Sampling under the coronavirus!

Today we (Eyal and Aparna) went out sampling Cataglyphis for the first time of this reproductive season, looking for drones (for their haploid genomes). We had to get special permits and wear the required protection... But everything went well! We didn't find any sexuals yet. They're probably still developing. We did find some pretty large larvae, so they're probably coming soon!

Shani & Pnina's paper on colony-level pool-seq GWAS published!

Shani and Pnina's paper was published in PLoS Computational Biology!

This methodological study was actually a pilot for our GWAS of cuticular hydrocarbons. We wanted to optimize our genomic sequencing approach, in order to maximize the statistical power of GWAS for a colony-level trait. The results from this study can inform any GWAS in any social insect species of any colony-level trait. That is: a trait that is expressed at the level of the colony rather than the individual. E.g. social organization, foraging behavior, hygienic behavior, etc.

The figure below shows the expected power of GWAS depending on choices of methodology - check out the paper for details!

NSF-BSF grant - PhD/postdoc positions available!

Our lab received an NSF-BSF grant in collaboration with the lab of Deborah Gordon at Stanford!
We have advertised Ph.D. student and postdoc positions:

NSF-BSF funded positions for a Ph.D. student and a postdoc are available in the Privman lab at the Institute of Evolution, University of Haifa, Israel. The lab studies evolutionary genomics of social behavior in ants, employing tools from population genomics, genomic mapping, and phylogenomics. Ongoing research includes several projects combining population sampling, behavioral experiments, chemical analysis of pheromones, genomic sequencing, and computational analysis (see
The new positions will be funded by an NSF-BSF grant for a collaboration with the group of Prof. Deborah Gordon at Stanford University. The project aims to unravel the genomic basis of social evolution, focusing on foraging behavior in variable climate conditions. The successful candidates will work in collaboration with teammates from both labs, to contribute to any or all stages of the research, including behavioral and genomic surveys, laboratory procedures and computational analyses. The research plan includes genomic sequencing of hundreds of samples, population genomic and genomic mapping analyses. The genomic work will be conducted in Haifa, using a liquid handling robot for both DNA extraction and genomic library construction. The analysis of the genomic sequencing data will also be conducted in Haifa, using our high-performance computer cluster. Therefore, candidates should have experience and/or motivation to learn genomics and bioinformatics. All the necessary protocols and knowhow for both molecular lab and bioinformatics procedures are already well established in the Privman lab.
The Institute of Evolution offers a supportive, dynamic, diverse, multicultural and multilingual working environment. The Institute hosts research groups working on a diverse, interdisciplinary spectrum of topics in ecology and evolution (see Students will have access to leading researchers with expertise in ecology and evolution, population genetics, phylogenetics and molecular evolution, as well as genomics and bioinformatics, including genomic mapping. Professional training opportunities in these fields are available in the Institute, the University of Haifa, and in other Israeli institutes, including advanced courses, workshops and conferences. Although the common language in Israel is Hebrew, there are many foreign researchers and students in the Institute and all activities are conducted in English, including seminars, advanced courses, workshops and conferences. The Institute offers state-of-the-art facilities and professional support for molecular biology research in general and genomics in particular, as well as a high-performance computer cluster for bioinformatic analysis.
The application should include a cover letter with a short description of research experience, research interests, and why you are interested to join our lab, your CV, and the contact details of 2-3 referees.

הקלטה של הרצאה לקהל הרחב: פרדוקס האבולוציה של אלטרואיזם

במסגרת סדרת ההרצאות לקהל הרחב ״מדע מההר״ המיוחדת לתקופת הקורונה, איל נתן את ההרצאה הראשונה (ולכן סלחו בבקשה על הבעיות הטכניות הקלות) בנושא ״פרדוקס האבולוציה של אלטרואיזם״. הנה ההקלטה

בסדרה ינתנו הרצאות ע״י חברי סגל מהפקולטה למדעי הטבע כל שני וחמישי. ההרצאות מתפרסמות בעמוד הפייסבוק של האוניברסיטה