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NESCent Request for Proposals

Date Posted: 22 Sep 2014 (Show details)

Short-Term Visitors

We are now accepting proposals for Short Term Visitors at The National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent). Terms at NESCent can be up to 3 months; all visits must be planned so that they are complete by 30 Jun 2015.  We are looking to support innovative approaches to outstanding problems in evolutionary science. Proposals are due Dec 1, 2014. For more information, please see our website at  Any questions can be directed to Susan Alberts, Associate Director for Science, at alberts [at] duke [dot] edu, or Craig McClain, Assistant Director for Science, at cmcclain [at] nescent [dot] org.

Journalist In Residence

Are you a journalist who wants to deepen your understanding of evolution? Print, broadcast, and online journalists are invited to apply for a fellowship program at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) in Durham, North Carolina.  The program offers a unique opportunity for reporters, producers, and editors to work on an ambitious, exciting project of their own choosing with an evolutionary focus (books, or a series of articles, for instance). You will interact with world experts in a wide range of evolutionary topics including human evolution, evolutionary medicine, paleontology, biodiversity, conservation, and climate change.  As a NESCent journalist-in-residence, you’ll have time to explore diverse areas of evolutionary science or delve deeply into a single topic. You are also welcome to participate in a variety of scientific meetings, seminars and other learning experiences, as well as enjoy quiet time for reading and independent study. Journalists are invited to study at NESCent for varying lengths of stay depending on their time constraints and interests -- from two or three weeks to up to three months. Journalists-in-residence will receive support for travel to and from NESCent, a housing allowance for the duration of their visit, and a meal per diem. You will also be provided with office space at NESCent, located in a historic textile mill in a vibrant university community at the edge of the Duke University campus. To most benefit from the in-house and visiting scientific community at NESCent, those selected for the program should plan to be on-site at the center for a minimum of three days per week during their fellowship.  Proposal and submission guidelines can be found at .


Craig R. McClain, Ph.D.
Assistant Director of Science
National Evolutionary Synthesis Center
2024 W. Main St.
Suite A200, Box 104403
Durham, NC 27705 
919-668-4590cmcclain [at] mbari [dot] org



Summer Field Courses on Herpetology and Ichthyology

Date Posted: 4 Apr 2014 (Show details)

The Highlands Biological Station is including three summer courses of interest to Ichthyologists and Herpetology:

Biology of Plethodontid Salamanders

Dr. Joseph Pechmann, Western Carolina University
Dr. Kenneth Kozak, University of Minnesota
June 9-21,2014 

The southern Appalachians are renowned for the diversity of their salamander fauna. This course acquaints students with plethodontid salamanders and shows how studies of these animals have enhanced our understanding of such major evolutionary and ecological topics as the reconstruction of evolutionary histories, species concepts, life history evolution, and community structure. Each topic will include lectures, field and laboratory exercises, and discussions of original research papers. Field trips to significant salamander locations in different southern Appalachian mountain ranges highlight the course.

Biology of Southern Appalachian Fishes

Dr. Mollie Cashner–Woltmann, APSU
June 23-July 5, 2014

The southern Appalachians supports one of the richest fresh water fish faunas in North America and is part of an extensive southern/southwestern area that has well over 600 species. This larger region has been compared to a tropical rain forest in terms of its diversity, which is not equaled by any other temperate area. The course will focus on the biology, evolution, biogeography and diversity of fishes primarily in the Southern Appalachians. During this course students will collect fishes from Appalachian streams, identify fishes in the field and lab, and conduct behavioral observations both underwater and at bank side. Daily lectures will enhance and compliment the field experiences.

Conservation Genetics of Salamanders

Dr. Joseph Apodaca, Warren-Wilson College
July 7-19, 2014

The field of conservation genetics is rapidly emerging as an exceedingly vital component of conservation biology. This course focuses on salamanders, one of the most endangered vertebrate groups in the world, to immerse students in the fundamentals and cutting edge techniques, theories, and issues surrounding conservation genetics. Throughout the course, students will become familiar with how to design, carry out, and interpret a conservation genetics study. Students will also become acquainted with commonly used laboratory techniques and current literature pertaining to the conservation genetics of salamanders.

For more information about course prerequisites, fees, housing, financial aid, and how to apply, visit

Credit for all courses is available through either UNC-Chapel Hill or Western Carolina University. Students may take courses for credit through these institutions and then transfer the credit to their home institution. The Highlands Biological Station, an inter-institutional research center of the University of North Carolina, is offering its 2014 series of summer courses and workshops that can be taken for undergraduate or graduate credit toward your academic program. The field-based courses and workshops are focused on the diversity of organisms in the region with special emphasis on identification and collection techniques as well as principles of evolution, ecology, and conservation. Scholarships, Grants-in-Aid of Research for graduate students, and summer internships are also available. Highlands, North Carolina, is located in the southern Blue Ridge Mountains, at an average elevation of 3,800 feet, and situated near the Nantahala National Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee Indian Reservation, Appalachian Trail, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Public Television Features Student Research on Lizard Ecology

Date Posted: 21 Feb 2014 (Show details)

Oregon Public Broadcasting has featured field reseach experience in desert lizard ecology with students at Western Washington University. The summer couse is taught by Roger A. Anderson.

Ichthyology Taxonomy Training Programs

Date Posted: 15 Jan 2014 (Show details)

The Distributed European School of Taxonomy (DEST) provides two types of training courses at various European research facilities and universities. The Modern Taxonomy programme 2013-2014 offers intensive theoretical courses in subjects as varied as nomenclature and DNA-barcoding. The Expert-in-training programme 2013-2014 enables graduate students and early career researchers to develop and strengthen their taxonomic research skills through on-the-job-training. Both programmes are open to participants from Europe and from outside of Europe.

Within the latter programme, two courses have an ichthyological subject and might be of particular interest to you (registration deadline is 31 January 2014!):

New training providers are most welcome to participate in training delivery within the Distributed European School of Taxonomy. For more information, please mail us at dest-training [at] naturalsciences [dot] be or visit

Ph.D. students within the Swedish Taxonomy Initiative, the Israel Taxonomy Initiative and the Research School in Biosystematics (ForBio) might receive support to attend DEST-courses. For details, please contact STI, ITI or ForBio.

2013 Graduate Course Offering: Early Life History of Marine Fishes

Date Posted: 23 Dec 2012 (Show details)

This lecture and laboratory course uniquely offers a comprehensive view of the biology, morphology and taxonomy of early life stages of fishes, based on a 190 family teaching collection assembled by the late John Olney. Course takes place from 10 June -28 June 2013 at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

Instructors are: Professor Edward D. Houde (University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science), Dr. Nalani K. Schnell (College of William and Mary). Guest lecturers are: Dr. G. David Johnson (NMNH, Smithsonian Institution), Dr. Troy Tuckey (College of William and Mary), Professor John E. Graves (College of William and Mary), Dr. Jan McDowell (College of William and Mary).
Application deadline: 15 April 2013.

For further information about the course and registration details please visit our website

Diamonback Terrapin
island glass lizard
field equipment to model rattlesnake thermal ecology