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Evolution and impact of socially exchanged materials


8 - 9 November 2021

Lang EN Workshop language is English
Responsable de l'activité



Prof. Adria Leboeuf, UNIFR

Dr. Sanja Hakala, UNIFR


Rebecca Kilner, University of Cambridge, UK (

Barbara König, University of Zurich, Switzerland (

Tim Linksvayer, University of Pennsylvania, USA (

Stuart Wigby, University of Liverpool, UK (

Joris Koene, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands (

Katharina Gapp, ETH Zürich, Switzerland


Milk, seminal fluids, nuptial gifts, food sharing… These are all means by which a genome of an individual can influence the fitness of other individuals through social interactions and indirect genetic effects. Biological material is directly exchanged between individuals only in highly fitness-related interactions such as mating and parental care, and these exchanges often include very specialized behaviours. It is typical that plenty of molecules affecting the receiver are transferred in these exchanges, although their exact effects are in many cases still largely unstudied. The current confluence of modern molecular methods with quantitative behavior allows us to assess genetic function across individuals, opening doors to new directions in evolutionary biology.
The research on these exchanged materials and their associated behaviors are currently separated under several fields of science from ecology to medicine, and not always framed through to the broad evolutionary framework of indirect genetic effects. This two-day workshop aims to connect researchers and students interested in these exchanges and their role in the evolution of sexual and social organisms. The invited speakers include both empiricists studying various social exchanges, as well as theoreticians focusing on indirect genetic effects. The aim is to have a highly interactive workshop with expert talks and iterative discussion rounds, that not only sums up the current knowledge of the field but also creates new avenues to be studied in the future. After the workshop we will write a concept paper on these topics to further enhance the connections among the distinct research topics. All participants are invited to join in this work, if interested.


Flyer (PDF)

We will also produce a short video targeted to the general audience during the workshop!


University of Fribourg




Abstract submission:
Please send your abstract explaining the main focus of your work (200 words long max.) to sanja.hakala(at) mentioning in the email subject "Abstract submission", before the closing deadline 24.10.2021. (registration - deadline extended until 04.11)



November 8th-9th 2021



Pavillon Vert, University of Fribourg location

Please note that Covid certificates and masks are required !


Catherine Suarez
@: ecologie-evolution(at)cuso(dot)ch



PhD students of the DPEE are eligible for reimbursement of incurred travel expenses by train (half-fare card, and 2nd class).For CUSO participants, please claim the expenses via your myCUSO account.
For the CUSO participants who requested accommodation, please, send the original tickets along with the reimbursement form for the hostel/hotel to:

Catherine SuarezDoctoral Program in Ecology and Evolution
Department of Genetics and Evolution - Anthropology Unit
University of Geneva, Sciences II - 30 quai Ernest-Ansermet - 1211 Genève

Reminder: NO reimbursement of your meal expenses.

Regarding reimbursement of accommodation,
please contact the coordinator of the doctoral program (ecologie-evolution(at) BEFORE
the beginning of the course. NO reimbursement of accommodation costs without prior agreement of the coordinator of the doctoral programme.



CUSO PhD students: through your MyCUSO account. 

External participants (non-CUSO PhD students, post-docs, etc...): use the icon "registration" at top of page and the last gray box "non-CUSO student" ("personne hors myCUSO").

Registration fees:

CUSO DPEE PhD Students: 25 CHF
Other CUSO members: 95 CHF (it includes the collective lunches, coffee breaks and a social dinner)
External participants (i.e. from a non-CUSO university): Please contact ecologie-evolution(at)cuso(dot)ch before registering! Thanks.




Deadline for registration 04.11.2021


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