EES Conference 2012
Welcome to the 2012 EES Conference
Dates: October 4-5, 2012
Location: LMU Biozentrum in Martinsried
The conference poster is available for download here.
The program for this year's conference is now online! Please scroll down to see details.
This year's annual EES conference will be taking place on 4th and 5th October at the LMU Biozentrum located in Martinried. Everybody interested in the fields of Evolution, Ecology and Systematics is invited to attend. Two key note speakers will give insights into their research and graduating EES Master's and PhD students have the chance to present their work in short talks. Furthermore, there will be a poster session from EES Master's students who just completed their first year in the program. The conference will also be the occasion to welcome the new students of the EES Master's program and hold the graduation ceremony for the fourth cohort of EES Master's students. Additionally, we will again award the EES Young Researcher Prizes for the best Master's and PhD talks as well as the best Master's poster.
You can apply for this year's EES Young Researcher Prizes in Evolution, Ecology and Systematics until September 1. Eligible for the €500 prize for the best PhD talk are students who graduated between August 1, 2011 and September 2, 2012 or are in their final year (started before October 1, 2010). Graduating EES Master's students are eligible to apply for the best Master's thesis talk and win €300 and second semester EES students are invited to submit a poster and win the best poster prize of €100. Talks should be about 10-15 min long.
So use your chance and tell everybody about the exciting research you have done!
How to apply: Please send a brief CV, an abstract of your talk or poster and a short statement from your supervisor comfirming your eligibility to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 1.
Key Note Speakers
Dustin J. Penn
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Chair of the Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology, Department of Integrative Biology and Evolution, Savoyenstraße 1a, 1160 Vienna, Austria. Dustin.Penn@vetmeduni.ac.at [Homepage]
Evolution of MHC Polymorphisms
I have broad interests in behavioral and evolutionary biology. I mainly work with house mice and I collaborate with students and other scientists who work on fish, birds, and other taxa, including humans. I am also interested in conservation biology, and better understanding why humans create environmental and conservation problems.
- Sexual selection and sexual conflict
- Kin recognition and inbreeding
- Host-parasite interactions
- Life-History tradeoffs
- MHC and other genetic polymorphisms
- Chemosensory communication
- Conservation biology
The genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are highly polymorphic loci, but it has been difficult to understand how selection maintains such high levels of diversity. MHC genes encode cell-surface glycoproteins (class I and II molecules) that control immune self/nonself recognition. MHC influence resistance to a wide array of infectious diseases, and therefore, it is generally assumed that MHC polymorphisms are maintained by parasite-mediated selection. A non-mutually exclusive hypothesis suggests that MHC polymorphisms are maintained through sexual selection (disassortative mating preferences). MHC genes influence individual odor, though the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. MHC-mediated mating preferences potentially function to enhance offspring disease resistance. I will provide a general overview of the parasite-mediated and sexual selection hypotheses and the supporting evidence particularly from studies on house mice.
Technical University Darmstadt, Synthetic Ecological Networks, Schnittspahnstraße 3, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany. email@example.com [Homepage]
Species Interaction Networks: Linking Biodiversity, Functioning and Stability
How do ecosystems work, and why is biodiversity important for ecosystem functioning? These are the core questions behind our research. Our group tries to understand the mechanisms underlying the structure of ecological networks and its functional consequences, using a combination of empirical field observations, chemical analyses, experiments and modelling. We compare a broad spectrum of systems, including plant-pollinator, plant-herbivore, host-parasitoid and dung-beetle networks, as well as associations between nestmates or different species of social insects. Our studies relate natural and disturbed ecosystems in central Europe but also in tropical rainforests where biodiversity is particularly striking. The most important ecosystem risks that we target in our work are climate change, land use and biological invasions.
Species interaction networks and food webs have become a popular topic in community ecology. With recent advances in network analyses and improved quantitative data, we have overcome severe limitations of earlier work and are currently moving towards more realistic predictions about ecosystem consequences – the stability of ecosystem functions performed by the species in the network.
I will highlight the importance of specialization and functional ‘redundancy’ that can be visualized in plant-animal interaction networks: (1) Specialization is a risk, given that specialists are more vulnerable to disturbances of their resources. One reason for flower visitors to become specialized is the flower scent that is often repellent rather than attractive to a number of consumers. Consequences of such repellence (and the lack of it, seen in the flora of Hawaii) as well as other flower traits are discussed. (2) Redundancy is the diversity of species performing the same function and represents an insurance of a system against disturbances. Higher redundancy generally implies a higher functional stability. One mechanism is known as the ‘portfolio effect’. For each function displayed by the network, higher redundancy may derive from (1) higher population densities, (2) higher overall diversity and (3) higher generalisation of the functional performers. We show that all three factors may be involved to explain losses in redundancy following ecosystem disturbance by land use. If losses in redundancy translate into a more narrow tolerance of environmental stress (lower ‘response diversity’), the synergistic effect of habitat degradation and climate change represents a serious thread for ecosystem functioning in the future. I will illustrate these issues with recent studies on plant-pollinator and plant-frugivore interactions under land use stress.
The program of the 2012 conference can be downloaded here.
Please note that the program may be subject to minor changes.
09:30 - 09:45 Opening Words
09:45 - 10:45 PhD Session 1
10:45 - 11:00 Coffee
11:00 - 12:00 Poster Announcements
12:00 - 12:45 Lunch
12:45 - 13:30 Poster Session & Coffee
13:30 - 14:30 Keynote Talk by Nico Blüthgen
14:30 - 14:45 Coffee
14:45 - 15:45 PhD Session 2
15:45 - 16:45 EES Faculty Meeting
09:30 - 10:30 Keynote Talk by Dustin Penn
10:30 - 10:45 Coffee
10:45 - 12:00 Master Session 1
12:00 - 13:00 Lunch
13:00 - 14:00 Master Session 2
14:00 - 14:15 Coffee
14:15 - 15:15 Master Session 3
15:15 - 15:45 Coffee and Prize Committee Meeting
15:45 - 16:45 Graduation and Prize Giving
Ann Kathrin Huylmans
Wolfhard von Thienen
Previous EES Conferences
EES Conference 2011 - the fifth annual EES conference.
EES Conference 2010 - the fourth annual EES conference.
EES Conference 2009 - the third annual EES conference.
EES Conference 2008 - the second annual EES conference.
In 2007 the EES conference took place for the first time. See here for the details and some pictures of the First EES Conference.