Journal Club - Spring Term 2010

The Journal Club takes place every Tuesday during term, from 11:15-12:00, in the seminar room of the Zoological Institute (Vesalgasse 1, first floor). For questions regarding this seminar please contact Dieter Ebert (after 9. March Walter Salzburger) or the corresponding moderator.

Date Paper Moderator Presenter
2. March 2010 Introduction Dieter Ebert -
9. March 2010 Jacobus C. de Roode, Andrew J. Yates & Sonia Altizer. 2008. Virulence-transmission trade-offs and population divergence in virulence in a naturally occurring butterfly parasite. PNAS Dieter Ebert Pepijn Luijckx
16. March 2010 Litvinova et al. 2010, Female Scent Signals Enhance the Resistance of Male Mice to Influenza. PLoS one Vol.5 e9473 Daniel Berner David Duneau
23. March 2010 Diggle, S.P., Griffin, A.S., Campbell, G.S., West, S.A. 2007. Cooperation and conflict in quorum-sensing bacterial populations. Nature, vol 450 Walter Salzburger Cesar Metzger
30. March 2010 Martin J. Whiting, Jonathan K. Webb and J. Scott Keogh, 2009. Flat lizard female mimics use sexual deception in visual but not chemical signals Daniel Berner Marta Wastavino
6. April 2010 NO JOURNAL CLUB - -
13. April 2010 Claus Wedekind, Alain Jacob, Guillaume Evanno, Sebastien Nussle and Rudolf Muller, 2008. Viability of brown trout embryos positively linked to melanin-based but negatively to carotenoid-based colours of their fathers Walter Salzburger Lucas Marie-Orleach
20. April 2010 Genomic Hotspots for Adaptation: The Population Genetics of Müllerian Mimicry in Heliconius erato Walter Salzburger Laura Baldo
27. April 2010 Multiple reciprocal adaptations and rapid genetic change upon experimental coevolution of an animal host and its microbial parasite Walter Salzburger Elham Sheikhjabbari
4. May 2010 Why birds eat colourful grit: colour preferences revealed by the colour of gizzard stones Walter Salzburger Ludwig Ruder
11. May 2010 Experimental evolution of a sexually selected display in yeast Walter Salzburger Roberto Arbore
18. May 2010 A Retrotransposon-mediated gene duplication underlies morphological variation of tomato fruit Walter Salzburger Niklaus Mehring
25. May 2010 Introduction of foreign DNA into the water flea, Daphnia magna, by electroporation Walter Salzburger César Metzger
1. June 2010 Heg D, Taborsky M (2010) Helper Response to Experimentally Manipulated Predation Risk in the Cooperatively Breeding Cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher. PLoS ONE 5(5): e10784. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010784 Walter Salzburger ?

How it works:

The way the course works is that every time we meet one of the participants will present a scientific paper from primary literature. He or she will give a short overview (max. 15 minutes) of the content of the paper with special attention to: background for understanding the question at hand, experimental approaches and details, results and conclusions as well as evaluation of the merits/shortcomings of the research. The other participants should have read the paper in order to engage in discussion afterwards.

In order to receive the 2 KPs for this course the participants have to present a paper during the Seminar and write a short (about 2-3 pages) summary of the article, focussing on the following aspects:

(1) Background - What do we know ?
(2) Question - What was the question tackled by researchers in this paper?
(3) Material and Methods - What was the main experimental approach?
(4) Results and Discussion - What are the main results and conclusions presented in the paper?
(5) Group Discussion Summary - Did we agree with the conclusions? What did we learn? What was good and what would we do different? What would be interesting subsequent experiments?

The presenter is basically free to select any paper he would like to discuss with the limitation that the paper be focussed on the general field of evolution and that it be from a peer-reviewed journal. The paper should not be too old and shorter papers with a simple message are preferable. The presenter has to announce the selected paper and send me ( (after 9. March to Walter Salzburger) a copy of the paper (pdf, print out, or link) at least a week before the presentation. The pdf document will be provided on this website and can be downloaded by clicking on the title. Al discussions wil be in English.


The Journal Club allows you to learn an important skill for a scientist, namely to critically evaluate publications in the primary scientific literature. Why is a study interesting? Is it experimentally well performed and analyzed correctly? Are the conclusions justified or do the authors over-interpret their findings? Questions such as these are often not easy to answer for beginning scientists, but they will guide us to a better understanding of the studies and developing a scientific sensitivity.

I am looking forward to welcoming you to an interesting Journal Club!

Previous Journal Clubs: