Ecology and Evolution of Phenotypic Plasticity

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International postgraduate course

Ecology and Evolution of Phenotypic Plasticity

29 April - 3 May 2024

Parkhotel De Bosrand, Ede, the Netherlands

Scope

Organisms express a different phenotype (morphology, physiology, behaviour) under different environmental conditions, a mechanism termed phenotypic plasticity. Phenotypic plasticity can come in different forms, including contextual, developmental, and transgenerational plasticity. Because of their phenotypic plasticity, organisms’ phenotypes will be altered by environmental change, such as climate change, which can be adaptive or maladaptive.

This course covers concepts and theory related to phenotypic plasticity and discusses quantitative genetic and molecular approaches. Central to this course is understanding the interplay between phenotypic plasticity, ecological conditions, and evolution, including examples from animal behaviour in response to human-altered environments.

Course Set-up

The course is composed of a series of lectures, discussions sessions, working group activities, and a final presentation and debate session on the groupwork output.

1. Introduction Day
The course starts off Monday morning with an introduction to the course, followed by a poster carousel, an introduction on concepts and the group work. In the evening we will have an online key-note address by David Pfennig in which he will address concepts, misconceptions and key challenges in the research field of phenotypic plasticity.

2. Poster Carousel
In the poster carousel participants introduce themselves via a poster. Each round lasts 15 minutes (5 minutes introduction and 10 minutes questions and discussion). Prior to the course, participants must submit a poster in PDF, which will be printed by the course office (A1-size). The poster must contain your name and affiliation, title and short description of your research project with one highlight (something exciting) and the reason why you want to participate in this course. Posters will remain in the lecture room throughout the course.

3. Lectures and Discussion
On the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we start off with a set of 3 lectures. After each lecture (30 minutes) a discussion of 30 minutes is held in which participants challenge the speaker on the presentation and a paper that the speaker submitted prior to the course and which will be set to the participants before the course starts.

4. Group work
Afternoons  be spent on group work in which groups of 5-6 participants will work on writing certain perspectives or a review of a topic related to phenotypic plasticity given global challenges such as enhanced climate variability, intensification of land-use or enhanced use of chemicals in production systems. The outcome of the group work will be presented on Friday morning.

Organisers
  • Marcel Visser (Netherlands Institute of Ecology, The Netherlands)
  • Marc Naguib ( Wageningen University, The Netherlands)
  • Bas Zwaan (Wageningen University, The Netherlands)
  • Judith Smit (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
  • Claudius van de Vijver (Graduate School PE&RC, The Netherlands)
Course Programme
Monday 29 April:       Concepts, misconceptions of, and challenges in phenotypic plasticity
9:00 – 9:30 Arrival and settling in
9:30 - 10:00 Welcome / Introduction to the course
10:00 - 11:00 Poster Carrousel
11:00 - 11:15 Break
11:15 - 12:30 Poster Carrousel continued
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 15:00 Intro lecture on concepts followed by sub-group discussion and plenary feedback and synthesis (led by Marc Naguib, Bas Zwaan and Marcel Visser) 
15:00 – 15:15 Break
15:15 - 17:00 Intro to group work and first steps
17:00 – 18:30 Drinks and free time
18:30 – 19:30 Dinner
19:30 - 20:30 Online lecture: Phenotypic plasticity: Concepts, misconceptions and key challenges (David Pfennig, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA)
 
Tuesday 30 April: Plasticity in a changing world: plasticity-led evolution and evolution of plasticity 
7:30 – 8:30 Breakfast
9:00 – 9:30 Lecture 1: Marcel Visser (Netherlands Institute of Ecology, The Netherlands)
9:30 – 10:00 Discussion
10:00 - 10:15 Break
10:15 - 10:45 Lecture 2: Cameron Ghalambor (Norwegian University of Science, Norway)
10:45 - 11:15 Discussion
11:15 – 11:30 Break
11:30 – 12:00 Lecture 3: Not lost, but plastic: the evolution of fat synthesis in one of the most diverse insect groups on Earth (Bertanne Visser, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, ULiège, Belgium)
12:00 - 12:30 Discussion
12:30 –13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 17:00 Groupwork
17:00 – 18:00 Free time / Drinks
18:00 – 19:00 Dinner
19:00 - Free evening / reading of papers / group discussion
 
Wednesday 1 May: Behavioural plasticity and its role in adaptation to environmental changes and unpredictability
7:30 – 8:30 Breakfast
9:00 – 9:30 Lecture 1: Marc Naguib (Wageningen University, The Netherlands)
9:30 – 10:00 Discussion
10:00 - 10:15 Break
10:15 - 10:45 Lecture 2: Camille Leblanc (Hólar University, Iceland)
10:45 - 11:15 Discussion
11:15 – 11:30 Break
11:30 – 12:00 Lecture 3: Kees van Oers (Netherlands Institute of Ecology, The Netherlands)
12:00 - 12:30 Discussion
12:30 –13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 17:00 Groupwork
17:00 – 18:00 Free time / Drinks
18:00 – 19:00 Dinner
19:00 - Optional Evening Lecture about the career track after your PhD
 
Thursday 2 May: Genetic Aspects
7:30 – 8:30 Breakfast
9:00 – 9:30 Lecture 1: Bas Zwaan (Wageningen University)
9:30 – 10:00 Discussion
10:00 - 10:15 Break
10:15 - 10:45 Lecture 2: Piter Bijma (Wageningen University)
10:45 - 11:15 Discussion
11:15 – 11:30 Break
11:30 – 12:00 Lecture 3: Patrìcia Beldade (University of Lisbon, Portugal)
12:00 - 12:30 Discussion
12:30 –13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 17:00 Groupwork
17:00 – 18:00 Free time / Drinks
18:00 – 19:00 Dinner
19:00 - Free evening / reading of papers / group discussion
 
Friday 3 May: Presentations Groupwork
7:30 – 8:30 Breakfast
9:00 – 10:00 Presentations
10:00 - 10:15 Break
10:15 - 11:15 Presentations continued
11:15 – 11:30 Break
11:30 – 12:30 Final presentation(s) / Synthesis of the course and closure
12:30 –13:30 Lunch and farewell

 

General information
Target Group The course is aimed at PhD candidates, postdocs, academic staff, as well as other professionals with an interest in phenotypic plasticity
Group Size Min. 20, max. 30 participants
Course duration 4.5 days
Language of instruction English
Number of credits 1.5 ECTS
Location Parkhotel de Bosrand, Ede, the Netherlands

 

Fees 1
  EARLY-BIRD FEE 2 REGULAR FEE 2
PE&RC / WIMEK / WASS / EPS / VLAG / WIAS / RSEE PhDs with TSP € 390,- € 440,-
PE&RC Postdocs and staff € 780,- € 830,-
All other academic participants € 860,- € 910,-
All others € 1.250,- € 1.300,-

1 The course fee includes accommodation, all meals, coffee/tea, and a reader. It does not include snacks or beverages at the bar.
2 The Early-Bird Fee applies to anyone who REGISTERS ON OR BEFORE 4 MARCH 2024

Note:

  • If you need an invoice to complete your payment, please send an email to office.pe@wur.nl, including ALL relevant details that should be mentioned on the invoice (e.g., purchase order no., specific addresses, attendees, etc.).
  • The Early-Bird policy is such that the moment of REGISTRATION (and not payment) is leading for determining the fee that applies to you.
  • Please make sure that your payment is arranged within two weeks after your registration.
  • It is the participant's responsibility to make sure that he/she (or his/her secretary) completes the payment correctly and in time.
 
PE&RC Cancellation Conditions
  • Up to 4 (four) weeks prior to the start of the course, cancellation is free of charge.
  • Up to 2 (two) weeks prior to the start of the course, 50% of the participation fee will be charged.
  • In case of cancellation within two weeks prior to the start of the course or no show, 100% of the participation fee will be charged.

Note: If you would like to cancel your registration, ALWAYS inform us (and do note that you will be kept to the cancellation conditions)

More information

Dr Claudius van de Vijver (PE&RC)
Phone: +31 (0) 317 485116
Email: claudius.vandevijver@wur.nl

Registration

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