Paper of the week: Mike Majerus and peppered moths

This week’s paper of the week describes Mike Majerus’ last experiments on predation as an agent of natural selection in the peppered moth. It is terrific to see this work published, both in terms of the scepticism that had arisen over the causes of the changes in frequencies of the melanic morph, and as a lasting memorial of Mike. That the data were collected at his home, where many a convivial evening was had, is just wonderful. Thanks to all the authors.

Cook et al (2012) Selective bird predation on the peppered moth: the last experiment of Michael Majerus Biology Letters 8: 609-612

Paper of the week: pick up a penguin

This week’s paper of the week hit the headlines a few weeks back, but still deserves a mention, highlighting as it does the problems scientists can have with the sexual exploits of animals (including humans).

Russell et al (2012) Dr. George Murray Levick (1876–1956): unpublished notes on the sexual habits of the Adélie penguin Polar Record in press

Congratulations Dr Watt

Rebekah successfully passed her PhD viva on Monday – well done! The big, bad world of non-academic science beckons, at least for now, so good luck and very best wishes for the future, from all the group. Nice one.

Post-doc opportunity to be announced soon

We have just heard that our proposal “The genetics and genomics of adaptive sex ratio behaviour” will be funded by NERC. We are still waiting for the final financial details but will be adverstising for a post-doctoral research associate shortly. The project will explore the genetic basis of sex ratio variation in the wasp Nasonia vitripennis, using traditonal genetic as well as next-generation sequencing techniques. More information to follow shortly.