MEEL Lab Meeting 29 November 2018

Today we heard a really interesting talk from Emily O’Connor on MHC diversity in birds in relation to climate. Emily also brought us some much appreciated cakes.

New People

Oscar Rios is on sabbatical here and is working with Jessica Abbott. This was his first time coming to our meetings, but we hope to see him around more often.

Lab News


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MEEL Lab Meeting 22 November 2018

Sorry for the late post. Patrik Karell gave a really nice talk on Tawny Owls and his citizen science program to look at color adaptations.

Lab News
Annual cleaning day will be 17 January and there will be lunch served in Darwin. Please clear that day on your calendars.

We are low on P200 pipette tips, and the new ones are slightly different (clear and with gradation marks) but should work fine.

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MEEL Lab Meeting Notes 15 November 2018

We had a great presentation today from Sandra Eltschkner on designing slow onset inhibitors as antibiotics against bacteria. Sandra is now applying her expertise in structural biology to study MHC in Helena’s lab.

Three people brought cakes/treats. Samantha brought cake to celebrate becoming the latest Ph.D. student in Helena’s lab. She will be working on a project involving MHC expression in birds. Staffan brought cake to celebrate having had 6 papers accepted this month! And finally, Hanna Bensch brought a bag full of Chinese snacks that Xi sent from her hometown.

Lab News

Remember to sign up for the Risk Assessment course on the 5th of December. It will be held in the Ecology building and will last two hours.

New People

Samantha, as mentioned, will begin a Ph.D. with Helena to work on MHC expression in birds.

Max is back in the Ecology building as a postdoc working with Staffan and Bengt.

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MEEL Lab Meeting Notes 25 October 2018

We heard a really interesting talk from Staffan Bensch on malaria parasites in southern Sweden.

No new people this week, but next week Charlie Cornwallis will have a visiting postdoc who works on cancer who will be here for 6 months. He will get a formal introduction when he arrives next week.

Lab News

Please do not leave you dishes in the sink, some have been broken when people dump ice without looking into the sink first. Also they tend to get forgotten there.

Speaking of dumping ice into the sink, make sure you check what is in the sink and that you haven’t forgotten tubes in your ice.

Regarding beakers used for agarose, please make sure they are washed properly.

As mentioned before, Jane will be gone at a conference until the 9th of November. In the meantime, direct questions to Elsie and Mariana–they are in charge. Also, the last date for ordering things is Monday morning (the 29th of October). So write to Jane before then. If you do order something on that date, you will be responsible for receiving and unpacking it when it comes to the lab.

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MEEL Lab Notes 18 October 2018

We had a great talk from Lars today on balancing selection in Toll like Receptors of bank voles.

There is a migration symposium today in honor of Gabriel’s defense tomorrow. Our own Mikkel will be the final speaker of the day.

Please respond to Charlie and Dennis’ permit information request by tomorrow at the latest (check your email for more info).

Volunteers for the Christmas party should get in touch with Staffan and Helena (check email for more info).

Lab News

If you find anything broken, please get in touch with Jane immediately.

New People

Violetta is starting a Masters program with Staffan on the genetics of migration in Willow Warblers.

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MEEL Lab Meeting Notes 12 October 2018

This week at the MEEL lab meeting we heard a wonderful presentation on tawny owls and their color polymorphism from Chiara Morosinotto, a visiting postdoc from Finland. It led to many questions and gave us all a lot to think about.

Lab News

Jane will be traveling on Monday (15-October) and she will be away at the Malaria in Wildlife Conference in Beijing from 30 October to 7 November. While she is gone, Mariana and Elsie will be in charge, so you can go to them with any questions.

The department has a pipetting robot that we will hopefully install soon to help with magnetic bead cleanup protocols and perhaps preparing sequencing reactions. We are just waiting on an estimate for getting it set up. We will know more soon.

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MEEL Lab Meeting Notes 04 October 2018

Today we had a great talk from Jesús Veiga on ectoparasites of European Rollers.

Xi brought cake to commemorate her last lab meeting at MEEL. The cake was good but the meaning was sad, we are going to miss her and we wish her all the best on her next step. Those of us going to the Malaria meeting will get to see her in Beijing in November.

New People

Himma Bakam is a PhD student with Susanne Åkesson working on winter ecology of barn swallows.

Lab News

The fume hoods will be inspected next week, but we are not sure exactly when. If it happens while you are working you will need to yield to the technician for a little while.

The basement will be painted next week. You can still walk around there, but don’t touch the walls.

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MEEL lab notes 27 September 2018

Our last lab meeting was a packed house with Maria Svensson-Coelho delivering a really impressive talk on her work on the evolution of multicellularity. The meeting also featured cupcakes from Jacob Roved celebrating his recent paper in Proc B.

New people

David–new PhD student in Dennis Hasselquist’s lab working on malaria in birds

Sandra–new postdoc in Helena Westerdahl’s lab working on MHC structure

Tony–a new PhD student of Nayden in Germany was visiting for Xi’s defense. He works on avian malaria in buzzards.

Diego Santiago Alarcon–Xi’s opponent from Mexico was visiting before Xi’s defense. He studies avian malaria and urban ecology.

Lab news

There have been half opened packages in the storeroom; please remove whole packages when you need something otherwise the counting system for ordering gets messed up.

Samples that will be stored long term should be stored in boxes and not racks. Racks should be reserved for temporary use in the lab.

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MEEL Lab Meeting Notes 20.09.2018

Lab meeting today featured an interesting presentation on avian malaria from soon to be doctor Xi Huang.

Mikkel made an announcement regarding departmental seminars. There are many times available in Spring if you have anyone to recommend or invite or if you have an opponent for a Spring defense that you would like to give a talk to the department. If you want to get a time reserved in the seminar series, contact Mikkel directly (

Staffan announced that although space is tight, we cannot overcrowd the offices. The aquarium room in particular should only have assigned people sitting in it. Other places to sit if you don’t have an office include the lunch tables, the library downstairs, or your host’s office.

Lab News

Repeating from last week, please put your dishes upside-down in the drying racks in the lab.

Empty the big gel rig after using it.

The post-pcr fridge has been cleared of old PCRs. If you want an old PCR that is no longer there, contact Jane as they are now saved in the cold room.

New People

Patrick Karell is here for a year working on tawny owls and their color polymorphism. He is professor in Finland.

Jesús Veiga is here from Spain working on avian malaria parasites in European rollers. His previous work is with ectoparasites.

Lakhdar Temagoult is visiting from Algeria to work with Bengt on the population genetics of the endemic Algerian nuthatch.

Becca is visiting for a week from Cambridge to work with Charlie and Philip on data analyses.

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MEEL Lab Meeting Notes 13 September 2018

We had a really nice lab meeting today. Schalk Cloete, a visitor from the Directorate of Animal Sciences: Elsenburg (South Africa), gave a fascinating talk on the genomics of sheep breeding in South Africa.

Still looking for people to sign up for talks and to bring cake! Get in touch with Mads or Vincenzo.

New people:

Chiara Morosinotto is visiting from Finland and is working on telomeres in birds.

Mélanie Duc is a masters student in Staffan Bensch’s laboratory; she is working on avian malaria genetics.

Victor Kalbskopf is a doctoral student in Olof Hellgren’s laboratory; he is a bioinformatician working on avian malaria transcriptomes.

Lab news:

  • Blue racks have been moved to the post-PCR room in the lab. If you have any blue racks in freezers, please move them to the post-PCR room and label them.
  • Make sure to put dishes upside down in the drying racks in the lab.
  • Make sure to remember to change gloves when going between rooms in the lab. Also, do not touch things in the lab, especially in the gel making area, without gloves.
  • Make sure to always move things back to where you found them when you leave the lab, including pipettes, tip boxes, pens, etc.
  • Fridges, a big centrifuge, and the cold trap will be replaced soon with newer machines that do not have CFCs and HFCs.
  • Make sure you empty the big gel rig of buffer when you’re done using it.
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