© WWU - MGSE

Workshop on Social Immunity

Social Immunity Group
© MGSE/WWU

On 13 and 14 February 2020, the MGSE hosted a workshop on "The Evolution of Social Immunity" with ETT fellow Barbara Milutinovic. The workshop started on Thursday with three keynote talks by invited speakers Peter Biedermann (University of Würzburg), Dino McMahon (Freie Universität Berlin), and Chris Pull (Royal Holloway University London, UK). On Friday morning, the participants discussed the concepts of social immunity and superorganisms.

Successful Workshop on the Evolution of Reproductive Traits

2020-02-05 Reproductive Traits Workshop
© WWU/MGSE

On 5 February 2020, the MGSE hosted a workshop on "The Evolution of Reproductive Traits" with ETT fellow Geoff Findlay. Geoff opened the workshop with a talk on the role of de novo genes in male reproduction in Drosophila. Clelia Gasparini (University of Padova, Italy) and Steve Ramm (Bielefeld University) joined the workshop for keynote talks on postmating sexual selection in guppies and zebra fish and sex allocation and sexual conflict in hermaphroditic flatworms. In the afternoon, the students drafted research questions and a short proposal how to answer these and discussed them with the speakers.

MGSE welcomes two new ETT fellows

Barbara Milutinović and Geoff Findlay joined the MGSE as ETT fellows on 16 January 2020.

Barbara will be here until February 23, 2020. She comes to the MGSE from Vienna, Austria where she is currently finishing her postdoctoral research at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria in the group of Sylvia Cremer. Barbara is working on host - pathogen interactions, with specific interest in co-evolutionary adaptations and the evolution of pathogen virulence. She is using solitary and social insect models to study various aspects of physiological (e.g., response to infection, immune priming/vaccination) and behavioural host defences and their impact on pathogen prevalence and evolution. She is also experienced in experimental evolution, so please feel free to contact Barbara if you want to talk about this painful process or anything else concerning infection biology and host-pathogen adaptations. Her email address is barbara.milutinovic(@)ist.ac.at. Barbara will host a workshop on 13 & 14 February 2020 on “Social immunity”.

Geoff is a visiting ETT fellow who will be in Münster through 14 February. He is an Associate Professor currently on sabbatical from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA. His research focuses on the function and evolution of reproductive proteins in Drosophila melanogaster. As a graduate student and postdoc, he studied male seminal fluid proteins and their interacting partners in females. His lab at Holy Cross uses a combination of functional genetics and molecular evolution to investigate how de novo evolved genes can become essential for male spermatogenesis. Geoff looks forward to learning more about the research going on at the MSGE and is eager to meet with graduate students, postdocs and faculty during his stay. He can be reached at gfindlay(@)holycross.edu. Geoff will give a talk in the IEB seminar on 28 January 2020 on “Evolutionary, Genomic and Genetic Analyses of Drosophila Seminal Fluid Proteins” and host a workshop on “The Evolution of Reproductive Traits” on 5 February 2020.

The new Eyebrow is out!

The newest issue of The Eyebrow – the student magazine for and by PhD students of the MGSE and associated labs - has just arrived fresh from the printer! This issue's main theme is extinction - as usual explored form many different angles: poetry, artwork, scientific articles as well as fiction. This issue also features interviews with former ETT fellows Sara Brownell and Jack Werren, who visited the MGSE last year. Copies are available in Hüfferstr. 1a or from Simo Errbii in room 214 in the Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity and will also be distributed to all MGSE institutes. If you like to stay updated on The Eyebrow or are interested in contributing, follow The Eyebrow on Twitter or visit the website of the magazine.