More information about CAnMove and the research activities within the programme can be found at:


onsdag 22 december 2010

Identifying the migratory gene – new CanMove constellation

During the Häckeberga CanMove meeting in October, Staffan, Helena, Karin and Lasse started to discuss the possibility to use Daphnia pulex as an additional organism in CanMove´s search for “the migratory gene”. This organism is easily cultivated, produces a lot of cloned kids and, which is important, its genome is known. Later, when inspired by Steve Repperts talk on the Monarch butterflies during Miriam´s symposium on “Genetics of migration”, we decided to make this new initiative take real action. Our first steps have been to grow the organism and make some background search for information. So, in order to inform you all about this initiative, we hereby enclose a Christmas card from the lab. where the creatures are now reproducing and wishing us all a Merry Christmas and a Fruitful New year!

torsdag 9 december 2010

New paper on swift aerodynamics

A new paper based on wind tunnel research is just out. This time it is flapping flight of the swift Apus apus, which is investigated by means of high-speed Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV). The paper reveals many new details about the aerodynamics of this highly aerial bird. The main author is Per Henningsson, now a postdoc in the Oxford Animal Flight Group where he works on insect flight. Per did this work on swift flight together with Florian Muijres and Anders Hedenström as part of his PhD thesis that was entirely devoted to flight in the swift. Read about our favorite bird here.

tisdag 7 december 2010

CAnMove Symposium: "Genetics of Migration"

I believe that recent advances in the field of genomics will soon make it possible to evolve the research field of migration from phenotypic to molecular approaches to fully understand the genetic architecture of migratory traits. We thus considered this as an ideal point in time to provide a forum for researchers to exchange ideas and opinions on current research within the field of migratory genetics, and identify directions for future developments, and yesterday hosted the CAnMove Symposium on the "Genetics of Migration" in Lund.

We were indeed honoured by the number of participants, and excited to literally welcome participants from all over the world - thanks to you all having made this long trip to participate. It was great having had so many enthusiastic scientists - all working on one or the other aspect of the genetics of migration - here.

The backbone of the meeting was formed by six talks, presenting state-of-the-art research focussing on different aspects, covering a diverse range of taxa, and introducing methodological approaches that have recently emerged.

Steven Reppert from the University of Massachusetts shared insight into genomic, genetic and epigenetic approaches to monarch butterfly migration his lively lab is currently working on. Michael Banks from Oregon State University told us how genomics could help to elucidate spatiotemporal aspects of pacific salmon migration.

Within the field of migration, research on migratory birds has probably the longest tradition, and the talks of Martin Schaefer from Freiburg University and Staffan Bensch from Lund University focussed on microevolutionary processes and patterns of genetic and phenotypic variation along migratory divides in two migratory songbird species. Migratory divides as well as hybrid zones are great natural laboratories to study evolutionary processes and speciation, and the talks given by Anna Qvarnström and Jochen Wolf, both from Uppsala University, focussed on what we can learn from a Flycatcher hybrid zone, and how a genomic approach help us to incipient speciation in Carrion and Hooded crows.

Besides excellent talks, the highly interactive meeting included lively poster session and general discussions, sharing information and experience on the changes due to revolutionary technological achievements in this field. We closed the symposium with a plenary discussion evaluating methodological approaches to be focused upon, and critically assess possibilities and pitfalls thereof. The discussion also highlighted both importance and challenge of most accurately defining and controlling the target phenotype in focus, as well as including environmental variables in experimental design and analyses.

Discussion and plans for future projects, ideas for further development and collaboration continued over dinner – and will most certainly continue long thereafter.