Welcome to Marco!

We’re welcoming our new PhD student Marco, who will be studying the fitness landscape of abnormal centriole numbers is cancer cell populations, co-supervised by Mónica Bettencourt Dias from the Cell Cycle Regulation lab at IGC.

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Welcome to Mark and Alexandre!

The last couple of weeks have been so busy that I am only now catching up with posting our lab news, including welcoming our two new lab members, Mark and Alexandre. Mark is a biochemist who will be visiting the lab during the next few months for an exchange about the evolutionary versus biochemical implications of empirical fitness landscapes. Alexandre has joined us as a postdoc; he is an evolutionary modeler who is particularly interested in the role of Dobzhansky-Muller incompatibilities in speciation and hybridization.

Training course in November – apply now!

Registration is now open for a training course in evolutionary modeling in the framework of the GTPB, which will take place at the IGC in November (make sure to allow some extra days for sightseeing and surfing). Below is a description of the course, or read the extended version (and apply quickly – there are only 20 spots!) here.

Applied Evolutionary Theory
A hands-on introduction to creating and analyzing models of evolution

with Claudia Bank (IGC), Rafael Guerrero (Indiana University) and Stephan Peischl (University of Bern)

For many of its history, our knowledge of evolution has been based heavily on theoretical models and hypotheses. In the age of novel experimental and technological approaches, we are now increasingly able to evaluate this theory; however, the basics of how and why to develop and analyse a simple model are often forgotten in the process of NGS analysis. This course aims at training evolutionary biologists in classical modelling and teach them ways to approach their own research questions through evolutionary theory.

Primarily through interactive hands-on sessions, complemented by an introduction to the cornerstones of modelling and its application to data analysis, this course will familiarize the participants with ways of approaching a research question with a simple model, and different strategies at gaining insight from the model. In groups of two, course participants will develop and analyse their own toy model in the course and present their findings to the group on the last day.

Topics that will be covered in the course include the following:

Why and how are models useful?
How to write down/develop a model
How simple/complicated should a model be?
Which modelling approach/programming language should I use for my question?
How to nail down a question with a model
Extracting results from an equation/simulation
How to evaluate a model using empirical data

Participants can use their preferred programming language during the hands-on sessions, and free access to Wolfram Mathematica will be provided. The instructors have modelling experience using Mathematica, R, Python, and C++.