What we’re reading: Covariance in geographic variation, adaptation to altitude, and the ivory frat house

Reading the Book Cover - Canon 135 f/2L

In the journals

Guillot, G., L. Schilling, E. Porcu, and M. Bevilacqua. n.d. Validity of covariance models for the analysis of geographical variation. ArXiv: 1311.4136v1. See also Haldane’s Sieve.

We also outline how to construct alternative covariance models for the analysis of geographical variation that are both mathematically well behaved and easily implementable.

Keller, I., J. M. Alexander, R. Holderegger, and P. J. Edwards. 2013. Widespread phenotypic and genetic divergence along altitudinal gradients in animals. J. Evol. Biol. 26:2527–2543. doi: 10.1111/jeb.12255.

Several lines of evidence suggest that some of the observed differences are adaptively relevant, but rigorous tests of local adaptation or the link between specific phenotypes and fitness are sorely lacking. Evidence for a role of altitudinal adaptation also exists for a number of candidate genes, most prominently haemoglobin, and for anonymous molecular markers.

In the news

Requiescat, Frederick Sanger.

An in-depth look at the death of a Duquesne University adjunct professor suggests that the University (and its associated community) did more to try and help her than has been credited—but it also reemphasizes what a lousy deal adjunct positions can be.

Charles Goodnight explains the statistics of selection on correlated quantitative traits.

Are academic disciplines like frats?

How much should we care about replicating specific results?

Now that PLOS is reporting a profit, it’s looking for the next big change in peer-reviewed publishing.

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About Jeremy Yoder

Jeremy Yoder is a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Plant Biology at the University of Minnesota. He also blogs at Denim and Tweed and Nothing in Biology Makes Sense!, and tweets under the handle @jbyoder.
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