Fwd: ESEB - John Maynard Smith Prize 2024 Winner & Runner-up

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Michal Vinkler

Apr 10, 2024, 3:04:13 AMApr 10
to info-ev...@natur.cuni.cz, info-g...@natur.cuni.cz, Michal Andrle, Magdalena Bohutínská

Vážení kolegové / Dear all,

věnujte prosím pozornost zprávě níže - Magdalena Bohutínská z naší fakulty, která se zabývá výzkumem evolučních adaptací alpinských huseníčků získala prestižní John Maynard Smith Prize!

great news - - Magdalena Bohutínská from our faculty who is working on adaptive evolution of alpine plants won the prestigious John Maynard Smith Prize!

Majdo, congrats!

Zdravím všechny / Regards,


doc. RNDr. Michal Vinkler, PhD
Vedoucí Katedry zoologie
Přírodovědecká fakulta, Univerzita Karlova
Viničná 7, 128 44 Praha 2
Česká republika

Head of the Department of Zoology
Faculty of Science, Charles University
Vinicna 7, CZ 128 44 Praha 2
Czech Republic, EU

Laboratory for Evolutionary and Ecological Immunology
Animal Evolutionary Biology Unit

tel: +420221951845
e-mail: michal....@natur.cuni.cz


-------- Přeposlaná zpráva --------
Předmět: ESEB - John Maynard Smith Prize 2024 Winner & Runner-up
Datum: Tue, 9 Apr 2024 18:43:59 +0200
Od: ESEB Office <off...@eseb.org>
Komu: ESEB <off...@eseb.org>

Dear ESEB Members,

Every year the Society awards the John Maynard Smith Prize to an outstanding young evolutionary biologist, chosen from among current or recently graduated PhD students nominated by ESEB members.  Thank you for your nominations— we had an excellent group of nominees.

The winner will give the JMS Prize 2024 lecture at this year’s Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology, in Montreal, CA, and is awarded a Junior Fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Study in Berlin, Germany.

We are pleased to announce the John Maynard Smith Prize winner in 2024:

Dr Magdalena Bohutínská
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions fellow at the University of Bern (Switzerland) and Charles University (Czechia)

My research aims to unravel the genetic basis of adaptive evolution and understand how various genetic factors shape evolutionary processes in natural environments. I use empirical studies of adaptation to the external ecological environment, particularly in alpine plant species, as well as adaptation to the internal genomic environment, particularly in species with recent polyploidy. My focus is not only on understanding how adaptation happened but, more importantly, why it happened.

One of my major interests is to use cases of repeated adaptation to determine if we can predict why species adapt to similar environmental challenges in similar ways. During my PhD research with Filip Kolář at Charles University, I focused on how Arabidopsis species adapt to alpine environments. I discovered that closely related lineages use more of the same genes when adapting to similar environments compared to more distantly related lineages. Expanding on this finding, my current postdoctoral work at the University of Bern with Catherine Peichel has shown that this decline in gene reuse as lineages and species diverge over time is a common trend observed across many taxa. I hypothesize that both a reduction in allele sharing and an increase in divergence in genome architecture and gene function as lineages diverge can lead to this decrease in gene reuse during repeated adaptation.

To gain further insights to why certain genes are repeatedly used in adaptation, I have identified specific 'model genes' displaying robust signals of repeated selection in alpine environments. Through genetic experiments conducted in growth chambers and natural alpine settings, I am currently investigating whether the presence of a shared allele, advantageous in new conditions but minimally deleterious in ancestral ones, makes these genes recurrent targets of selection. These experiments will reveal whether pleiotropy constrains or promotes gene reuse during repeated adaptation.

We are also pleased to announce this year’s runner-up:

Dr Emily Roycroft
Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow at the Australian National University

My research applies genomic approaches to understand evolutionary processes from micro- to macroevolutionary scales. A core theme of my research is the use of museum genomics to understand the role of genetic factors in extinction and to reconstruct macroevolutionary patterns across space and time. I have a particular focus on the evolution, diversification and extinction of Australian mammals.

Australia’s globally unique mammal fauna has the highest modern rate of extinction in the world. My PhD at the University of Melbourne and Museums Victoria investigated the diversification, biogeography, molecular evolution and extinction of Australia’s most threatened mammal group – rodents. Using genomics of historical museum specimens of extinct species, my work demonstrated the precipitous decline of Australia’s native rodents since European colonisation, and ‘resurrected’ the Gould’s mouse from extinction.

As part of my Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship commencing in 2024, I am investigating the evolutionary and demographic history of species that have become extinct or been reduced to small, fragmented populations. I aim to characterise the dynamics of harmful mutations ('genetic load') in small populations, using genomic data from isolated island populations of Australian mammals as case studies. These results will have important implications for conservation genomics and genetic management of threatened species worldwide.

Dr Roycroft will join the ESEB-organised Early Career Researchers symposium at this year's Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology in Montreal, Canada.

More information about the JMS Prize and previous winners is available at the ESEB website (https://eseb.org/prizes-funding/john-maynard-smith-prize/).

Kind regards,
JMS Prize Committee
Josefa González (ESEB Vice-President & Chair of the committee)
Rui Faria
Frank Hailer
Joanna Kelley
Frédérique Viard

European Society for Evolutionary Biology | Homepage: eseb.org | Email: off...@eseb.org


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