmice, chickadees and sapsuckers as well as a downy woodpecker. Many birds even came to a hand to feed. We plan to go back next week to repeat the walk and bird feeding. We are also keeping an eye on the ephemeral ponds with the hopes of seeing the salamanders emerge to breed when conditions are right.
Birds

Journal Club 3/24: Natural Selection in the Wild

Next week we will be reading two papers on fluctuation selection and natural selection in humans:
Robinson et al. 2008. Environmental Heterogeneity Generates Fluctuating Selection on a Secondary Sexual Trait. Current Biology 18(10): 751–757
Milot et al. 2011. Evidence for evolution in response to natural selection in a contemporary human population. PNAS 108(41): 17040–17045

Journal Club 3/3: Human GWAS

Next week we will be reading two papers about GWAS in humans, including one empirical paper that’s been cited over 3,000 times, and a thoughtful short perspective.

Burton, PR, Clayton, DG, Cardon, LR, Craddock, N, Deloukas, P, Duncanson, et al. (2007). Genome-wide association study of 14,000 cases of seven common diseases and 3,000 shared controls. Nature. 447(7145): 661-678.

Goldstein, DB. (2009). Common genetic variation and human traits. New England Journal of Medicine. 360(17): 1696.

Journal Club 2/24: QTL mapping of morphological variation in Drosophila

Zeng, Z-B., Liu, J., Stam, LF., Kao, C-H., Mercer, JM., and Laurie, CC. (2000). Genetic architecture of a morphological shape difference between two Drosophila species. Genetics 154, 299-310.

Mezey, JG., Houle, D., and Nuzhdin, SV. (2005). Naturally segregating quantitative trait loci affecting wing shape of Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 169, 2101-2113.

New Discussion group

This semester a9783662435496 group of EEB undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs and faculty will read and discuss chapters from a new edited volume on Phylogenetic Comparative Methods. The book is available online through the University of Rochester River Campus libraries here.

The group will meet weekly on Tuesdays at 4pm in the graduate student lounge starting next week (24 Feb). If you are interested in attending, click more below to see the reading schedule.

Continue reading