February's WEES - Martin Reichard

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We would like to invite you to attend February's Wageningen Evolution & Ecology Seminar (WEES). The seminar will take place on Thursday 15th February, 16:00-17:00 in Orion C1005, where Prof. Martin Reichard from the Czech Academy of Sciences will present his work on the ‘Evolution of brood parasitism in the cuckoo catfish'. 

There will also be a workshop with Prof. Martin Reichard on ‘Interspecific reproductive parasitism in fishes' at 14:00 in Orion B3034. The workshop is aimed for HBO, PhD, MSc, BSc students, and postdocs. Registration is required, so please email Davide Bottacini (davide.bottacini@wur.nl) to register. See below for more information on the seminar and workshop. 

After the seminar, WEES invites the participants to join the speaker for free drinks at the Spot. On the day of the event, Prof. Reichard is also available for lunch and dinner with anyone who wants to join.  
Please forward this information to anyone who could be interested.

Seminar (16:00-17:00 - Orion C1005)

Evolution of brood parasitism in the cuckoo catfish

Prof. Martin Reichard
Professor at the Czech Academy of Sciences, Institute of Vertebrate Biology

Interspecific brood parasitism is a reproductive strategy whereby biological parents allocate their parental duties to a different species. I will address various aspects of ecology and evolution of brood parasitism in fishes, with special focus on the cuckoo catfish (Synodontis multipunctatus), a brood parasite of mouth-brooding cichlids in the African Lake Tanganyika. I will use a comparative approach to demonstrate how (dis)similar the cuckoo catfish is compared to other Synodontis catfishes in Lake Tanganyika and what this means for the origin of brood parasitism. I will then compare the role of coevolution and learning on the success of cichlid hosts to avoid parasitism by cuckoo catfish and also explain how cuckoo catfish learn to parasitize more effectively as they gain experience. I also address the potential for and constraints on host specialization and research into the origins of this reproductive strategy, using a combination of data collected in the field and laboratory experiments. 

Workshop (14:00-15:30 - Orion B3034)

Interspecific reproductive parasitism in fishes
The workshop gives attendees the opportunity to meet the speaker and have a discussion based on recent publications. The workshops are a good opportunity to become acquainted with hot topics in science and to gain experience in discussing these topics with leading scientists in the field. Furthermore, BSc and MSc students can get 1 ECTS for attending 2 workshops. Registration is required to participate in the workshop, so please email Davide Bottacini (davide.bottacini@wur.nl) to register. 

In preparation to the seminar and workshop, the speaker recommends reading the papers at the following links, which offer background on the topics discussed:


Lunch and dinner with Prof. Martin Reichard
A small group will have lunch and dinner with our invited speaker. If you are interested in joining for lunch and/or dinner with Prof. Martin Reichard, please contact Davide Bottacini (davide.bottacini@wur.nl). You may of course also simply decide to join on the day of the seminar. Please, note that participants are expected to cover the costs of lunch and dinner themselves.

WEES background & call for new members
WEES is an initiative of PhD students and postdocs at Wageningen University to organize a continuing series of stimulating seminars on contemporary topics in evolution and ecology. For this series we invite researchers from all over the world who have leading roles in their field. We aim to bring together different groups at Wageningen University using a variety of systems, but with a common interest in evolutionary and ecological questions. WEES is funded by graduate schools PE&RC, WIMEK, EPS, VLAG, and WIAS.

Interested in joining the WEES committee and organizing seminars yourself? WEES is looking for new members! We aim for a broad and diverse range in topics and would like to welcome new members to help and include topics not represented yet. If you are curious, send an email to weeswageningen@gmail.com and join one of our meetings.

For more information please visit: www.weeswageningen.nl or follow us on Twitter @weeswageningen