You are an early-career researcher or a permanent researcher and you are a member of an EVOLTREE partner lab?
You have a good research idea in the field of evolutionary genetics and genomics of forest trees, but lack funding to carry it out?
Leap into action with the network's research initiative, OPPORTUNITY!
OPPORTUNITY is a call for projects which can include any kind of work related to genetic and genomic studies on forest ecosystems.
The 5th OPPORTUNITY call is now open! (deadline September 30th 2021)
How to Apply
Am I eligible?
The requirements for eligibility are to belong to an EVOLTREE member institution and to make the data from your work publicly available in one of the EVOLTREE data repositories (if appropriate, given the nature of your research proposal)
The EVOLTREE Executive Committee will take the following criteria into consideration when evaluating the proposals:
1. The scientific quality of the proposed research (ideas/questions, methods, sampling, analyses, expected output, feasibility)
2. The relevance for EVOLTREE in terms of contribution to ongoing EVOLTREE research activities and/or use of existing EVOLTREE experimental sites (e.g., studies developed in one or more of our Intensive Study Sites) or databases (e.g., meta-analyses using the resources found in EVOLTREE databases).
3. The international dimension of the proposal (i.e., the involvement of research teams from different countries, including non-EVOLTREE members)
4. Career stage: given equally good scientific quality of the proposal, connection to EVOLTREE research activities and international dimension, early career researchers will have priority
The funding is meant to support innovative ideas and not as an additional funding to ongoing larger projects
How much funding is provided and how long should the project last?
We have established a maximum of 10,000 Euros per project. The project should last one year, with the possibility of extending it to two years upon request.
I’m interested! How do I apply?
You will be asked to fill in the application form available for download below, save it as a PDF and send it to dgrivet(at)inia.es
Applications can be made until the call deadline and they will be evaluated by the EVOLTREE Executive Committee
What happens once I have completed my research?
When submitting your project proposal, you will be asked to agree to make data from your work publicly available in one of the EVOLTREE data repositories and acknowledge EVOLTREE funding in publications resulting from the grant
We will also request you to provide us with a brief (two pages) report once the work has been completed, as well as a summary of the project expenses (invoices may be requested after examination of the report). Finally, the submission of photos, documents, etc produced by the project and that could be used for dissemination and communication activities, is highly appreciated.
For any questions regarding this call, please contact dgrivet(at)inia.es
Past grant holders
Sonja Kujala (Luke)
Convergent adaptation in northern Pinus sylvestris and Picea abies?-Genotyping the Evoltree ISS Punkaharju
This project examines the level of sharing of adaptive genomic variation between Finnish and Swedish populations of Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine) and Picea abies (Norway spruce).
These species in the northern parts of their distribution have similar demographic history (colonization of Fennoscandia after Last Glacial Maximum), and have adapted to similar environmental challenges. In these northern latitudes, traits like timing of yearly growth and cold tolerance are likely to have significant fitness effects as the plants have to maximize their growth, yet develop sufficient cold tolerance each year. Growth rhythms and cold tolerance have significant genetic component in conifers, seen as considerable heritabilities and evident latitudinal adaptive variation (Heide 1974; Aho 1994; Hurme et al. 1997; Howe et al. 2003; Chen et al. 2012; Kujala, Knürr et al. 2017). Earlier QTL mapping and association studies have found many loci associated with these traits in a variety of conifer species (e.g. Hurme et al. 2000; Eckert et al. 2009; Holliday et al. 2010; Kujala, Knürr et al. 2017).
The P. sylvestris genotyping and association analyses of this work are being done on an EVOLTREE Intensive Study site for P. sylvestris, located in Punkaharju, Finland. The funding is being used for genotyping the 500 mother trees of Punkaharju ISS.
Christian Rellstab (WSL)
OAKID2-Transferability and phylogenetic extension of species-diagnostic SNP markers in European white oak species
The project is a collaboration between the two EVOLTREE partners WSL and INRA Pierroton, which have established a fruitful long-term cooperation (e.g., Gerber et al., PLOS ONE, 2014; Rellstab et al., Mol. Ecol.,2016) over the past years.
The project investigates a technically and scientifically interesting topic in forest genetics that is of practical and scientific relevance for the research community of EVOLTREE. Specifically, oaks included in the permanent samples from the four ISS Landes, Ventoux, Valais, and Solling will be included in the test array, and results can be compared to nuclear microsatellite markers previously genotyped at WSL (using the 8-plex of Guichoux et al., Mol. Ecol. Resour., 2011).
The optimised species diagnostic SNP set, in combination with the freely available assignment pipeline in R, can be used to assign taxa to oak trees from other EVOLTREE ISS populations and TREETYPE individuals. Since species assignment in oaks is often difficult, this will help increase the quality of the site and tree data in these two EVOLTREE resources. All SNP data will be entered in the EVOLTREE SNP DATABASE.
Lindsay F Banin (UKCEH)
Intra- and interspecific leaf trait variation, decomposition processes and the ‘home-field advantage’ in European woodlands
In collaboration with Stephen Cavers (also at CEH), Emma Sayer (Lancaster University), and intensive study site coordinators, Jan Kowalczyk (Blizyn), Egbert Beuker (Punkaharju) and Martina Peter (Valais), Lindsay developed a project to examine the effects of inter- and intra-specific leaf trait variation on decomposition processes.
The project utilises three geographically separated and climatically distinct, unmanaged forest sites where trees may have become locally adapted to environmental conditions. This means that even trees belonging to the same species may be expressing differences in functional traits.
Typically, research has focused on inter-specific variation in plant traits causing differences in rates of decomposition and belowground processes. Here, we specifically want to test whether similar differences occur within species too.
The project will also test for ‘home-field advantage’; i.e., that decomposition is more efficient for individuals and species on their home soil due to conditioning of soil microbial communities to ‘native’ leaf litter.
The EVOLTREE network provides an excellent springboard for this research through the knowledge of the tree species distributions within each ISS. The research team hope that this new collaboration will establish a new science direction for the network and the project also aims to train junior scientists in assessing plant-soil interactions.
José Alberto Ramírez-Valiente (INIA)
Understanding the factors driving species diversification in the roburoid oak complex
This project aimed to elucidate the roles of sympatric and allopatric speciation on species divergence in the 'roburoid' oaks.
'Roburoid oaks' refers to a set of nine closely related species (Q. robur, Q. petraea, Q. canariensis, Q. pubescens, Q. faginea, Q. fruticosa, Q. pyrenaica, Q. macranthera and Q. infectoria) distributed in western Eurasia and northern Africa.
Different evolutionary factors such as vicariance, ecological adaptation and hybridization have been proposed as the main mechanisms shaping patterns of genetic structure and genetic differentiation among these species.
Using a multidisciplinary approach by conducting a phenotypic characterisation under common garden conditions together with genomic analyses using RADseq and niche modeling, this project will shed light on the phylogenetic relationships within this group of closely related species and will contribute to understand the evolutionary factors promoting speciation and intraspecific differentiation in oaks.