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.

About Jeremy Yoder

Jeremy B. Yoder is an Assistant Professor of Biology at California State University Northridge, studying the evolution and coevolution of interacting species, especially mutualists. He is a collaborator with the Joshua Tree Genome Project and the Queer in STEM study of LGBTQ experiences in scientific careers. He has written for the website of Scientific American, the LA Review of Books, the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Awl, and Slate.
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