IOU webinar series

Why do species Multiply

November 4th, 2021

Peter and Rosemary Grant

Please watch the webinar video here:

Webinar Description:

Peter and Rosemary Grant have been studying Darwin’s finches on the Galápagos islands since 1973. The fieldwork is designed to understand the causes of an adaptive radiation. It combines analyses of archipelago-wide patterns of evolution with detailed investigations on two islands, Genovesa and Daphne. By integrating ecology, behavior and genetics, they have revealed how species are reproductively and ecologically isolated, and the causes and evolutionary consequences of rare episodic hybridization. Two mechanisms of speciation have been identified. In collaboration with other investigators, they have estimate phylogenetic relationships among the species of finches and their relatives, identified molecular mechanisms involved in the development of beaks and provided genomic details of evolution in contemporary as well as historical time. The research has been published in many research papers and three books, most recently “How and Why Species Multiply” (2008) and “40 years of Evolution” (2014).

Webinar Speakers:Peter and Rosemary Grant

Peter Grant is the Class of 1877 Professor Emeritus in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University, having trained at Cambridge University and the University of British Columbia. Before joining Princeton in 1986 he taught at McGill University and the University of Michigan.
Rosemary Grant is Senior Research Scholar Emerita in the same Department. She received her training at Edinburgh University and Uppsala University and taught at Princeton University.

The Barn Owl Replaced the Dove of Peace in the Middle East

August 19, 2021

Prof. em. Yossi Lesham, Prof. Alexander Roulin

Please watch the webinar video here:

Professor Emeritus @School of Zoology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University
Prof. Leshem has been researching bird migration and raptor breeding ecology for 5 decades. His doctoral research at Tel Aviv University, conducted in cooperation with the Israel Air Force, reduced aircraft-bird collisions by 76%, thus saving the national budget $1.5 billion. Yossi developed an online scientific educational curriculum ( that is currently taught in approximately 450 schools. He spearheaded the national effort to use barn owls as biological pest control agents in agriculture, significantly reducing the use of pesticides, and led an extensive research project in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute at Radolfzell to track migrating storks, using satellite transmitters.
Full Professor @Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne;
As a full professor at the University of Lausanne, my main scientific interests are (1) the evolution, maintenance and adaptive function of variation in melanin-based coloration and (2) social interactions inside the family (parent-offspring conflict; sibling competition). Being an evolutionary ecologist, my research group uses a wide range of methods from different fields, such as behavioural ecology, genetics, quantitative genetics, population genetics/genomics, population dynamics, etc. I mainly use the cosmopolitan barn owl as a model organism. Based on ecological research performed in this species, we recently started to expand our interest into molecular evolution and biomedical research.