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2020

October:

  • Aglaia has been awarded an EMBO short-term fellowhsip that will support her 3 months research visit to Alex Widmer's lab of Plant Ecological Genetics at ETH Zürich. Congratulations!
  • Aglaia gave a talk on "A transcriptomic perspective of adaptation to different altitudes in the Alps" at the virtual Biodiversity Genomics 2020 organized by the Wellcome Sanger Institute.

September:

  • Mimmi joins and is selected to give a talk at the virtual 4th Uppsala Transposon Symposium. She talks about her favorite topic: "Repetitive elements and early stages of polyploid evolution". Ovidiu also joined the conference.
  • Aglaia starts a 3 months visit in the group of Epigenetics of Plants, lead by Daniel Schubert at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.

July:

  • Aglaia, Clara, Gil and Mimmi gave online talks at Botany 2020. Aglaia talked about "An integrative perspective of adaptation to different altitudes in the Alps", Clara about "Comparative genomics approaches as tools to unveil the drivers of evolutionary radiations", Gil on "A target capture approach for exploring the drivers and constraints of adaptive radiation in Tillandsia" and Mimmi about "Repetitive elements and early stages of polyploid evolution". Christina also joined the conference.
  • Ahmad presented the poster "Population genomics reveals remarkable genetic variability in natural stands of a tetraploid Alkanna tinctoria" at the Plant Biology 2020 Worldwide Summit, organized by the American Society of Plant Biologists.

May:

  • Ovidiu gave an invited webinar talk for the Department of Systematics, Biodiversity and Evolution of Plants at the University of Göttingen, Germany: "Macro- and microevolutionary drivers of allopolyploid evolution".

April:

  • Aglaia gave an invited seminar at the Institute of Science and Technology (IST), Klosterneuburg, Austria on "Parallel and adaptive processes during ecotype formation".

2019

December:

  • We all mourn the tragic and suden loss of a great scientist, our colleague and friend, Prof. Christian Lexer. Words have lost their meaning. Our thoughts are with his children and wife, Dr Thelma Barbara. Few in memoriam pieces here, here, here and here.

October:

  • Arezoo Fani defended her MSc thesis on "Gene regulation by small RNAs at different altitudes in Heliosperma pusillum (Caryophyllaceae)". Well done!
  • Ovidiu gave an invited talk at the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics on "Macro- and microevolutionary drivers of allopolyploid evolution".
  • Aglaia, Christina, Mimmi and Ovidiu joined the PhD retreat of the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics at the hut village in Altaussee. We all enjoyed giving seminars to our peers and listening to a lot of inetersting talks.

September:

  • Thomas Wolfe defended his PhD work! He gave an excellent summary of his PhD thesis and had interesting discussions with the examiners, Ortrun Mittelsten Scheid, Simen Sandve and Thomas Rattei. Very well done! Congratulations!
  • A new PhD student has joined the group. Christina Hedderich has a MSc degree from University of Graz (Austria) and a BSc from University of Postdam in Germany. She was accepted as a PhD student in the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics and will work on the role of genomic structural variation in adaptive radiation. Welcome Christina!
  • Also a new MSc student starts working with us. Aljaz Jakob chose to work on the phylogenomics of the exciting radiation of Nicotiana allotetraploids in Australia, following a long distance dispersal from S America.

August:

  • Aglaia was selected to give a presentation on her PhD work at ESEB: "An integrative perspective of adaptation to different altitudes in an alpine plant". The talk was in one of the largest plenary rooms and was very well attended. Congrats!
  • After completing her lab rotation in our group, Anna takes up a MSc project to work with us focusing on population genetics in tetraploid Dactylorhiza. Her plans will include demographic inference and estimation of gene flow rates. This is also a collaboration with Marie Brandrud, that starts from her PhD work. Very happy Anna to have you in the group!

July:

  • Thomas submitted his PhD thesis! It has been reviewed as excellent by no others than Jonathan Wendel (Iowa State University, US) and Simen Sandve (Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Aas, Norway)... Congratulations are in place!
  • An Erasmus+ student from Turkey, Salih Algan, is visiting the group for 3 months. He will work on plant-animal interactions in Heliosperma, in particular together with Aglaia and Ovidiu.

June:

  • Mimmi and Ovidiu present at the International Conference on Polyploidy, Ghent, Belgium. Mimmi spoke about "Transposable elements and early stages of polyploid evolution. A perspective from sibling allopolyploid marsh orchids (Dactylorhiza)". Ovidiu presented "Genomic interactions and their eco-physiological implications for adaptation to soil chemistry in allopolyploid marsh orchids". We also met a lot of old friends and made new ones!
  • Mimmi joins another SMBE satellite meeting on "Identifying barriers to gene flow in the genome", organised at Tjärnö, Sweden. She also gives a flash talk on "Repeated allopolyploidization in Dactylorhiza", and is successful in getting a travel bursary. All great news...
  • Aglaia and Mimmi attended and spoke at the Evolution meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, US. Aglaia presented "An integrated perspective of adaptation to different altitudes in an alpine plant" and Mimmi spoke about "Genome dynamics and evolution after recurrent allopolyploidization in Dactylorhiza". They were both successful in getting partly funded by travel grants from ÖFG.
  • Prof. Mohsen Falahati-Anbaran (University of Tehran, Iran) is visiting till end of November, with funding from the Joint Excellence in Science and Humanities program of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He will work on the population genetics of several hybrid zones of wild tulips. Welcome!

May:

  • We undertook extensive fieldwork to measure photosynthesis and collect environmental data in Dactylorhiza populations across Britain, Pyrenees and the Alps. Anna Hawranek, Rebecca Paun and Lukas Grossfurthner helped during the different trips. We had lots of interesting experiences on the way!

April:

  • As a public outreach event, Aglaia, Mimmi, Anna and Ovidiu explained the core aspects of our research to the visitors of the Rare Plant Fare organised by the Botanical Garden of the University of Vienna. Despite the weather, the Fare welcomed ca 10,000 visitors and our joined booth with the Gregor Mendel Institute was well attended. Great team work!
  • Ovidiu gave a talk at the 3rd UK Plant Evolution meeting on "The drivers of allopolyploid evolution in European marsh orchids".
  • We are happy for Thomas (but also very sad), which took up a new position at the Agricultural University of Vienna, working with Hannes Schuler on the role of Wolbachia horizontal transfers from native to invasive cherry fruit flies species. Good luck with your interesting new project Thomas! And don't be a stranger!

March:

  • Marie publicly defended her PhD thesis today. Elena Conti, Sal Cozzolino and Gerald Schneewiess did a great job as examiners! Congratulations, Marie! And enjoy the S American trip.
  • Our paper on Gymnadenia and Nigritella phylogenetic relationships and polyploid evolution has been accepted for publication in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution on the first submission. Sent directly to production! Amazing... As someone said: "if something is good, it is simply good" :-)
  • Great! Three MSc students have joined our groupfor a short lab rotation: Anna-Sophie Hawranek started quantifying phenotypic plasticity in gene expression in Dactylorhiza allopolyploids using reciprocal transplantations. Aljaz Jakob will work on species tree reconstruction in Nicotiana sect Suaveolentes from Australia, and Michael Wanda will work on population structure along the altitude in Primula auricola complex.

February:

  • Thomas got a 3-years postdoc position with Hannes Schuler starting with 1st April, working on endosymbiont Wolbachia in cherry fruit flies. Very happy, but also simulatneously sad... Thomas will move soon... Now we need to wrap up and Thomas must submit his thesis really soon!
  • The group enjoyed the lively discussions at the SMBE satellite meeting "Towards an integrated concept of adaptation" organised at the VetMed Uni Vienna.

January:

  • Proud of Marie, who submitted her PhD thesis today. 4 chapters = 4 papers (3 already submitted) on phylogenomics in European orchids. Research on polyploids included! Very nice work, Marie!
  • Bin Tian (Southwest Forestry University, Kunming, China) arrived for a 1 year sabbatical period in our group. We are all excited to start a new collaboration! Wellcome Bin!
  • Mimmi gave her first conference lecture! This was at PopGroup52 in Oxford, U.K. on "Genome dynamics after recurrent allopolyploidization and their ecological implications in Dactylorhiza". Nice start of the year...

2018

November:

  • Aglaia gave an invited talk on "Convergent and adaptive processes during initial stages of speciation" at the 3rd Speciation meeting, organized at IST Austria. The presentation stimulated lots of discussions and feedback. Thomas and Ovidiu also attended the meeting.

October:

  • Aglaia, Mimmi, Thomas and Ovidiu joined again the PhD retreat of the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics at the hut village in Altaussee. Brainstorming with the group during the days and socializing during the nights... It was fun!

September:

  • Aglaia and Thomas attended and gave talks at the meeting of the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, organized this year in Vienna under the topic "Ecology - meeting the scientific challenges of a complex world". Thomas discussed "Macro- and microevolutionary drivers of allopolyploid evolution in Dacytlorhiza", and Aglaia on "Convergent and adaptive processes driving parallel adaptation to warmer and drier habitats in the alpine plant species Heliosperma pusillum".

August:

July:

May:

February:

  • Lab rotation projects for MSc students are available in our and other research groups in our department. See here for more details.
  • Ovidiu gave a talk on "Genetic pollution and erosion in Dactylorhiza traunsteineri, an endangered orchid in Austria" at the 3rd Annual Meeting in Conservation Genetics at the Natural History Museum, Vienna, Austria.

January:

  • Our team is growing! Mimmi Eriksson joined us as a PhD student. She finished her MSc degree at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, where she characterized the genetic load in the polyploid Capsella bursa-pastoris across its range. In Vienna, Mimmi will investigate initially the activity of TEs in Dactylorhiza allopolyploids. She was also accepted to join the programme of the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics. Welcome Mimmi!
  • We have two MSc students doing lab rotations in our group. Over the course of roughly 6 weeks, Jessica Walsh (MSc program Evolutionary Systems Biology) is investigating the transcriptomic alterations associated with altitudinal adaptation in Heliosperma pusillum. Conor Trevor (MSc programme Botany) is focusing on the molecular basis of divergent regulation of photosynthesis is sibling Dactylorhiza allopolyploids
  • A meeting report was published in New Phytologist on the 40th New Phytologist Symposium: Plant epigenetics: from mechanisms to ecological relevance, which we organised in our building.

2017

December:

  • We are sad that Juliane and Emiliano are officially not anymore part of our team. But we hope they enjoyed their time with us and we will meet/collaborate often. Good luck for the future and don't be strangers!

Nov:

  • Marie was giving a talk with the title "Origin of Polyploid Dactylorhiza (Orchidaceae) in Europe" at the Young Systematists' Forum in London.

Oct:

  • Thomas joined the Plant Genome Evolution 2017 conference taking place in Barcelona, Spain. He presented the poster "Genomic drivers of ecological divergence after recurrent allopolyploidization in Dactylorhiza (Orchidaceae)".
  • Marie Huber and Dana Paun joined our group as lab technicians. Welcome! We hope you enjoy working with us.

Sep:

Jul:

  • Ovidiu attended the XIX International Botanical Congress in Shenzen, China and presented the talks "The genomic drivers of ecological divergence in sibling Dactylorhiza allopolyploids" and "Genomic, epigenomic and metagenomic analyses reveal parallel ecological divergence in Heliosperma pusillum (Caryophyllaceae)".
  • Aglaia started her maternity leave. We look forward to see a photo of the baby soon. Good luck, Aglaia!

Jun:

  • Thomas participated at the Botany 2017 conference in Fort Worth, Texas, USA and gave the talk "The transcriptomic drivers of ecological divergence after recurrent allopolyploidization in Dactylorhiza".
  • Marie participated at the Evolution Meeting in Portland, Oregon, USA. She gave a talk on the topic "RAD-seq as a genome-wide approach to understand allopolyploid evolution in Dactylorhiza (Orchidaceae)" and presented also the poster "RADseq provides evidence for parallel ecotypic divergence in the autotetraploid Cochlearia officinalis in Northern Norway".
  • Tanja Slotte (University of Stockholm, Sweden) was a guest of our group. She met and discussed with us our reserach and gave two invited lectures. We hope Tanja enjoyed her stay!

May:

Jan:

  • Aglaia attended the 2017 Workshop on Genomics in Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic.
  • Thomas gave a talk on the topic "Molecular basis of adaptive divergence after allopolyploidisation in Dactylorhiza (Orchidaceae)" at the PopGroup 2017 in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK.

2016

Dec:

Nov:

Oct:

  • Aglaia, Ovidiu and Thomas attended the conference "Mind the Gap 5" organised by PopGen Vienna.
  • Mikael Hedrén (Lund University) visited us for a month to work closely with Marie, Alexander, Juliane and Ovidiu on our common Dactylorhiza project. Mikael is particularly interested in the phylogenetic relationships in the genus, and the phylogeography of polyploid lineages. Mikael also presented a lecture on Polyploid evolution in Nigritella in our seminar series.
  • The second funding period of our START project has been approved by the FWF panel according to recommendations from peer-reviewers. We are excited about the opportunity to investigate even deeper the amazing evolution of Dactylorhiza polyploids.
  • Aglaia, Marie, Thomas and Ovidiu spent a social weekend at the PhD retreat of the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics at a hut village in Altaussee. The students presented their latest results to the thirty participants and got helpful feedback. We all enjoyed brainstorming during the day and socializing during the night...
  • A new PhD student joined our group! Aglaia Szukala has a MSc in Evolution and Ecology and a MA in violin. Aglaia will investigate the evolutionary processes during convergent ecotype formation in Heliosperma. She has joined the programme of the Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics. Ovidiu and Magnus Nordborg are her supervisors.

Sep:

  • Ovidiu was a PhD examiner for the (quite formal) defentio of Veronica Preite at the Wageningen University (The Netherlands) on the topic: "Epigenetic inheritance in apomictic dandelions: Stress-induced and heritable modifications in DNA methylation and small RNA". Podcast of the event. Ovidiu enjoyed the refreshing subject and the Dutch hospitality.
  • Ovidiu gave a seminar at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) at the invitation of Koen Verhoven. The topic presented was "Molecular basis of adpative divergence after recurrent allopolyploidization in Dactylorhiza".

Aug:

  • Alexander Athanasiadis joined us as student apprentice for a couple of months. He is currently doing a Bachelor in Biology at the University of Vienna. He wants to get an inside in research to help him to decide his future specialisation in his studies.

Jun:

  • Emiliano's new article in Nature Communications on population structure and migration patterns of Emperor Penguins is widely covered in the media. For example in Der Standard and ORF (Austria) and in NZZ (Switzerland).
  • Ovidiu gave an invited lecture ("Genomic approaches to evolution in non-models") at the 5th Next Generation Sequencing Symposium at the CeMM Research Center (Vienna, Austria).
  • Thomas gave a lecture ("The impact of alloploidy on gene expression in Dactylorhiza") at a meeting of the EvolVienna network. His results were very well received.

May:

  • Ovidiu, Marie and Thomas attended the International Conference on Polyploidy, Hybridization and Biodiversity in Rovinj, Croatia. Ovidiu ("Molecular basis of adaptive diffusion after recurrent allopolyploidization in Dactylorhiza.") and Thomas ("The impact of alloploidy on gene expression in Dactylorhiza.") gave oral presentations and Marie presented two posters ("Using RAD-seq as a genome-wide approach to understand allopolyploid evolution in Dactylorhiza (Orchidaceae)" and "Polyploid and ecological adaptation in Cochlearia L. (Brassicaceae) in Northern Norway").

April:

  • Emiliano gave a seminar on "More than SNPs, other things RADseq can be useful for" at the NGS Workshop, BIOM Spring Camp, Research Facility Studenec, Institute of Vertebrate Biology, Czech Academy of Sciences.
  • Maria defended successfully her Master thesis ("Genetic differentiation and admixture patterns between Dactylorhiza allopolyploids (Orchidaceae) with a focus on Alpine sympatric populations"). Congratulations!

March:

  • Thomas and Marie presented their latest results to our long-term collaborator Mark Chase (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, U.K.) while he visited the insitut.
  • Dmitry Filatov (University of Oxford, UK) gave an invited talk on "Widespread adaptive evolution during rapid plant radiations".

Feb:

  • Ovidiu gave a lecture on "Orchids, epigenetics and evolution" for the interest group "ARGE Endemic and Mediterranean Orchidologists" in Vienna.

Jan:

2015

Dec:

  • Marie and Thomas met Jonathan Wendel (Iowa State University) and discussed their PhD projects on the evolution of allopolyploids in Dactylorhiza.
  • The Faculty Research News of the Faculty of Life Sciences (University of Vienna) is featuring our endeavour to understand evolution (in German).

Nov:

  • Ovidiu gave an invited talk at Systematikdagarna 2015 (the meeting of the Swedish Systematic Association) on "Convergent and adaptive processes during evolution".
  • Emiliano gave a talk within the EvolVienna network on "Genetic and epigenetic patterns of divergence in repeated parallel adaptation of an alpine plant".
  • Ovidiu gave an invited talk at the CSIC Sevilla, Spain on "Genomic approaches to evolution in non-models" at the invitation of Conchita Allonso.
  • Thomas and Ovidiu visited Francisco Balao at the University of Sevilla and discussed the RNAseq analysis pipeline for Dactylorhiza allopolyploids.

Oct:

  • Ovidiu gave an evening lecture at the Linnean Society in London on "Evolution from beyond genetics". --> Podcast of event.
  • While in London, Ovidiu also spoke at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew on "Recurrent allopolyploidizations and adaptive diffusion in Dactylorhiza".
  • Juliane and Marie attended a seminar about qPCR by Agilent Technologies.

Aug:

  • Together with Conchita Alonso (Donana Nature Reserve, Spain), Ovidiu organized the symposium "Evolutionary Epigenetics: Switching from Models to the Field" at the ESEB meeting, Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • Emiliano gave a talk at the ESEB meeting, Lausanne, Switzerland on "Epigenetic divergence and parallel evolution in Heliosperma pusillum (Caryophyllaceae)".
  • Ovidiu gave a talk at the ESEB meeting, Lausanne, Switzerland on "Molecular basis of ecological diffusion after recurrent allopolyploidization in Dactylorhiza".
  • Thomas attended the course "Genetic data analysis in R" at the Scottish Centre for Ecology and the Natural Environment (UK).

Jul:

  • Ovidiu organized together with Polina Novikova (GMI, Vienna) a symposium on "Speciation Genomics" at the meeting of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, Vienna, Austria. Luca Comai (UC Davis) and Christian Lexer (University of Fribourg) gave invited lectures. 14 additional talks contributed to the success of the symposium.

Jun:

  • Emiliano was teaching at the RADseq workshop from the University of Milan, Unimont - University of Rome "La Sapienza" in Edolo, Italy.
  • Ovidiu joined an EMBO workshop on "Mechanisms on Plant Speciation" in Åkersberga /Stockholm, Sweden and presented a talk on "Recurrent allopolyploidization triggers adaptive diffusion in Dactylorhiza (Orchidaceae)".

May:

  • Juliane, Marie, Thomas and Ovidiu went on a 2 days field trip to the Austrian Alps to collect ecological data for the Dactylorhiza project. The orchids were in full bloom.
  • Marie Kristine Brandrud joined the group as a PhD student. Before, she did her MSc studies at the University of Oslo, Norway, working on different ecotypes of the Cochlearia autopolyploids. Welcome Marie!
  • Ovidiu gave an invited lecture on "Genomic approaches to variation and adaptation" at the Institute for Biodiversity and Environmental Research, University of Brunei Darussalam. The seminar was part of a training workshop on "The use of molecular tools for systematic and ecological research".
  • The group attended the 10th Microsymposium on Small RNA Biology at IMBA in Vienna.
  • We have a new colleague! Thomas Wolfe joined the group as a PhD student. He did his Bachelor in Biology and his Master in Molecular Life Science both at the University of Lausanne. Welcome Thomas!
  • Ovidiu gave a public lecture on the topic "Native polyploid orchids help understand flowering plant evolution" at the University of Vienna. This event - called Hotspot Biology. From Molecules to Life. - was organized to celebrate the 650th anniversary of the University of Vienna.

Apr:

  • Kirsten Bomblies and Levi Yant, both from Harvard University were visting the group and holding a seminar on the topic "Two independent transitions to rapid cycling in railway of Arabidopsis arenosa".

Mar:

Jan:

2014

Dec:

Nov:

  • Ovidiu visited the National Centre for Biosystematics, at the Natural History Museum of the University of Oslo (Norway) and gave an invited lecture on "Genomic approaches to evolution in non-models", at the invitation of Filip Kolář. He enjoyed meeting collaborators of our group and other colleagues.
  • Barbara Mable (University of Glasgow, U.K.) visited our group and gave an invited lecture on "Gene family evolution and the adaptive dynamics of natural populations" on 17 Nov 2014.
  • Ovidiu met the last year high school youngsters of a Bilingual class in the Theodor Krammer school and introduced epigenetics to them. They impressed Ovidiu with their knowledge on chromatin domains.

Oct:

  • Daniel joined the workshop "microRNA Analysis Using High-Throughput Sequencing - From microRNA prediction to extensive downstream analyses" at ecSeq Bioinformatics in Leipzig, Germany. 
  • The group attended the "4th Vienna NGS Symposium".

Sep:

  • Emiliano was awarded "Best paper published by a young researcher in 2014" by the Italian Society for Evolutionary Biology. Congratulations!