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Susana Pallarés winner of the EFFS PhD Dissertation Award (2017-2018)

Resolution of EFFS Award for the best PhD Dissertation in Freshwater Sciences (2017-2018)

EFFSThe jury of the call for the best EFFS 2017-2018 PhD thesis Award has decided awarding Dr. Ádám Lovas-Kiss, for his PhD thesis titled Migratory waterbirds as key vectors of dispersal for plants and invertebrates – case studies from Europe. The thesis was selected by the Magyar Hidrológiai Társaság (MHT, Hungarian Hydrological Society) and defended at the University of Debrecen (Magyarország), being supervised by Prof. Dr. Attila Molnar V. and Prof. Dr. Andy J. Green. Additionally to its outstanding scientific relevance, the jury highlighted the Pan-European character of the thesis, which further contributes to a shared European vision of Freshwater Sciences. Dr. Lovas-Kiss will give a plenary lecture on Friday 5th July, 2019 at SEFS-11 to be held in Zagreb. Among the 16 candidates, presented by EFFS-Federated societies from 10 European countries, the jury highlighted the high scientific quality of all works, and decided to award a second and a third prize, that will be presented as posters at the EFYR stand in SEFS-11.

The second place award is given to Dr. Maja Grubišić, for her PhD thesis titled Effects of artificial light at night on benthic primary producers in freshwaters. The thesis was selected by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Limnologie (DGL, German Limnological Society), and was conducted at the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries Berlin (Deutschland), Freie Universität Berlin (Deutschland), University of Trento (Italia), and Fondazione Edmund Mach (Italia). The thesis was supervised by Prof. Dr. Franz Hölker; co-supervisors were: Dr. Michael T. Monaghan, Dr. M. Cristina Bruno and Prof. Dr. Guido Zolezzi.

The third place award went to Dr. Susana Pallarés, for her PhD thesis titled Ecological and evolutionary physiology of aquatic beetles: coping with multiple stressors in inland saline waters. The thesis was selected by the Asociación/Associação Ibérica de Limnologia (AIL, Iberian Limnological Society), and was developed at the University of Murcia (España). The thesis was co-supervised by Prof. Dr. Josefa Velasco, Prof. Dr. Andrés Millan, and Dr. Paula Arribas. 

Spanish researchers abroad: New volume of the journal Eubacteria

The last volume of the educational journal Eubacteria (35, 2016) is dedicated to young spanish researchers working abroad

Seven young researchers degreed on the University of Murcia PORTADA_35bis(Spain) summarise their professional and personal experiences on the last volume of the educational journal Eubacteria (text in spanish).

  • La plasticidad neuronal creativa   (ver pdf)
    Jorge de Costa Ruiz
    Colegio Oficial de Biólogos de la Región de Murcia.
  • Biología se escribe con J, de AJIUM   (ver pdf)
    David Verdiell Cubedo
    Doctor en Biología, socio fundador y expresidente de AJIUM.
  • El universo microscópico, un largo camino por descubrir  (ver pdf)
    Javier Abellón Ruiz
    Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, University of Newcastle, Reino Unido.
  • Ensamblando piezas: de linajes a comunidades   (ver pdf)
    Paula Arribas Blázquez (1) (2)
    1- Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum, Londres, Reino Unido.
    2- Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, Londres, Reino Unido.
  • Recorriendo el camino de la investigación con el tiempo
    como compañero de viaje
    (ver pdf)

    Beatriz Baño Otálora
    Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Reino Unido.
  • Una historia con ciencia, sal y aventura:
    ¿Cómo responden los ecosistemas frente al estrés?
    (ver pdf)

    Cayetano Gutiérrez Cánovas
    School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Reino Unido.
    Modelización de humedales, áreas protegidas
    y servicios ecosistémicos
    (ver pdf)

    Javier Martínez-López
    Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3), 48008, Bilbao, España.
  • Aprendiendo de los peces   (ver pdf)
    Ana del Pozo Cano
    Departamento de Neurociencia, Biomedical Center (BMC), Universidad de Uppsala, Suecia.
  • Un gran viaje, pasando por la ecología marina y la acuicultura   (ver pdf)
    María Piedad Sánchez Morillo-Velarde
    Unidad Académica de Sistemas Arrecifales, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología,
    Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Puerto Morelos Q. Roo 77580 México.

See our last paper!!! Arribas et al. 2015

Evolutionary ecology, biogeography and conservation of water beetles in Mediterranean saline ecosystems

Arribas P, Abellán P, Velasco J & Millán A (2015)  Limnetica 34(2): 484-494.

Among the variety of Mediterranean aquatic habitats, inland saline Salinetas Novelda 4 arreglada_redecosystems are considered particularly rare and have been much less studied than other freshwater systems. Previous research has emphasised the ecological and evolutionary singularity of these environments and their great conservation value, as they are extremely endangered and also include a highly specialised biota with a high degree of endemism and genetic diversity. However, until recently, our knowledge about the biogeographical patterns and evolutionary processes of the lineages inhabiting these particular systems has been very sparse. This paper is a compilation and summary of the principal results obtained from various recent studies that were developed in the framework of the PhD thesis of the first author and focused on the water beetle diversity of the Mediterranean inland saline waters. The evolution of salinity tolerance, the main factors driving diversification on saline lineages and the application of all this information to provide relevant data for the conservation of aquatic saline biodiversity are addressed. Finally, further objectives are identified to progress in our understanding and the conservation of Mediterranean saline biodiversity.

Download Arribas et al. 2015

See a Molecular Ecology Perspective on our new paper Andújar et al. 2015

Metagenome skimming for phylogenetic community ecology: a new era in biodiversity research

It is now well recognized that considering species evolutionary history is crucial for understanding the processes driving community assembly (Cavender-Bares et al. 2009). Considerable efforts have been made to integrate phylogenetics and community ecology into a single theoretical framework. Yet, assessing phylogenetic structure at the community scale remains a great challenge, in particular for poorly known organisms. While DNA metabarcoding is increasingly used for assessing taxonomic composition of complex communities from environmental samples, biases and limitations of this technique can pre- clude the retrieval of information on phylogenetic community structure. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Andújar et al. (2015) demonstrate that shotgun sequencing of bulk samples of soil beetles and subsequent reconstruction of mitochondrial genomes can provide a solid phylogenetic framework to estimate species diversity and gain insights into the mechanisms underlying the spatial turnover of soil mesofaunal assemblages. This work highlights the enormous potential of ‘metagenome skimming’ not only for improving the current standards of DNA-based biodiversity assessment but also for opening up the application of phylogenetic community ecology to hyperdiverse and poorly known biota, which was heretofore inconceivable.

           Papadopoulou A, Taberlet P, Zinger L. (2015) Molecular Ecology 24: 3515-3517.

See our last paper!!! Andújar et al. 2015

Phylogenetic community ecology of soil biodiversity using mitochondrial metagenomics

Andújar C, Arribas P, Ruzicka F, Crampton-Platt A, Timmermans MJTN, Vogler A (2015)  Molecular Ecology 24: 3603-3617.

High-throughput DNA methods hold great promise for the study 1of taxonomically intractable mesofauna of the soil. Here, we assess species diversity and community structure in a phylogenetic framework, by sequencing total DNA from bulk specimen samples and assembly of mitochondrial genomes. The combination of mitochondrial metagenomics and DNA barcode sequencing of 1494 specimens in 69 soil samples from three geographic regions in southern Iberia revealed >300 species of soil Coleoptera (beetles) from a broad spectrum of phylogenetic lineages. A set of 214 mitochondrial sequences longer than 3000bp was generated and used to estimate a well supported phylogenetic tree of the order Coleoptera. Shorter sequences, including cox1 barcodes, were placed on this mitogenomic tree. Raw Illumina reads were mapped against all available sequences to test for species present in local samples. This approach simultaneously established the species richness, phylogenetic composition, and community turnover at species and phylogenetic levels. We find a strong signature of vertical structuring in soil fauna that shows high local community differentiation between deep-soil and superficial horizons at phylogenetic levels. Within the two vertical layers, turnover among regions was primarily at the tip (species) level, and was stronger in the deep-soil than leaf litter communities, pointing to layer-mediated drivers determining species diversification, spatial structure and evolutionary assembly of soil communities. This integrated phylogenetic framework opens the application of phylogenetic community ecology to the mesofauna of the soil, among the most diverse and least-well understood ecosystems, and will propel both theoretical and applied soil science.

Download Andújar et al. 2015

See our last paper!!! Pallarés et al. 2015

The comparative osmoregulatory ability of two water beetle genera whose species span the fresh-hypersaline gradient in inland waters (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae, Hydrophilidae)

Pallarés S, Arribas P, Bilton DT, Millán A, Velasco J (2015)
PLoS ONE 10(4): e0124299.

A better knowledge of the physiological basis of salinity tolerance is Nebrioporus baeticus (2)essential to understanding the ecology and evolutionary history of organisms that have colonized inland saline waters. Coleoptera are amongst the most diverse macroinvertebrates in inland waters, including saline habitats; however, the osmoregulatory strategies they employ to deal with osmotic stress remain unexplored. Survival and haemolymph osmotic concentration at different salinities were examined in adults of eight aquatic beetle species which inhabit different parts of the fresh—hypersaline gradient. Studied species belong to two unrelated genera which have invaded saline waters independently from freshwater ancestors; Nebrioporus (Dytiscidae) and Enochrus (Hydrophilidae). Their osmoregulatory strategy (osmoconformity or osmoregulation) was identified and osmotic capacity (the osmotic gradient between the animal’s haemolymph and the external medium) was compared between species pairs co-habiting similar salinities in nature. We show that osmoregulatory capacity, rather than osmoconformity, has evolved independently in these different lineages. All species hyperegulated their haemolymph osmotic concentration in diluted waters; those living in fresh or low-salinity waters were unable to hyporegulate and survive in hyperosmotic media (> 340 mosmol kg-1). In contrast, the species which inhabit the hypo-hypersaline habitats were effective hyporegulators, maintaining their haemolymph osmolality within narrow limits (ca. 300 mosmol kg-1) across a wide range of external concentrations. The hypersaline species N. ceresyi and E. jesusarribasi tolerated conductivities up to 140 and 180 mS cm-1, respectively, and maintained osmotic gradients over 3500 mosmol kg-1, comparable to those of the most effective insect osmoregulators known to date. Syntopic species of both genera showed similar osmotic capacities and in general, osmotic responses correlated well with upper salinity levels occupied by individual species in nature. Therefore, osmoregulatory capacity may mediate habitat segregation amongst congeners across the salinity gradient.

Download Pallarés et al. 2015

Winner of the EFFS PhD Dissertation Award (2013-2014)

Resolution of EFFS Award for the best PhD Dissertation in Freshwater Sciences (2013-2014)

EFFSThe European Federation for Freshwater Sciences (EFFS) Board of Representatives is proud to announce the successful applicants for the first EFFS Award for the best PhD Dissertation in Freshwater Sciences (2013-2014). An international jury, composed of five members of the International Representatives of EFFS, have evaluated the pre-selected dissertations, which had been transmitted by the National Societies. Three candidates have been selected for the prizes.

Main prize and winner of the EFFS Award for the best PhD Dissertation in Freshwater Sciences:
French National Institute for Agronomic Research (INRA), UMR CARRTEL, Thonon-les-Bains, France
for the doctoral thesis entitled
“Freshwater dsDNA viral diversity: A special emphasis on viruses infecting phytoplankton (cyanophages and phycodnaviruses) and T4-like myophages in peri-alpine lakes”

The two subsidiary prizes go to:
Department of Ecology and Hydrology – University of Murcia, Spain.
for the doctoral thesis entitled
“Evolutionary ecology, biogeography and conservation of water beetles in Mediterranean saline ecosystems”
and to:
Dr. Arunava PRADHAN
University of Minho, Portugal
for the doctoral thesis entitled
“Impacts of nanoparticles to microbes and invertebrates: from community responses to cellular targets”


New Nature Live event on soil biodiversity

Thursday 29th January new Nature Live event in the Natural History MuseumPaula Arribas

Dig it: The Unknown Underground

Discover the community of creepy crawlies living in the hidden world beneath our feet and find out how they have adapted to life in the soil.
Meet Paula Arribas and Carmelo Andújar, two Museum scientists studying the surprising diversity of life that can be found underground. Hear about life in the field and find out what their research can reveal about the effects of the last ice age on this biodiversity.