EVEREST: Evolution and Ecology Research School Tübingen

The graduate programme EVEREST offers doctoral students interdisciplinary education in evolution and ecology. It promotes the scientific independence of participating students, facilitates the acquisition of key qualifications for research and career planning, and enhances networking options within and beyond Tübingen. Supervision by individual Thesis Advisory Committees (TAC) and evaluation by an External Advisory Board guarantee the quality of training within EVEREST.

EVEREST news

Conference: Meeting StEvE 2018 a great success

11 Dec 2018 ► The Tübingen Meeting of Students in Evolution and Ecology (Meeting StEvE) 2018 has taken place on 23 Nov. With approx. 90 participants, a highly diverse program of oral and poster presentations spanning the fully range of evolutionary research in Tübingen, a remarkable Hilgendorf lecture on the human ancient past, and an excellent networking evening event, this event has once more been a great success. Thank you to the organisers from the Paleoanthroplogy group!

PhD defence: Eleanor Gibson-Forty

19 Nov 2018 ► Eleanor Gibson-Forty has successfully defended her PhD project on 'Intraspecific variation in plant-animal interactions of the Brassicaceae family along a steep rainfall gradient in the Eastern Mediterranean Basin'.

Congratulations!

Publication: New evidence for male mate choice based on visual cues

16 Nov 2018 ► Male (vs. female) mate choice remains an understudied phenomenon. Using mate preference trials, EVEREST student Deike Lüdtke and Katharina Foerster from the Comparative Zoology group found that male Alpine newts, Ichthyosaura alpestris, spend more time courting colourful, large females as well as less colourful but responsive females (Animal Behaviour). These findings stress the need to consider multiple cues and female compensation mechanisms when investigating male mate choice.

Publication: No support for the "dangerous life" stereotype in Neanderthals

15 Nov 2018 ► Using a quantitative meta-analysis, EVEREST student Judith Beier and co-workers from Paleoanthropology and Animal Evolutionary Ecology refute the previous hypothesis that Neanderthals, compared to Upper Paleolithic modern humans, experienced more traumatic cranial injuries (Nature). The view that violent social interactions and close-range hunting characterised an exceptionally harsh Neanderthal lifestyle thus needs reconsideration. > Uni Tübingen press release  

PhD retreat: Report and pictures of the 2018 event

15 Nov 2018 ► Laura Limmer and Nina von Schepdael provide a summary of this year's EVEREST PhD retreat into the northern Vosges mountain range. Find details on the events webpage.

Publication: Precision, not brute force in Neanderthals hand use

28 Sep 2018 ► Using a novel 3D method to precisely analyzing manual muscle attachments, EVEREST alumni Alexandros Karakostis and coworkers now  provide evidence of habitual precision grasping in Neanderthal hand bones (Science Advances). Rejecting the previous hypothesis that Neanderthal daily activities relied mainly on brute grip force, these findings agree with recent archaeological indications that indicate a more complex Neanderthal culture than held for long. Check out the video from Science magazine that nicely illustrates these new finds!

Hilgendorf Lecture: Semester program 2018-19

25 Sep 2018 ► With the winter semester approaching, EVEREST again offers a series of high profile lectures with international guest speakers, this time with a focus on evolutionarly phenomena revealed by paleobiological and pleontological approaches. Dates, times and topics are all on the lecture series website.

Publication: Osteological basis for sexual size dimorphism SSD

10 Sep 2018 ► While SSD is typically studied on external morphology only, EVEREST PhD student Peter Pogoda established novel osteologcial methods based on high-resolution micro Computer Tomography to seek the origin of sexual dimorphism in a terrestrial salamander. His comprehensive multivariate analysis (J. Morphol.) may help us understand the evolution of male and female morphology in a phylogenetic context.

Conference: Registration open for Meeting StEvE 2018

10 Sep 2018 ► The yearly Meeting of Tübingen Students in Evolution and Ecology (Meeting StEvE) takes place on Friday 23 Nov 2018. Please browse the meeting website to find details on conference organisation and registration.

PhD defence: Maria Spyrou

25 Jul 2018 ► Maria Spyrou has successfully defended her PhD on the evolutionary history of plague as revealed through the analysis of ancient Yersinia pestis genomes (publications 1 and 2). Her work helps clarifying the origin and spread of the disease in ancient Eurasia, and demonstrates the low genetic diversity in the bacterium during Black Death outbreaks prior to its regional extinction. Congratulations!

Conference: Registration open for Phylogenetic Symposium 2018

25 Jul 2018 ► This years "Phylogenetisches Symposium" will be hosted by Ingmar Werneburg (Senckenberg Center) and Oliver Betz (Evolutionary Biology of Invertebrates) at the University of Tübingen. Registration is now open - please check the meeting website.

PhD Defence: Clara Nesongano

16 Jul 2018 ► Clara Nesongano of the Plant Ecology group has successfully defended her PhD project on effects of climate change, land-use and elevated CO2 on tree-grass interactions in southern African savannas. Congratulations!

Second EVEREST BBQ

14 June 2018 ► More than 30 PhD students and faculty participated in this year's EVEREST BBQ on Tübingen castle's eastern Bastion.
A warm thank you to Alexandros Karakostis and his team for organizing this relaxed event, and Nick Conard for hosting us!

PhD defence: Alexander Peltzer has graduated

20 May 2018 ► EVEREST PhD student Alexander Peltzer successfully defended his PhD project in bioinformatics and palaeogenetics. Alexander developed novel computational methods for the analysis of ancient DNA, and co-authored an automated reconstruction software for genome sequence (EAGER) now successfully applied to challenging cases such as Egyptian mummies. Congratulations!

EVEREST news

16 Jul 2018

PhD Defence: Clara Nesongano

Clara Nesongano of the Plant Ecology group successfully defended her PhD project on effects of climate change, land-use and elevated CO2 on tree-grass interactions in southern African savannas.

Congratulations!

14 June 2018

Second EVEREST BBQ

More than 30 PhD students and faculty participated in this year's EVEREST BBQ on Tübingen castle's eastern Bastion.

A warm thank you to Alexandros Karakostis and his team for organizing this relaxed event, and Nick Conard for hosting us!

23 May 2018

PhD defence: Alexander Peltzer has graduated

EVEREST PhD student Alexander Peltzer successfully defended his PhD project in bioinformatics and palaeogenetics. Alexander developed novel computational methods for the analysis of ancient DNA, and co-authored an automated reconstruction software for genome sequence (EAGER) now successfully applied to challenging cases such as Egyptian mummies. Moreover, Alexander contributed to the establishment of standardized handling and management of palaeogenetics data.

We congratulate him again on his graduation!

09 May 2018

Publication: Daytime eyeshine contributes to pupil camouflage in a marine fish

Eyeshine from ocular reflectors behind the retina enhances eye sensitivity in dim light, e.g. in cat pupils at night. Some cryptice fish families exhibit eyeshine only during the day, forgoing this option. Using field underwater spectroradiometry and visual modelling, Matteo Santon et al. (Sci Reports) describe a vertebrate that features daytime eyeshine to reduce the conspicuousness of its large unobstructed pupils to the perspective of a prey species. This mechanism likely optimises the trade-off between camouflage and vision.

25 Apr 2018

Workshop: open source software in morphology

End of September (24.09.-28.09.2018) a workshop by the Morphology Group of the German Zoological Society (DZG) entitled "Application of Open source software packages for processing and analysis of morphological datasets" will be organized by Stefan Fischer (Evolutionary Biology of Invertebrates group) in Tübingen. Registration and agenda (german).

18 Apr 2018

EVE seminar: Updated program SoSe 2018

We have updated the schedule for the Evolution and Ecology (EVE) seminar series in the summer semester 2018. Presentations take place every Tuesday at 12:00 (st!) in lecture hall N12 (Auf der Morgenstelle 28). For exceptions and program details check the EVE seminar pages or follow @EvE_seminars on Twitter.

11 Apr 2018

Hilgendorf lecture program SoSe 2018

We have updated the schedule for the Hilgendorf Lecture series in summer 2018. Please check details on our three internationally reknown speakers and their talks spanning from human evolution to metacommunity ecology.

13 Feb 2018

PhD defence: Alexandros Karakostis has graduated

Everest PhD student Alexandros Fotios Karakostis successfully defended his PhD project. He demonstrated that morphometric traits among hand entheses reliably reflect two main types of manual occupation, precise versus powerful grips. His approach to a highly debated topic offers promising application to paleoanthropology and forensic anthropology. Despite an exceptionally short PhD phase (2 years), Alexandros already published the majority of his findings (Am. J. Phys. Anthrop. A, B, Swiss Gen. J.). Congratulations!

14 Dec 2017

Publication: Retinal anatomy and fish vision

Environment and lifestyle exert selective pressure on, and shape the evolution of, visual systems. Eye anatomy thus often reveals specialisations to ecological niches and light environments. Roland Fritsch et al. (Front. Neuro-anatomy) analysed retinal anatomy of the benthic Mediterranean fish Tripterygion delaisi using retinal wholemounts and histology. The spatial distri-bution, patterns, and density of photoreceptors and retinal ganglion cells revealed a pronounced fovea and other adaptations to a micro-predatory and cryptobenthic lifestyle.

10 Nov 2017

Meeting StEvE 2017 with 80 participants

More than 80 students and scientists attended this year's Meeting of Students in Evolution and Ecology (StEvE) in Tübingen, hosted by the Plant Evolutionary Ecology group. Please find a short summary and pictures on StEvE pages.
12 Oct 2017

PhD retreat 2017 a big success

16 EVEREST PhD students participated in this year's PhD retreat. The event took place at the picturesque Burg Derneck on the Swabian Alb, and included guided tours to the former military training area near Münsingen and the stalactite cave Bärenhöhle.

Check the full report.

05 Oct 2017

Conference poster award to Judith Beier

EVEREST student Judith Beier has been awarded the Student Poster Prize at the 7th Annual Meeting of the European Society for the Study of Human Evolution (ESHE) held in Leiden, Netherlands. Her poster presented the first comprehensive and quantitative analysis of "Skull trauma probabilities in Neanderthals and Upper Paleolithic modern humans", representing an important indicator for reconstructions of paleolithic lifestyles.

13 Sep 2017

Hilgendorf Lecture program WS 2017/18

We have updated the schedule for the Hilgendorf Lecture series in winter 2017/18. Please check details on our four internationally reknown speakers and their talks spanning from paleoanthropology and human evolution to pitfalls when experimentally studying traces of sexual and natural selection.