The Evolution of Proximate Mechanisms for Behavioural and Life History Decisions

The Evolution of Proximate Mechanisms for Behavioural and Life History Decisions

1 April, 2013

, 11-14 August 2013, Arolla,

Organizers: Barbara Taborsky and Sander van Doorn A workshop of the CUSO ‘Doctoral Program in Ecology and Evolution’ (DPEE)

The distinction between proximate and ultimate research approaches in biology seems to be carved in stone. However, today techniques open up the black box of information processing and decision making. life scientists increasingly apply principles to explain patterns in their data. Recent integrative approaches seem highly fruitful and gave rise to novel disciplines such as evo-devo and eco-devo.

This workshop will be headed by leading researchers transcending the boundary between mechanistic and functional approaches. The program focus is the evolution of proximate mechanisms underlying behaviour and life-history decisions. In particular we will ask
(i) why proximate mechanisms have evolved the way they are built, and
(ii) how mechanisms shape adaptive evolution beyond their role as developmental or evolutionary constraints.

The workshop will include lectures by invited speakers and, as a top priority, intensive discussions in small groups consisting of invited speakers, researchers and advanced students.

Invited speakers
– Thomas Flatt, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
– James Goodson, University, USA
– Ton Groothuis, University of Groningen, Netherlands
– Alex Kacelnik, University of Oxford,
– Kevin Laland, University of St.-Andrews, UK
– John McNamara, University of Bristol, UK
– Rui Oliveira, Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada,
– G. Sander van Doorn, University of Groningen, Netherlands

The workshop takes place at the Grand-Htel ‘Kurhaus’ in a breathtaking scenery amidst some of the finest mountain peaks of Switzerland. The venue is situated above the picturesque mountain village of Arolla, at 2100 m sea level in the very heart of the Swiss high alps.

For attendance see for further information please contact or
PD Dr. Barbara Taborsky
Institute for Ecology and Evolution
Behavioural Ecology
University of Bern
Wohlenstrasse 50A,
CH-3032 Hinterkappelen,Switzerland

Tel: +41 31 6319 157, Fax: +41 31 6319 141

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