Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research

Albert Katz International School

for Desert Studies


Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology


The Swiss Institute for Dryland Environmental & Energy Research



Ben-Gurion University of the Negev






F5 to view the latest version

Last updated Feb 22, 2018



Camp Evolution VI

Sede-Boqer Campus, February 25 – March 1, 2018


Alexey S. Kondrashov

Andrei R. Skovoroda Collegiate Professor,

Life Sciences Institute and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

University of Michigan

Author of

Crumbling Genome: The Impact of Deleterious Mutations on Humans

Wiley-Blackwell, 2017


























Organizer: Ariel Novoplansky






Alex Kondrashov’s homepage

First day

Previous workshops:

Camp Evolution I:   Sympatric Speciation and Evolution of Sex

Camp Evolution II:  Evolutionary and Ecological Genomics

Camp Evolution III: Human Evolutionary Genetics

Camp Evolution IV: Unresolved Problems in Evolutionary Biology

Camp Evolution  V: Plant Evolutionary Biology after Darwin


Getting there


Registration form






 Language and academic credit


Campus map



The workshop is meant for scholars and graduate students interested in anything evolutionary…

Students can earn 2 academic credits (BGU course # 001-2-3335) pending the submission of a written assignment.


Getting there and local amenities


·       Reaching Beer-Sheva from Tel-Aviv is best done by train

·       From Jerusalem you should better take an Egged bus

·       To Midreshet Ben-Gurion (mind you- not Kibbutz Sede-Boker), take Metropolin buses 60, 64, 69 from Beer-Sheva's Central bus station

·       All activities will take place at the Albert Katz School (AKIS), class #1, Bldg 47, Sede-Boqer Campus.

·       Meals and food can be purchased in a few local (humble) eateries and a grocery store.

·       All participants are welcome to a dinner party on the last night of the workshop, Feb 28, 2018.

·       Please bring with you layered clothing (days can be nice and cozy but nights can be chilly) and hiking shoes.


First day (Feb 25, 2018):

·       Participants who stay at the hostel are kindly requested to check in at the Sede-Boqer Field School Office (#13 on map) 

·       Get together: 13:00

·       Orientation: 13:30

·       First lecture: 14:00

@ class #1, AKIS, Bldg 47, Sede-Boqer Campus






Sun, Feb 25

Mon, Feb 26

Tue, Feb 27

Wed, Feb 28

Thu, Mar 1


08:30 – 10:15


Arrival and



Fitness landscapes of molecules:  Compensated pathogenic deviations and ongoing expansion of protein universe



Fitness landscapes of cells:

Evolution of functional units within a cell



Fitness landscapes of organisms:

Mutation load and the evolution of sex



Fitness landscapes of populations:

Frequency-dependent selection, multilevel selection, evolution of cooperation


10:15 – 10:45


Coffee break


Coffee break


Coffee break


Coffee break


10:45 – 12:30

Get together: 13:00



Orientation: 13:30


Fitness landscapes of molecules:

Empirical fitness landscapes, experimental evolution, and protein design


Fitness landscapes of cells:

Global properties of fitness landscapes of cells


Fitness landscapes of organisms:

Punctuated equilibrium revisited


Fitness landscapes of populations:

Red Queen dynamics, Darwinian extinction, community assembly


12:30 – 13:30


Lunch break


Lunch break


Lunch break


Lunch break


14:00 – 18:00



complex fitness landscapes


*Short walk

Sights of the Zin






*Hike: down the Zin Canyon






*Hike: Nachal Ardon






*Hike: Snapir Katan, Khatira Crater





19:00 – 20:00


Supper break


Supper break


Supper break


Dinner party



20:30 – 21:30

Fyodor Kondrashov

Population genomics of the critically endangered spoon-billed sandpiper

Dan Tawfik

Proteins – from so simple a begging

Shirli Bar-David

Potential applications of genetic data for the conservation and management of species

Ally Harari

Evolution of alternative signals: tragedy of the commons vs. common wisdom


21:30 - ?










*Excursion destinations may change according to weather conditions and bloom phase