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Background of the Cooperation

MAVAC is a newly established cooperation between the Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity of the University of Münster and the School of Life Sciences at the Arizona State University (ASU) aiming to promote the virtual academic exchange between both universities. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and thus the decreased options for physical exchange, MAVAC offers a great opportunity for students and faculty members of both universities to connect with each other in interactive teaching environments, to gain valuable intercultural experience and to foster the scientific exchange.
To achieve these goals, the following actions are planned for 2021:

  • Jointly taught virtual courses for MSc and PhD students of both universities
  • MAVAC summer school 2021 in Arizona
  • Virtual and if possible physical exchange of academic staff
  • Regular meeting of the MAVAC team to evaluate the progress of the project and to set new objectives
  • Courses for MSc and PhD students


    Part 1 (5 LP):


    Advanced module “Digital, intercultural and interdisciplinary collaboration” in the winter term 2020/2021:
    This online course focuses on imparting competences needed for intercultural and interdisciplinary cooperation. In joint virtual classrooms participants from both universities will learn to define, investigate, and develop innovative solutions to interdisciplinary problems.

    Virtual Classroom Sessions on Digital Cooperation and Intercultural Competence USA – GER
    14.01.21 - 04.02.21 (Every Thursday)                                      18.00 - 20.00 GMT+1

    Virtual Classroom Sessions on Team Building and Interdisciplinary Collaboration (Prof. Brian Smith, ASU)
    11.02.21 - 29.04.21 (Every Thursday)                                      18.00 - 20.00 GMT+1

    Part 2 (5 LP):

    Advanced module “Concepts and current topics in Evolution and Ecology” in the summer term 2021:
    This online course will provide a comprehensive review of fundamental concepts of evolutionary biology such as evolutionary theories and history, population genetics/genomics, speciation, extinction and biodiversity. The courses will be supplemented by interactive lab simulations for a virtual practical training in the fields of evolution and ecology.

    Online course on Evolutionary Biology and Ecology (Prof. Jürgen Gadau, University of Münster)
    26.04.21 - 21.05.21 (Block 1)

    MAVAC summer school 2021:
    A 10-day joint summer school at the ASU and the Southwestern Research Station will allow MSc and PhD students from both universities to meet in person while exploring desert ecology and evolution. Students of the University of Münster will receive a travel allowance and a stiped by the DAAD to cover their expenses.
    Late summer (exact dates will follow)


    How to apply

    All MSc. and PhD. students in Biology and related fields are encouraged to apply.

    Please send the following two documents to mavac.info@uni-muenster.de:

    • Most recent CV
    • Proof of enrollment (e.g., PhD contract, "Semesterbescheinigung")


    Application deadline: 04.01.21


  • Funding

    MAVAC is supported by the DAAD through funding provided by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

    Transportation to the Southwestern Research Station as well as accommodation and catering on site will be covered for all students (University of Münster and ASU) who participate in the summer school.


  • MAVAC on social media

    Twitter: @_MAVAC_

    Instagram: @__mavac__