Evolution 2012

Yesterday we registered for the big meeting and had the obligatory social (2 free drinks per person). Today I’ll be attending a group of talks on speciation and genomics—a topic that didn’t exist when I got my Ph.D.

So far the organization of the conference seems smooth and efficient: kudos to my friend Howard Rundle at Ottawa for running this immensely complicated conference, in which five different evolution societies meet: he European and Canadian societies for evolutionary biology, the American Society of Naturalists,  the Society of Systematic Biologists, and my own home, the Society for the Study of Evolution.

Last night the estimable Larry Moran of Sandwalk took several of us around, including skeptics and scientists, for a food tour in nearby Quebec, centering on the indigenous dish poutine (look it up) followed by a visit to a local bakery. It was a lovely evening and I’ll post the photos on my return (advance warning: nobody is to “inform me” of the health dangers of poutine).

Here’s a photo of three generations of evolutionary geneticists (l to r): me, my first student Mohamed Noor, a professor at Duke, and his student Daniel Ortiz-Barrientos, a senior lecturer at the University of Queensland.  Both Mohamed and Daniel spoke in the speciation-genomics symposium. The “thumbs-up” sign is Mohamed’s signature gesture (he’s an optimistic lad), one that he swore he’d abandon when he got tenure. He lied.


  1. Posted July 7, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    “Last night the estimable Larry Moran of Sandwalk took several of us around,”

    So, I take it you, ahem “drifted”??? 🙂

    • greyhound1405
      Posted July 7, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      Shouldn’t that been bought you a round?

  2. Marta
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Picture: Each one, teach one.

  3. edward hessler
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Such lineages are always fun to see and know. The tree is growing, the root and the shoots.

  4. bricewgilbert
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    I had no idea Jerry was so into fighting games.

  5. Posted July 7, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink


    The ‘fries’ look like British chips rather than French fries. For a much healthier option try Chips Peas & Gravy should you ever come to Manchester:


  6. Ken Pidcock
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Just in case there’s someone here who hasn’t read Professor Noor’s profile in The Scientist, which was also appropriately admiring of our host.

    He published the results in Nature in 1995, a year before he completed his PhD, and was the sole author on the paper. “My advisor, Jerry, had a general policy to let students be sole authors on papers. He said, ‘My job is to give advice. You have to come up with the project, you have to execute it, and you have to write it up. You’ve done all the work, so there’s no reason for my name to be on it.’ That’s uncommon in academia.”

  7. PeteJohn
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    Poutine looks wildly unhealthy.

    Which is why it sounds so incredibly good. I must have this. All of the health food people out there… Just hands off this one!

    Said all in jest of course. One’s diet is utterly up to, um… one.

  8. Twiggy120
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    You seemed taller in that one dream I had.

  9. docbill1351
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Three pictures of you, Jerry, on Moran’s blog and you’re chowing down in every one.

    Well done!

  10. tryangregory
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    That was a fun outing. However, I’m not sure we really established why one couldn’t have cat skin boots? Or human skin (graft or cell culture) boots? Seems a bit speciesist to me… 🙂

  11. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 4:25 am | Permalink

    “He lied.”

    Or maybe he was just optimistic?

  12. Posted July 9, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful photo. All three of you will treasure this one.

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