Congratulations, Ben!
Ben has published two papers on the Stonechat Saxicola complex that came out of his Honours Thesis Project!

One paper analysing a huge dataset of long-term Zugunruhe data that highlights many axes of variation in migratory behaviour (Van Doren BM, Liedvogel M, Helm B. Programmed and flexible: long-term Zugunruhe data highlight the many axes of variation in avian migratory behaviour. Journal of Avian Biology. 48:155-172. doi: 10.1111/jav.01348) and a second paper highlighting correlated patterns of genetic diversity and differentiation across an avian family (Van Doren BM, Campagna L, Helm B, Illera JC, Lovette IJ, Liedvogel M. Correlated patterns of genetic diversity and differentiation across an avian family. Molecular Ecology. doi: 10.1111/mec.14083).

Ben further just started his PhD at Oxford University end of last year and will be continuing to work with us on understanding where UK overwintering blackcaps come from! You can get a sneak preview of what he is up to right now here:

Come and work with us!
Interested in joining our team? We are currently recruiting a postdoc to join our group working on the genetics of migration. Please see the attached pdf file for further details of the position.

Welcome Gillian, Hannah and Timo
Gillian Durieux from Sheffiled University, UK, will join us as a new PhD student focussing on understanding gene expression patterns in various blackcap phenotypes. Hannah Justen, Masters student from CAU Kiel will join our team as research assistant after her summer internship in our lab. And Timo Hasselmann is back as well, now carrying out his Masters project in our group, adding a parasite-angle to our work. Welcome Gillian, Hannah and Timo!

Symposium on the Genetics of Migration
We are pleased to announce that a symposium on the Genetics of Migration will be held at the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Biology 4th to 7th April 2017.

With this symposium we aim to bring together a multi-disciplinary group of scientists working on the ecology, genomics, epigenetics, evolutionary theory and biostatistics of animal migration. The development of next generation sequencing technology and improvements in tracking the movement of migratory species is certain to advance this field of science in the coming years so now is an excellent time to synthesize what we currently understand about the genetic basis of migration as well as highlight future avenues of research. The symposium will be based on a series of talks, posters, workshops and discussions and will encompass a wide range of migratory taxa including birds, fish and insects.

Keynote speakers: Jochen Wolf - Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich Claudia Bank - Gulbenkian Institute Guojie Zhang - Beijing Genomics Institute/University of Copenhagen Melinda Baerwald - University of California, Davis Nancy Chen - University of California, Davis Christine Merlin - Texas A&M University

Further details including registration information can be found at Any queries please email the organising committee (Miriam Liedvogel, Kira Delmore, Christopher Jones) at

End of field season 2016
During the last field trip to Hartberg in Austria, our field crew was completed with assistance from Barbara Helm from Glasgow University, UK, and two interns (Hannah Justen and Enrico Fruth) that joined our lab during summer. A brief snippet on our field trip was published in the local newspaper (link to article).

Welcome Timo (1 April 2016)
Timo Hasselmann is a Masters student from the University of Lübeck and joins our group for an internship.

Kira and Miriam publish a Perspective article on the genetics of migratory orientation
Front. Behav. Neurosci., 21 January 2016 |

Welcome to our new IMPRS students Mayra Zamora Moreno and Juan Sebastian Lugo Rames (21 September 2015)
Mayra carryed out her Masters research in Argentina as a joint project with Lódz and Kiel Universities (PL and DE) and Juan Sebastian recently finished his Masters project at Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá. Both are joining our group as IMPRS students and will be working on various aspects of the genetics of migration during their PhD projects. Welcome!

Welcome to Kira Delmore and Nadine Thiele (1 September 2015)
Kira just successfully defended her PhD thesis in Darren Irwin's lab and is joining our group as a postdoc focussing on understanding the genomic architecture of migratory traits in the blackcap. Nadine finished her Masters degree at the Universtiy of Oldenburg and is joining our lab to characterise the European robin genome. Welcome Kira and Nadine!

Welcome to Benjamin von Doren (13 July 2015)
Ben is a 3rd-year undergraduate at Cornell University studying biology, and keenly interested in looking at bird migration from a genetic and genomic perspective. In a collaboration with Cornell Universtiy (The Lovette Lab) and Glasgow University (Barbara Helm) he is currently doing this for his honors thesis project using the Stonechat Saxicola system.

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