Immunoxidative ecology: progress and prospects

10-11 March 2011

Flyer (PDF 685ko)   -    Program (PDF)


In this symposium we plan to examine trade-offs extended from immune resistance to oxidative stress at various levels of complexity (physiological mechanisms, behavioural effects, population consequences) and in a wide a array of taxa (birds, insects, mammals). Facing the increase in studies of the many facets of the protective immune and antioxidative systems in an ever broader range of species, the challenge to behavioural and/or evolutionary ecology is to fit the pieces we now have into a bigger picture.


  • David Costantini, University of Glasgow, UK: The natural history of oxidative stress
  • Michaela Hau, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Radolfzell, Germany: Endocrine, immune and oxidative processes in the context of life history strategies
  • Fabrice Helfenstein, University of Bern, Switzerland: Oxidative stress, immunity and sperm quality in birds
  • George Lozano, Freelance researcher, Tartu, Estonia: Species with alternative mating strategies in immunoecology: what can they tell us?
  • Øyvind Øverli, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway: "Personality", parasites and pigment signals
  • Markus Rantala, University of Turku, Finland: Immune defence and sexual selection in humans
  • Albert Ros, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland: Introduction to immuno-oxidative-ecology
  • Alexandre Roulin, University of Lausanne, Switzerland: Different ways of signalling resistance to oxidative stress in the context of sexual selection

pre-course assignment and content

Before the workshop :

  • Participants should choose between one of five topics** and do some preparatory work to participate in the worlshop:
    • Read the paper(s) attached to the topic/subject.
    • Prepare at least two questions for asking to the lecturer that would be relevant to their subject.

List of papers (PDF)

During the workshop :

  • Attendance and more importantly active participation is required during the workshop.
  • Every group will prepare a short presentation in which they elaborate on an important aspect of their subject. The presentation will constitute the practical evaluation which has to be passed at the end of this course.

** Topics:

  • 1) Sexual selection for immuno-oxidative quality
  • 2) Parasites, health and host behaviour
  • 3) Immuno-oxidative ecology and Life history strategies
  • 4) Hormonal regulation of immuno-oxidative trade-offs
  • 5) Personality,  reproductive tactics and immune-oxidative stress

Program (PDF)

general information

Dates:  Thursday 10 and Friday 11 March 2011

Schedule: 8.55 - 17.00

Location: University of Neuchâtel, Faculté des sciences, UniMail, building C, room C001

Credit points: 1.0 credit point (Scientific activities) 

Evaluation: Full attendance, active participation during the 2 days including preparation (as described)

Information: Please contact Albert Ros [albert.ros @ unine.ch] or the doctoral program coordinator Christiane Bobillier (administration)

Travel expenses: participants of the doctoral program are eligible for reimbursement of incurred travel expenses by train (half-fare card, and 2nd class). Please send the original tickets (no copies, except for the general abonnement) with the reimbursement form  to Dr. Christiane Bobillier.  No reimbursement for bus, taxi or car travel expenses will be paid.



Minimum number of participants: 15, maximum: 30.

Registration through the web only: closed

Please note the cancellation policy (CHF 20)