PhD Summer School 2009
“Interactions between ecological and evolutionary processes in aquatic systems”
July 5th-18th, 2009, Kastanienbaum, Switzerland
Aim of the course
The course will confront selected PhD students with the challenge of integrating ecosystems ecology and evolutionary biology, arguably the least well-integrated pair of disciplines in ecology. Some have described this challenge as the last missing synthesis in ecology. We will take a multidisciplinary look at lake ecology, ask how nutrient fluxes shape microbial and algal activity and diversity, how these in turn exert ecological and evolutionary pressure on organisms at higher trophic levels, and lastly, how adaptive evolution at higher trophic levels exerts ecological pressures at lower levels that possibly change ecosystem dynamics. The 2009 course will be built around different aspects of ecological stoichiometry. The course will consist of theoretical and conceptual lectures and practical research modules including laboratory and fieldwork that seek to demonstrate experimental approaches. Lectures will be given by our invited lecturers James Elser, Nelson Hairston, Eric Triplett, Andrew Hendry, Elena Litchman, Luc De Meester and Eawag scientists. Concepts taught include e.g. feedback between biogeochemical conditions and microbial ecology, microbial structure and activity, food webs, adaptive evolutionary dynamics of predator-prey relations, ecosystem effects of evolution at ecological time scales.
We invite 20 international PhD students with an interest in freshwater aquatic science to participate in this course. The 2009 course specifically aims at students involved in research projects related to aquatic biology, ecology, and evolution but is open to everyone with an interest in these topics. There will be an opportunity of financial support for applicants from developing countries.
Date: July 5-18, 2009 (two weeks during the summer semester break)
Location: Eawag at Kastanienbaum (near Lucerne), Switzerland
Course fee: 300 CHF (including on-site accommodation and meals)
Target audience: Ph.D. students (and outstanding masters students) in ecology / aquatic sciences / evolutionary biology with an interest in ecosystem analysis
Number of students: 22
The course is funded through the Swiss National Science Foundation funded PhD program «Sustainability and management of mid sized lakes in the 21st century» and is part of its educational program.