Detailed information about the course

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The Evolutionary Consequences of Unintended Artificial Selection on Population Fitness


22-25 August 2022

Lang EN Workshop language is English
Responsable de l'activité

Claus Wedekind


Prof. Claus Wedekind, UNIL


Prof. Fanie Pelletier (University of Sherbrooke, Canada)
Prof. Andrea Pilastro (University of Padua, Italy)
Prof. Anna K. Kuparinen (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)
Dr. Marty Kardos (Northwest Fisheries Science Center NOAA, USA)
Dr. Philine Feulner (EAWAG-ETHZ, CH)
Prof. J. Andrew DeWoody (Purdue University, USA)


Wild populations are shaped by natural selection, sexual selection, and (mostly unintended) artificial selection. The latter include, for example, a decline of the mean breeding value for horn size in response to trophy hunting, or reduced individual growth rates in response to size-selective fishing. Previous research in this context has concentrated on the evolutionary responses in the specific traits that are under selection. The effects of unintended artificial selection on population fitness are still largely unclear. Artificially changed selection regimes can increase the genetic load of natural populations, either by directly selecting against individuals of high breeding value for fitness (e.g. if fast growth is an indicator of low genetic load), or by relaxing natural and sexual selection and hence reducing purifying selection (e.g. in supportive breeding programs). We will discuss the problem in the context of current environmental changes and the potential of rapid evolution.


Monday, Aug 22nd:

  • 12:00 -- arrival, packed lunch (sandwiches etc.), then self-guided hiking, birdwatching, etc.
  • 16:40 -- welcome & information; 2 keynote presentations
  • 19:00 -- dinner
  • 20:45 -- keynote presentation

Tuesday, Aug 23rd:

  •  07:00 -- breakfast
  •  08:30 -- blocks of presentations and discussion, with breaks in between
  •  12:00 -- lunch, then self-guided hiking, birdwatching, etc.
  •  19:00 -- dinner
  •  20:45 -- keynote presentation

Wednesday, Aug 24th

  •  07:00 -- breakfast
  •  08:30 -- blocks of presentations and discussion, with breaks in between
  •  12:00 -- lunch, then self-guided hiking, birdwatching, etc.
  •  14:00 -- blocks of presentations and discussion, with breaks in between
  •  19:00 -- dinner

Thursday, Aug 25th

  •  07:00 -- breakfast
  •  08:30 -- blocks of presentations and discussion, with breaks in between
  •  12:00 -- packed lunch (sandwiches etc.), departure



Fafleralp (VS)




The workshop is open to PhD students, postgraduate students, postdocs and academics from all universities worldwide, but the number of participants is limited. 



22.-25. August 2022



Hotel Fafleralp, Fafleralp, Wallis (Switzerland)




  • Free for PhD students of the DPEE. Please note that a deposit of 100 CHF will be asked to PhD students of the DPEE. This deposit will be returned at the end of the workshop.
  • Other CUSO participants (postgraduates, postdocs, etc. from CUSO universities = UNIL, UNIBE, UNINE, UNIFR and UNIGE): 540 CHF
  • External participants, i.e. from non-CUSO universities: 540 CHF (if spaces are available)

The registration fees cover full board from Monday evening to Thursday morning (3 nights) and lunch boxes for Monday and Thursday noon.



PhD students of the DPEE are eligible for the reimbursement of incurred travel expenses by train (half-fare card, 2nd class). Reimbursement online via MyCUSO after the activity is over.



CUSO PhD students: through your MyCUSO account.

External participants (non-CUSO PhD students, post-docs, etc. from all over the world): Please send a short CV and a summary of your research interests (100-250 words) to ecologie-evolution(at)cuso(dot)ch.

Registration deadline extended : Aug 5th, 2022



Deadline for registration 05.08.2022


- Herbette Foundation

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