Citizen science project ​ ‘Melanogaster, Catch The Fly! ’

The Citizen science project ‘Melanogaster, Catch The Fly!’ adapts to COVID-19: 14 schools from Spain and Germany are committed to researching how organisms adapt to new environments

● 250 students and more than 60 international laboratories participate in collecting biological samples for the citizen science project ‘Melanogaster, Catch The Fly!’
● Results that have already been obtained include the discovery of the ‘Tomelloso virus’ and the first European map of genetic variation in Drosophila melanogaster.
● Citizen science protocols have been fully adapted to comply with the hygiene and physical distance measures imposed by COVID-19.

Press release – ‘Melanogaster: Catch the Fly!‘: MCTF press release 07 2020
Project website:

Black Lives Matter

Black lives matter. After many years of fights and protests, how sad it is that we still have to be reminded of this simple fact. We are deeply moved by the horror of racist crimes, and we share the frustration and anger that they justly trigger. As evolutionary biologists and members of the European Society of Evolutionary Biology (ESEB), we wish to express solidarity with and support for victims of racism, in the US and all over the world.
While the history of racism has distinct features in the US, much of it has European roots, and we should not overlook the sad fact that European history itself is soaked with the blood of the victims of racism – and that so many of our citizens and immigrants to Europe endure ongoing hardship, prejudice, violence, and uphill battles to succeed and develop as human beings only because of their skin colour or origin.

Evolutionary biology has contributed in a complex way to debates about race, some of which have unfortunately been used to justify racist attitudes. None of the knowledge that we produce can justify discriminating between people according to their origin or skin colour. It seems to us that antiracism is fundamentally a moral standpoint, not a scientific perspective. The outrage that so many of us feel over ongoing racial violence and discrimination in our world may nevertheless prompt us, as members of ESEB, an international learned society that brings diverse people together, to ask what we can do to combat these blights.

How can we make our scientific community more diverse and welcoming? Despite its international profile, ESEB membership remains unrepresentative of human diversity, globally or in Europe. Since its inception in 1987, ESEB has seen a steady increase in the contribution made by women to evolutionary biology and to the life of the society. However, non-Caucasians are severely underrepresented in our research community and in ESEB. We clearly need to maintain efforts to be more inclusive in our reach and activities as a Society, to be alert to the potential influences of unconscious bias to which we are all prone, to adopt and act on policies that increase diversity in many dimensions, and to combat all forms of racism. The ESEB Equal Opportunity committee welcomes suggestions from our members on what more we can do.

ESEB Executive Committee: Ophélie Ronce (President), John Pannell (Secretary), Koen Verhoeven (Executive Vice-President), Wolf Blankenhorn (Editor in Chief, JEB), Mike Ritchie (Evolution Letters Officer)

Corona pandemic and ESEB Initiatives Funds

Dear grantees of Equal Opportunity Funds, Hewitt Mobility Awards, Outreach Initiative Funds, and Special Topic Networks,

The corona pandemic is likely to adversely affect many of the ESEB-sponsored activities this year.

We are aware that you might have difficulties to carry out your activities or projects as planned. If your project is delayed, interrupted or needs to be postponed, we have decided under these exceptional circumstance to grant an automatic extension for the completion and report deadlines by up to six months. Please briefly inform the ESEB office ( if you need such an extension.

In case you have to cancel any activities, please try everything you can to get refunds expenses you may have already incurred! For all costs that cannot be covered otherwise, you may exceptionally use the funds granted by ESEB. Please note, however, that such costs will have to be taken from the original budget and should be explained in the report you submit. ESEB will consider to grant supplementary funds only under very exceptional circumstances.

If you have any further questions, please contact the ESEB office ( at any time.