The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Tobias Uller receives Tage Erlander’s Prize

6 December 2018


Congratulations to Professor Tobias Uller, winner of the 2018 Tage Erlander’s Prize for research in Natural Sciences and Technology (Biology). The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards the Biology prize once every four years. This year, they recognized Tobias Uller for “his studies within evolutionary biology, particularly phenotypic plasticity”. The prize is 275,000 Swedish kronor; 200,000 kr for research and 75,000 kr to organize a workshop.

Andy Gardner research group banner

PhD position available: Theory of social evolution

10 October 2018


Professors Andy Gardner and Graeme Ruxton invite applications for a funded PhD position: Theory of social evolution: cooperation and conflict at multiple levels of biological organization. The successful student will join the research group of Prof Andy Gardner in the School of Biology, University of St Andrews. The position is suitable for a biology graduate who has a strong interest in social evolution theory, or an economics/mathematics/philosophy/physics graduate with a strong interest in social behavior. (UK/EU students only).


Application deadline: 2 December 2018
More information: Position advertisement

estuary fieldwork

Vacancy: Research technician position

20 September 2018


Looking for a research technician position? Why not join the Sediment Ecology Research Group (aka ‘The Mud Lab’) at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, working with Prof David Paterson and Dr Adam Wyness. The main purpose of the role is to support the work of the laboratory and the design and running of experiments using laboratory benthic mesocosms, flume system and fieldwork. Incubation of bacteria, diatoms and handling of benthic infauna will be required but training can be given.


Application deadline: 28 September 2018
More information: Position advertisement
EES research project: Niche construction and evolutionary diversity in experimental marine microbial communities

Evolution Evolving conference poster

Conference registration now open: Evolution Evolving

9 July 2018


We are hosting an international conference in Cambridge UK, 1-4 April 2019, as a grand finale of the John Templeton Foundation grant supporting this research program. The Evolution Evolving: Process, Mechanism and Theory conference will focus on emerging themes in the relationship between development and evolution. Topics include the evolutionary causes and consequences of developmental bias, plasticity, niche construction and extra-genetic inheritance – all of which contribute to an understanding of evolvability. The conference will feature a balanced program of talks and poster sessions spanning three days, and be a mix of empirical and theoretical work, as well as contributions to the history and philosophy of evolutionary biology.


The organizing committee of Paul Brakefield, Kevin Laland, Tobias Uller, Katrina Falkenberg & Andrew Buskell are happy to announce that registration is now open and invite you to submit an abstract for consideration.


Abstract deadline: 1 December 2018
Early bird registration deadline: 4 January 2019
More information: conference website

Jasmeen Kanwal presenting her research at the Soapbox Science festival

Public engagment with evolutionary biology research

1 June 2018


Postdoctoral researcher Jasmeen Kanwal entertained the public with her research on the evolution of cooperation in digital organisms with Soapbox Science at the Perth Festival of the Arts last week. The Womanthology blog wrote a nice summary of Jasmeen’s collaboration with artist Audrey Yeo to produce an engaging and interactive show for adults and children alike:


Becoming a ‘complex systems scientist’ to analyse how digital organisms evolve and cooperate
Dr Jasmeen Kanwal, Research Fellow in the School of Biology at the University of St Andrews

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Call for papers: Palgrave Communications special issue ‘Cultural Evolution’

26 March 2018


Palgrave Communications, the open access journal from Palgrave Macmillan (part of Springer Nature), which publishes research across the humanities and social sciences, is currently inviting article proposals and full papers for a research article collection (‘special issue’) on Cultural Evolution. See here for more information.


This collection is being edited by Dr Jamshid Tehrani (Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Durham University, UK). This is a rolling article collection and as such submissions will be welcomed at any point up until the end of March 2019. To register interest prospective authors should submit a short article proposal (abstract summary) to the Editorial Office in the first instance.


Cultural evolution describes how socially learned ideas, rules, and skills are transmitted and change over time, giving rise to diverse forms of social organization, belief systems, languages, technologies and artistic traditions. This research article collection will showcase cutting-edge research into cultural evolution, bringing together contributions that reflect the interdisciplinary scope of this rapidly growing field, as well as the diversity of topics and approaches within it.


Quantitative and qualitative research from a range of perspectives and disciplines is welcomed, including: archaeology, anthropology, complex network analysis, economics, history, linguistics, medical humanities, politics, psychology, philosophy, and religious studies.

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Vacancy: Postdoc position on conception of biological identity

13 March 2018


The University of Bordeaux and the CNRS seek candidates for a two-year postdoctoral position in Philosophy of Biology and/or Philosophy of Medicine and/or Conceptual/theoretical Biology, in the context of Thomas Pradeu’s ERC Starting Grant project, “Immunity, Development and the Microbiota: Understanding the Continuous Construction of Biological Identity” (IDEM, ERC#637647, 2015-2020).


The topic can be anything related to the microbiota, immunology, and/or development, with a strong conceptual, theoretical, and/or philosophical dimension.


More information:
Position advertisement
Immunoconcept Laboratory website
Institute for Philosophy in Biology and Medicine website

journal front cover

Bridging Cultural Gaps: Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Cultural Evolution Theme Issue

12 February 2018


The latest issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B published today, is a theme issue, entitled “Bridging cultural gaps: Interdisciplinary studies in human cultural evolution“. The issue was compiled and edited by Oren Kolodny, Marcus W. Feldman and Nicole Creanza


Introductory comments from the editors:
The papers in this theme issue demonstrate that the study of cultural evolution is broadly relevant across many disciplines and that numerous fields can also shed new light on cultural evolution. Each article integrates the study of cultural evolution with the perspective of one or more other disciplines, bridging gaps between fields in ways that yield new insights.

27 Positions Available: Niche Choice, Niche Conformance, Niche Construction (NC3)

14 December 2017


A collaborative research centre (SFB) has recently been funded by the German Research Foundation for the period 2018 to 2021 to produce a conceptual and empirical synthesis of individualisation across behaviour, ecology and evolution. As part of this collaborative research centre, a total of 9 Postdoc positions (E13), 16 PhD positions (E13/65%) and 2 half-time technician positions (E9/50%) are available at Bielefeld University, the University of Münster and the University of Jena from 1st of February 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter across 19 Projects.


Project descriptions and contacts

Theme issue front cover

Process and Pattern in Innovations from Cells to Societies Theme Issue

31 October 2017


The latest issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B is a theme issue, entitled “Process and pattern in innovations from cells to societies“, published online on 23 October 2017. The issue was compiled and edited by Michael Hochberg, Pablo Marquet, Robert Boyd and Andreas Wagner.


Introductory comments from the editors:
Innovations are generally unexpected, often spectacular changes in phenotypes and ecological functions. The contributions to this theme issue are the latest conceptual, theoretical and experimental developments, addressing how ecology, environment, ontogeny and evolution are central to understanding the complexity of the processes underlying innovations.

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