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Maurice Sabelis

Maurice Sabelis raised the appetite for his lectures by starting with nice slides on his research on the evolution of plant - herbivore mutualism. The dilemmas that appear on each level of a tritrophic plant - herbivore system (milker - killer dilemma for the predators, defence investment dilemma for the plant) were addressed, resulting in a clear insight into the problems that are related to the evolution of plant defence and exploitation strategies in these systems. Coevolutionary processes of patch selection strategies of predator and prey were discussed, as well as the consequences this may have for ecological stability. In the last lecture recent work on the evolutionary consequences of spatial patterns in a host - parasitoid system was presented.

Participants were provided with two readers that contained papers of the lecturers and others, dealing with the presented topics.

To get each other acquainted with one another's work, each participant had to introduce her or his work during a short presentation. This showed that the Winterschool attracted people from all kinds of backgrounds, ranging from population biology to health research to nature conservation. During the afternoon sessions small groups were formed to study and discuss working papers that related to topics the lecturers had introduced. Each group presented the results of the discussions in public.

The five days of the Winterschool had a high density of lectures. The evenings however were outstanding occasions to wash away all the information to the deeper regions of the brains and to have conversations on other matters of life over a glass of beer or a B-52 cocktail, one of the specialties of the bartender.

Bob Kooi
Thu Mar 5 08:50:47 MET 1998