Abstracts (first author)


The genomic architecture of morphological, life history and fitness traits in two long term wild populations of great tits (Parus major) - can we find evidence for genes of major effect?

Author(s): Santure A, DeCauwer I, Poissant J, Robinson MR, Visser ME, VanOers K, Groenen MAM, Sheldon BC, Slate J


Currently there is much debate, yet relatively little empirical data, on the nature of genetic architecture of quantitative traits in wild populations. Where is additive genetic variation located in the genome? Is trait variation influenced by many genes of small effect distributed throughout the genome, or by a few genes of major effect? Do the same loci cause phenotypic variation in different populations? Great tits (Parus major) have been studied extensively in long-term studies across Europe, and are consequently considered an ecological 'model organism'. Recently, a large number of genomic resources have been developed for the great tit, including a genetic linkage map with 5,500 SNPs. In this study, we use three different marker-based approaches (partitioning of additive genetic variance across genomic regions, pedigree-based quantitative trait locus mapping and genome wide association scans) to investigate the genetic architecture of morphological, life history and fitness traits in two long-term study populations of great tit - one in The Netherlands, and the other in the United Kingdom. We demonstrate that for most quantitative traits there is little evidence of genes of major effect, and that the two populations share very similar genomic architectures.


Abstracts (coauthor)

Fewer invited talks by women in evolutionary biology: men accept invitations to speak more often than women

Author(s): Dugdale, HL, Schroeder J, Radersma R, Hinsch M, Buehler DM, Saul J, Porter L, Liker A, De Cauwer I, Johnson PJ, Santure AW, Griffin AS, Bolund E, Ross L, Webb TJ, Feulner PGD, Winney I, Szulkin M, Komdeur J, Versteegh MA, Hemelrijk CK, Svensson EI, Edwards H, Karlsson M, West SA, Barrett ELB, Richardson DS, Van den Brink V, Wimpenny JH, Ellwood SA, Rees M, Matson KD, Charmantier A, Dos Remedios N, Schneider NA, Teplitsky C, Laurance WF, Butlin RK, Horrocks NP


Lower ‘visibility’ of female scientists, compared to male scientists, is a potential reason for the under-representation of women among senior academic ranks. Visibility in the scientific community stems partly from presenting research as an invited speaker at organised meetings. We analysed the sex ratio of presenters at the European Society for Evolutionary Biology Congress 2011, where all abstract submissions were accepted for presentation. Women were under-represented among invited speakers at symposia (15% women) compared to all presenters (46%), regular oral presenters (41%) and plenary speakers (25%). At the ESEB congresses in 2001–2011, 8–23% of invited speakers were women. This under-representation of women is partly attributable to a larger proportion of women, than men, declining invitations: in 2011, 50% of women declined an invitation to speak compared to 26% of men. We expect invited speakers to be senior scientists or authors of recent papers in high-impact journals. Considering all invited speakers (including declined invitations), 23% were women. This was lower than the baseline sex ratios of early–mid career stage scientists, but was similar to senior scientists and authors published in high-impact journals. High-quality science by women therefore has low exposure at international meetings, which will constrain Evolutionary Biology from reaching its full potential. We wish to highlight the wider implications of turning down invitations to speak. In particular, under-representation of women among invited speakers reduces the number of female role models for evolutionary biology students and contributes to the leaky pipeline. We encourage conference organisers to implement steps to increase acceptance rates of invited talks.

How social structure affects gene flow in a wild passerine population

Author(s): Radersma, R, Garroway CJ, Santure AW, De Cauwer I, Slate J, Sheldon BC


Gene flow is strongly affected by the spatial distribution of individuals, the variability of the physical environment and social processes such as dispersal, resource competition and territoriality. Here we investigate the contributions of those forces to gene flow in foraging flocks of great tits (Parus major) for three consecutive winters. We used a total of 85602 visits of flocks to 60 feeding tables which recorded the identity of 1711 birds by radio frequency identification technology. Of those birds 962 were genotyped based on 4701 autosomal single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). For 87% of the visits we were able to genotype at least one individual. We used asymmetric eigenvector maps (AEMs) to partition the contributions of space and social structure to the allele frequencies of all 4701 SNPS in the feeding flocks while taking the previous positions of individuals into account. We were able to explain 58% of the variance in allele frequencies with AEMs. This study shows that space and social structure have a substantial effect on the distribution of alleles over subpopulations and therefore on gene flow. To our knowledge this is the first study to investigate the effect of social structure and space to gene flow at such a fine scale while accounting for previous location of the individuals. Therefore it contributes to the understanding of how social behaviour affects evolution. Next we will extract Moran’s eigenvector maps (MEMs) for the spatial locations of feeding tables and use partial redundancy analysis (AEMs as explanatory variables while controlling for MEMs) to investigate how social structure affects allele frequencies, while controlling for space. We will use variance partitioning to quantify the relative contributions of space and social structure, determine which alleles have large effects on the AEMs and check whether those alleles are in linkage disequilibrium with candidate genes or are known to correlate to environmental variables.


Chairman: Octávio S. Paulo
Tel: 00 351 217500614 direct
Tel: 00 351 217500000 ext22359
Fax: 00 351 217500028
email: mail@eseb2013.com


XIV Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology

Organization Team
Department of Animal Biology (DBA)
Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon
P-1749-016 Lisbon


Computational Biology & Population Genomics Group