John Quinn, University of Cork, Ireland

The evolutionary ecology of cognition and personality in wild birds

John Quinn did his PhD at the University of Oxford on the behavioural ecology of red-breasted geese in the Russian Arctic. He spent most of his early career at the University of Oxford, where he was Departmental Lecturer in Zoology, and Biology Lecturer in Pembroke College. John has worked on a whole range of pure and applied topics in different kinds of ecosystems, but his main interest is the evolutionary ecology of personality and cognitive variation. In 2012 John returned to his native country, Ireland, where he is Professor in Zoology at University College Cork. In 2014 he was awarded an ERC consolidator grant to explore the evolutionary ecology of cognition in a wild tit population across a fragmented landscape.

Krzysztof Spalik, University of Warsaw, Poland

Communicating evolution in primary and secondary schools: what has gone wrong?

Krzysztof Spalik is professor of botany in the Department of Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution at the University of Warsaw. His research focuses on the systematics, biogeography and evolution of the plant family Apiaceae, with emphasis on its largest subfamily Apioideae that includes many edible, medicinal and toxic plants. It also presents a rich source of evolutionary problems including the evolution of andromonoecy, compact inflorescence (pseudanthium), and secondary woodiness, which are at present under investigation in Krzysztof’s lab. Krzysztof is also very active in the field of science and education.

Celine Teplitsky, CNRS Montpellier, France

Responses to climate change in wild populations: adaptive responses and evolutionary potential (G matrices)

Céline Teplitsky is a CNRS researcher at CEFE, Montpellier. She is interested in adaptation to rapid environmental changes through microevolution and phenotypic plasticity in the context of climate change. She focuses on factors shaping evolutionary potential using a quantitative genetic approach on long term data from wild populations: understanding the effect of multivariate genetic architecture on the pace of adaptation and the spatial and temporal scale at which the stability of this architecture can be expected can help forecasting evolutionary trajectories. She is also interested in how complex environments are affecting the expression of phenotypic plasticity.

Justyna Wolińska, Freie Universitat Berlin, Germany

Parasites promote host diversity and ecosystem stability

I study evolutionary and ecological processes mediated by parasitism in aquatic ecosystems. Parasites are ubiquitous and impose strong selection on their hosts to evolve resistance, while themselves being under strong selection to undermine host defenses. My research group aims to develop a better understanding of the interface between such host-parasite co-evolution and major ecological processes in the face of global environmental change. We focus on questions such as how parasitism contributes to the maintenance of genetic diversity, how it shapes the interactions between host and non-host species, and how anticipated environmental challenges will modulate the occurrence of disease.