ILEE Lunch Seminar

A regular seminar for researchers affiliated to ILEE.
  • When Mar 12, 2019 from 12:45 PM to 01:45 PM (Europe/Brussels / UTC100)
  • Where B33, Biology, 3rd floor
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2 Talks of ± 20 min plus 10 min discussion.



Catherine Linard (Department of Geography)
WorldPop: mapping population distributions for health and vulnerability assessments
Information about the spatial distribution of human population is essential in any health or vulnerability assessment, for example to derive populations at risk and disease burden estimates or to model the spread of infectious diseases. However, our knowledge of human population distribution in space and time remains poor, especially in low income countries. Existing population distribution datasets are tied to census data that often are lacking, are of poor quality, or become outdated rapidly. Modelling methods are therefore needed for the production of contemporary and spatially detailed population data. Such methods combine various existing geospatial datasets, including satellite-derived and crowdsourcing data to better inform on the spatial distribution of populations. The presentation will synthetize the latest developments in the production of multi-temporal population density maps, and will highlight the challenges that need to be tackled, particularly when working in low income settings, and the opportunities for health and development applications.

Emilien Nicolas (Department of Biology; team of Karine Van Doninck)
Defying Muller’s ratchet in asexual eukaryotes: lessons from bdelloid rotifers and amoebae.
Loss of sex and recombination is generally assumed to impede the effectiveness of purifying selection, resulting in the accumulation of deleterious mutations, known as Muller’s ratchet principle. However, several eukaryotic clades, such as the bdelloid rotifers and the amoebae, seem to reproduce asexually since million of years, which is puzzling evolutionary biologists. The persistence of asexual reproduction suggests that these asexual lineages have developed mechanisms to cope with the elimination of deleterious mutations. During this presentation, I will highlight the different potential strategies developed by these organisms to cope with the Muller’s ratchet and how to test them experimentally.

Please order your sandwich before Monday 11th, 18h!!

Sandwich list here

Note: The next ILEE lunch seminar will be on Tuesday, 2nd of April 2019!