ESEB Outreach Initiative Fund

The European Soci­ety for Evol­u­tion­ary Bio­logy (ESEB) wel­comes applic­a­tions to the ESEB Out­reach Ini­ti­at­ive Fund for pro­jects that pro­mote evol­u­tion-related activ­it­ies. The goal of this ini­ti­at­ive is to improve pub­lic know­ledge about evol­u­tion globally.

Applic­a­tions for fund­ing will be accep­ted for edu­ca­tion­al ini­ti­at­ives that pro­mote evol­u­tion, trans­la­tion of evol­u­tion­ary mater­i­al (books, films, and web­sites) inten­ded for a gen­er­al audi­ence, pub­lic out­reach sem­inars, pub­lic exhib­i­tions, etc.

There will be a single call per year with a total budget of 20,000 €. A single pro­ject can be fun­ded with up to 4000 €, but smal­ler pro­jects are wel­come. We are request­ing a report after one year, at which time the pro­ject should be completed.

Please use the applic­a­tion form below to sub­mit your pro­pos­al and note the word lim­its giv­en herein.
Down­load: ESEB Out­reach Fund Applic­a­tion 2022

Pro­pos­als will be accep­ted until 15 March 2022 and should be sub­mit­ted by email to the ESEB office (Email:; Sub­ject: Out­reach Ini­ti­at­ive Fund 2022). We will acknow­ledge receipt of all applic­a­tions with­in a week. If you have not received our con­firm­a­tion by then, please con­tact the ESEB office again!

Please note that sci­entif­ic meet­ings are not sup­por­ted by ESEB Out­reach Ini­ti­at­ive funds. These fund also do not work as a mech­an­ism for con­tinu­al fund­ing. Once the poten­tial of a pro­ject has been demon­strated, this should be used as a basis to con­vince oth­er fund­ing sources on con­tinu­ation funds. Hence, sub­mis­sions by a group that has been suc­cess­ful in past calls may be pen­al­ized if the pro­pos­als are mere fol­low-ups of pre­vi­ous projects.

The applic­a­tions will be eval­u­ated by the Out­reach Ini­ti­at­ive Com­mit­tee:
Josefa González, Chair (ES)
Del­phine Sicard (FR)
Rhonda R. Snook (SE)
Hilde­gard Ueck­er (DE)
Karine Van Doninck (BE)

2021 – Accepted Proposals

A year told by women in evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy
Applic­ants: João Alpedrinha, Ana Rodrig­ues (PT)
Fund­ing provided: € 3000

Nowadays, des­pite the clear increase in the pro­por­tion of women work­ing on STEM-related sub­jects, most sci­ence-related job pos­i­tions are still held by men. The goal of this pro­ject is to foster an appre­ci­ation for sci­ence, for sci­ent­ists and for women pur­su­ing careers in science.

With the sup­port of ESEB Out­reach Ini­ti­at­ive, we invite 12 lead­ing Por­tuguese women research­ers in evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy to write two texts, one about their careers and the chal­lenges they had to over­come as women in sci­ence and anoth­er about a female evol­u­tion­ary bio­lo­gist that has influ­enced and inspires them in their careers. This mater­i­al will be used to pro­duce a yearly cal­en­dar that will be dis­trib­uted in high schools. We will also pro­mote the dis­cus­sion of these texts, by organ­iz­ing lec­tures and debates in schools with women researchers.

We want to inspire the young­er gen­er­a­tions, in par­tic­u­lar young girls, in pur­su­ing a career in science.

See­ing through our “plant-blind­ness”: the jour­ney of plant evol­u­tion. // Mir­ando más allá de nuestra “ceguera veget­al”: un viaje por la evolu­ción de las plantas
Applic­ant: Can­dela Blanco Moreno (ES)
Fund­ing provided: € 2100

This pro­ject aims to dimin­ish the so called “plant-blind­ness” phe­nomen­on, that con­sists in the tend­ency to ignore plants and dis­miss them as the back­ground. For this, we pro­pose to cre­ate an inter­act­ive game in two lan­guages, Eng­lish and Span­ish, and with three dif­fer­ent levels: gen­er­al pub­lic (adap­ted for primary school chil­dren), sec­ond­ary school, and university.

The game will be a jour­ney through the evol­u­tion of veget­a­tion with stops at key time peri­ods exem­pli­fied by Span­ish and oth­er European excep­tion­al loc­al­it­ies. This exped­i­tion will take us from: (1) the col­on­iz­a­tion of land dur­ing the Early Devo­ni­an, (2) the Car­bon­ifer­ous swamp forests, (3) the Meso­zo­ic veget­a­tion and first angio­sperms in the Early Creta­ceous, to (4) the angio­sperm dom­in­ated eco­sys­tems of the Mio­cene. The loc­al­it­ies used for the trip aim to acquaint the Span­ish pop­u­la­tion with their amaz­ing, yet poorly known, palaeo­botan­ic­al her­it­age, emphas­iz­ing the value of the fossil record and collections.

Illu­min­at­ing and dis­sem­in­at­ing the evol­u­tion­ary ori­gins of human ill­ness
Applic­ant: Rui Diogo (US)
Fund­ing provided: € 2500

Evol­u­tion­ary medi­cine is a rel­at­ively nov­el dis­cip­line. Des­pite the clear pub­lic bene­fit of its focus on health, there is less out­reach in this domain rel­at­ive to oth­er import­ant sci­entif­ic top­ics, such as out­reach to the broad­er pub­lic and also the engage­ment of underprivileged/underrepresented pop­u­la­tions. This pro­ject would help to fill that gap, edu­cat­ing both the broad­er pub­lic as well as med­ic­al stu­dents who can take this know­ledge into their future prac­tices. We plan to have the book trans­lated into Span­ish, Por­tuguese, and French, and dis­sem­in­ated in five dif­fer­ent con­tin­ents, through our web­site, will make it free and access­ible globally.

Human­ity: Our shared ori­gins museum exhib­i­tion
Applic­ant: Robyn Pick­er­ing (ZA)
Fund­ing provided
: € 4000

Human evol­u­tion plays an import­ant role in tack­ling issues such as racism and xeno­pho­bia, which plague South Africa, Africa and the globe and frame our daily inter­ac­tions. Human­ity is a per­man­ent museum exhib­i­tion at the Iziko South Afric­an Museum that provides an accur­ate and enga­ging source of learn­ing about human evol­u­tion for pub­lic and edu­cat­ors. It explains the essen­tial role of diversity in evol­u­tion and pro­motes dis­cus­sion around who we are and how we came to be this way. Human­ity also recog­nises the immense role of South Africa and Africa in human ori­gins research and inspires youth to fol­low careers in STEM where they, espe­cially Afric­ans and Afric­an women, are underrepresented.

The Aegean Archipelago, an act­ive evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy lab
Applic­ant: Iasmi Stathi (GR)
Fund­ing provided: € 4000

The East­ern Medi­ter­ranean and espe­cially the Aegean Archipelago of 27.000 islands and islets, con­sti­tute a major glob­al-biod­iversity hot­spot with a com­plex geo­lo­gic­al his­tory, sub­stan­tial spe­cies diversity and an excep­tion­ally high per­cent­age of endemism. With this pro­ject we intent to improve/broaden the know­ledge of young­er gen­er­a­tions about a) the evol­u­tion­ary pro­cesses that led to these excep­tion­al biod­iversity pat­terns, b) the import­ance of Com­puter Sci­ence and Bioin­form­at­ics in evol­u­tion­ary research, and c) the mul­tidiscip­lin­ary nature of evol­u­tion­ary research in general.

Prin­ted and digit­al edu­ca­tion­al activ­it­ies will be pro­duced, in Greek and Eng­lish lan­guages, includ­ing a) a board game cov­er­ing an Aegean timeline start­ing 22 Mya ago, and b) an evol­u­tion­ary-pro­cess game set con­sist­ing of phylo­gen­et­ic trees, Aegean taxa iden­tity cards and paleo­geo­graph­ic maps. Addi­tion­ally, a bird-strike nar­rat­ive explain­ing how DNA sequen­cing, evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy and bioin­form­at­ics can help to identi­fy anonym­ous sequences, includ­ing a web­serv­er, will be deployed.

Let’s Bot­an­ize
Applic­ants: Jac­ob S. Suissa and Ben Goulet-Scott (US)
Fund­ing provided: € 1738

Plants are power­ful vec­tors for teach­ing evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy. They are incred­ibly biod­i­verse, are the found­a­tion­al organ­isms of most eco­sys­tems, and can be eas­ily observed in nat­ur­al set­tings. Finally, they express variation—familiar to all through agri­cul­ture and horticulture—that allows one to see how muta­tions arise and lead to evol­u­tion in real time.

Let’s Bot­an­ize (@letsbotanize) is an Ins­tagram-based sci­ence com­mu­nic­a­tion series using plant life to teach about eco­logy, evol­u­tion, and biod­iversity through enga­ging pho­to­graphy and thought­fully pro­duced videos. As garden­ing and out­door recre­ation increase in pop­ular­ity, we are cre­at­ing a digest­ible entry point for a broad audi­ence to indulge their curi­os­ity about plant life and bio­logy more gen­er­ally. Our con­tent also sup­ports the edu­ca­tion­al mis­sions of the Arnold Arbor­etum of Har­vard Uni­ver­sity and the Har­vard Museums of Sci­ence and Cul­ture with whom we collaborate.

Tat­toos for Colom­bi­an Biod­iversity
Applic­ants: Eugenio Valder­rama Escal­lón, Maria José Arri­eta Mos­quera, Diana Obregón Corredor, Juan Pablo Calder­ón, Laura Gir­aldo Serna, and Ana María Por­ras Corredor, (CO)
Fund­ing provided: € 2662

Although Colom­bia is embed­ded in the Neo­trop­ic­al biod­iversity hot­spot, its spe­cies rich­ness remains under­es­tim­ated due to insuf­fi­cient sur­vey­ing and intern­al con­flicts threat­en­ing its diversity. To reach young urb­an adults in Colom­bia, we will use two media pop­u­lar with this age group – tat­too art and social media – to com­mu­nic­ate the evol­u­tion­ary and eco­lo­gic­al import­ance of threatened, recently described, endem­ic or tra­di­tion­ally used spe­cies of flora and fauna, and the rel­ev­ant social dynam­ics jeop­ard­iz­ing them. We will use and sup­port the ongo­ing ini­ti­at­ives of tat­too artists that include ele­ments of biod­iversity in their work. Com­bin­ing tat­too art with sci­entif­ic expert­ise opens pos­sib­il­it­ies to reach com­munit­ies rarely con­sidered in pub­lic engage­ment with sci­ence. The inclu­sion of both bio­lo­gic­al and social aspects rel­ev­ant to the pro­tec­tion, use and under­stand­ing of the selec­ted spe­cies will allow us to increase aware­ness and appro­pri­ation of biod­iversity that will help to ameli­or­ate its cur­rent threats.

2020 – Accepted Proposals

Align­ment: a tab­letop game that teaches about homo­logy, optim­iz­a­tion, and the mech­an­ics of sequence align­ment
Applic­ant: Scott Riffkin (US)
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

Games are fun, enga­ging, poten­tially edu­ca­tion­al, and sur­ging in pop­ular­ity. I pro­pose to har­ness some of this excite­ment by cre­at­ing tab­letop games that impli­citly teach sci­entif­ic con­cepts and techniques.

Sci­entif­ic con­cepts and meth­ods that involve the repeated applic­a­tion of a set of abstract rules lend them­selves read­ily to games. By repeatedly play­ing a game, play­ers build up an intu­ition for how the pieces are best manip­u­lated with­in the game’s rules and goals. If these pieces dir­ectly cor­res­pond to sci­entif­ic objects or pro­cesses, then the play­ers will also devel­op an intu­ition for the sci­ence. By focus­ing on the game first and later mak­ing the sci­entif­ic cor­res­pond­ence expli­cit, we may avoid anti­gen­ic responses to sci­ence, either con­scious or subconscious.

This pro­ject has two parts. The first is the design, pro­to­typ­ing, and field test­ing of a game based on sequence align­ment. The second is start­ing a sci­ence-based tab­letop game design group at UCSD.

Applic­ants: Peter Gal­busera and Bart Ver­heecke (BE)
Fund­ing provided: € 2630

Genet­ic biod­iversity is recog­nized as a level of biod­iversity because it is the basis for evol­u­tion and
adapt­ive poten­tial (to changes in the envir­on­ment). How­ever, it is not well known among the wider pub­lic. By (right­fully) link­ing this theme to the (cur­rently well adop­ted) theme of cli­mate change, we want to stress the import­ance of genet­ic (bio)diversity in (cli­mate) adapt­a­tion. The ESEB out­reach funds will be used to (fur­ther) devel­op an inter­act­ive floor game/quiz. In this activ­ity people take the place of anim­als that are con­fron­ted with cli­mate changes that threatens their sur­viv­al. We also want to con­vince the pub­lic that con­serving (genet­ic) biod­iversity in their/our own interest as the pre­ser­va­tion of species/ecosystems will in turn con­trib­ute to a more stable cli­mate. After (loc­ally) test­ing, we aim to dis­trib­ute this edu­ca­tion­al ‘product’ among our (European) part­ners (zoos, uni­ver­sit­ies, botan­ic­al gar­dens, musea…) to be used at sci­ence festivals.

Peter Gal­busera (research­er) and Bart Ver­heecke (sci­ence com­mu­nic­at­or)
Centre for Research and Con­ser­va­tion (CRC) of the Ant­werp Zoo Soci­ety
Koningin Astrid­plein 20–26
2018 Ant­werp, Bel­gi­um and

Darwin’s The­ory and our DNA: Help­ing Primary School Chil­dren make the Leap
Applic­ants: Alis­on Wright and Nic­ola Hem­mings (UK)
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

A sound under­stand­ing of how evol­u­tion works is essen­tial for address­ing a range of chal­lenges in every­day life. Our inter­act­ive work­shop for primary school stu­dents cov­ers fun­da­ment­al prin­ciples of evol­u­tion and genet­ics in order to pro­mote crit­ic­al think­ing skills and inquiry-based learn­ing from an early age. For this we use a fas­cin­at­ing real-life example: bird beaks. The incred­ible diversity in beak shape is an excel­lent mod­el for illus­trat­ing how nat­ur­al selec­tion works and Darwin’s the­ory. Beaks exhib­it strik­ing vari­ation in their size and shape, with often odd and unique fea­tures, and much of this vari­ation is asso­ci­ated with diet and eco­logy. Stu­dents will use life size, 3D prin­ted mod­els of bird beaks to for­mu­late hypo­theses about how beak shape evolves. This will be com­bined with a prac­tic­al activ­ity to extract DNA from cheek cells using every­day equip­ment and mater­i­als to high­light the basic prin­ciples of genet­ics and inheritance.

DEEP AND RECENT: Evol­u­tion les­sons for young Per­sian speak­ing stu­dents inter­ested in archae­ology and cul­tur­al anthro­po­logy
Applic­ants: Leila Papoli-Yazdi and Omran Garazhi­an (SE)
Fund­ing provided: € 2570

A couple of years after Iran’s 1979 revolu­tion, a massive effort was con­duc­ted to Islam­ize the courses of human­it­ies in uni­ver­sit­ies and high schools. Con­sid­er­ably, one of the vic­tims of such a change was courses related to evolutionary/Darwinism/cultural evol­u­tion­ary in the fields of anthro­po­logy and archaeology.

Not only in Iran but also in oth­er Per­sian speak­ing coun­tries such as Afgh­anistan and Tajikistan, the access to the evolutionary/cultural evol­u­tion­ary mater­i­al of edu­ca­tion is dif­fi­cult. To cov­er these prob­lems, DEEP AND RECENT spe­cific­ally aims to improve the know­ledge of Per­sian speak­ing schol­ars about evol­u­tion­ary, to provide edu­ca­tion­al mater­i­als and intro­duc­tions in Persian/English for Per­sian speak­ing schol­ars and to pro­mote research oppor­tun­it­ies to the most inter­ested by

  1. Cre­at­ing 12 Podcasts
  2. Pub­lish­ing 4 Booklets
  3. Build­ing a Website

By all these, DEEP AND RECENT tries to reply to sev­er­al ques­tions raised in the mind of youths about gene­a­logy and evol­u­tion­ary archae­ology and spread awareness

Dis­cov­er the micro­scop­ic world of bdel­loid roti­fers, why is this evol­u­tion­ary scan­dal a mod­el sys­tem for space research?
Applic­ant: Vic­tor­ia Mor­is (BE)
Fund­ing provided: € 2430

The concept of evol­u­tion is often hard to grab and explan­a­tions found in books are often not sufficient.

This pro­ject uses bdel­loid roti­fers as a notori­ous mod­el sys­tem in evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy to bet­ter under­stand the con­cepts of evol­u­tion. These small organ­isms are extremely stress tol­er­ant and are con­sidered as a major scan­dal in evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy due to the absence of males and sexu­al repro­duc­tion since mil­lions of years. There­fore, one could ask how do these organ­isms cre­ate genet­ic diversity, essen­tial for evol­u­tion? And how do asexu­als evolve in the long term and adapt to com­plete dry­ness, freez­ing and ion­iz­ing radi­ation? This pro­ject will high­light a case of evol­u­tion­ary research for edu­ca­tion­al pur­poses and is also part of the RISE pro­ject (roti­fers in space) which stud­ies impacts of space expos­ure to roti­fers. Besides the fact that bdel­loid roti­fers are easy to use to illus­trate the prin­ciples of evol­u­tion such as clon­ing, genet­ic diversity and adapt­a­tion to extreme envir­on­ments, these anim­als are also easy to cul­ture. They can be sent com­pletely dry and rehyd­rated in the class of sec­ond­ary schools whenev­er needed, be cul­tured, and dried again. These smal­lest anim­als on Earth can also eas­ily be sampled by chil­dren in the gar­dens or parcs because they live in mosses and lichens, found everywhere.

With­in this edu­cat­ive kit we provide liv­ing mater­i­al (roti­fer samples, dried), an online quiz about evol­u­tion and an inter­act­ive video to explain with a card game the prin­ciples of evol­u­tion. This pro­ject will serve as a simple, effect­ive, fun tool to under­stand “evol­u­tion by nat­ur­al selection”.

Feira de Evolução (Evolution’s Fair)
Applic­ant: Ana Eugénio (PT)
Fund­ing provided: € 1900

In Por­tugal, most stu­dents will nev­er be form­ally taught about Evol­u­tion in school. “Feira de Evolução” (“Evolution’s Fair”) will con­trib­ute to fill that gap and spread know­ledge about evol­u­tion­ary con­cepts in an enga­ging and didact­ic man­ner, with­in the com­munity of a Por­tuguese high school.

With the sup­port of ESEB Out­reach Ini­ti­at­ive, this pro­ject will involve elev­enth-grade stu­dents con­cep­tu­al­iz­ing and cre­at­ing activ­it­ies and games with­in the scope of Evol­u­tion, under the ment­or­ship of their teaches and sci­ent­ists. These stu­dents will be learn­ing how to explore a sci­entif­ic concept and how to pass it on to a gen­er­al audi­ence, becom­ing bet­ter sci­ence com­mu­nic­at­ors and fuel­ing their interest for science.

After­wards, the school will host a fair to present the stu­dents’ work to all the oth­er stu­dents, as well as teach­ers and staff attend­ing the event, expand­ing this community’s curi­os­ity and love for Evolution.

Ghost fruits  (ger­man: Geister­früchte)
Applic­ant: Veron­ica Preite and Wolfgang Stuppy (DE)
Fund­ing provided: € 1425

Botan­ic gar­dens are ideal places to raise aware­ness of the vital sig­ni­fic­ance of biod­iversity and the cur­rent extinc­tion crisis.
At the Botan­ic­al Garden of the Ruhr-Uni­ver­sity Bochum we will show an exhib­i­tion and offer guided tours on the evol­u­tion­ary riddle of “ana­chron­ist­ic fruits”.
Although the giant beasts of the ice age mega­fauna includ­ing mam­moths, mas­to­dons, gom­photheres and giant ground sloths have died out 13,500 years ago,
there are still plants today whose very large fleshy fruits have evolved to match the appet­ite and sens­ory pref­er­ences of these long-lost fas­cin­at­ing creatures.
Although an abso­lutely intriguing fact of nat­ur­al his­tory, the exist­ence of ana­chron­ist­ic fruits is gen­er­ally unknown to the pub­lic.
Many ana­chron­ist­ic plants are still around today. They owe their sur­viv­al to long gen­er­a­tion time (most are trees!), some lim­ited haphaz­ard dis­pers­al through rodents, grav­ity or water or because they were use­ful to humans.
But they may not be for ever.

“Once upon a time, human evol­u­tion…“
Applic­ant: Aket­za­lli González (MX)
Fund­ing provided: € 1200

Human evol­u­tion can be a mod­el for teach­ing bio­lo­gic­al evol­u­tion with gender approach.

The team will con­duct work­shops with high school stu­dents in Mex­ico City. In the ses­sions we will apply didact­ic strategies that include Col­lab­or­at­ive Learn­ing and the use of audi­ovisu­al resources, to teach the main con­cepts of evol­u­tion, the fossil record and mod­ern gen­om­ics. In turn, the work­shop will provide stu­dents with basic tools for the col­lect­ive cre­ation of a play.

With the sup­port of the ESEB Dis­sem­in­a­tion Fund, we will make videos using pup­pets and the stop motion tech­nique to exem­pli­fy the evol­u­tion­ary his­tory of human beings. The use of theatre and cinema will allow us to trans­mit evol­u­tion­ary con­cepts in non-con­ven­tion­al spaces such as classrooms. Stu­dents will present their per­form­ances and we will make a video com­pil­ing the exper­i­ences in the classroom.

Sci­ence and Soci­ety (Cièn­cia i Con­vivèn­cia) Inter­act­ive Work­shops
Applic­ant: Roberto Torres (ES)
Fund­ing provided: € 3270

It is cru­cial to raise aware­ness in soci­ety about evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy con­cepts, and its implic­a­tions in our daily lives. How­ever, these con­cepts are not explained enough in a soci­et­al con­text, that allow cit­izens to relate to these com­plex con­cepts with some of their main con­cerns. In CiC inter­act­ive, out­reach work­shops, sci­ent­ists and par­ti­cipants inter­act to tackle from a sci­entif­ic point of view, some of the main chal­lenges of liv­ing in soci­ety nowadays in Europe: migra­tions, diversity, changes, and adapt­a­tion. CiC allows evol­u­tion­ary bio­lo­gists to explain to par­ti­cipants from col­lect­ives in risk of social exclu­sion, how these evol­u­tion­ary strategies have proven their bene­fits in nature, and how this know­ledge can be use­ful in their daily lives. The CiC work­shops empower under­rep­res­en­ted col­lect­ives with know­ledge, using sci­ence as a tool for social cohe­sion, giv­ing cit­izens val­id argu­ments to face soci­et­al chal­lenges such as racism, health, cli­mate change and gender inequality.

Read more about the CiC work­shops at

Darwin’s The­ory and our DNA: Help­ing Primary School Chil­dren make the Leap
Applic­ants: Alis­on Wright and Nic­ola Hem­mings (UK)
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

A sound under­stand­ing of how evol­u­tion works is essen­tial for address­ing a range of chal­lenges in every­day life. Our inter­act­ive work­shop for primary school stu­dents cov­ers fun­da­ment­al prin­ciples of evol­u­tion and genet­ics in order to pro­mote crit­ic­al think­ing skills and inquiry-based learn­ing from an early age. For this we use a fas­cin­at­ing real-life example: bird beaks. The incred­ible diversity in beak shape is an excel­lent mod­el for illus­trat­ing how nat­ur­al selec­tion works and Darwin’s the­ory. Beaks exhib­it strik­ing vari­ation in their size and shape, with often odd and unique fea­tures, and much of this vari­ation is asso­ci­ated with diet and eco­logy. Stu­dents will use life size, 3D prin­ted mod­els of bird beaks to for­mu­late hypo­theses about how beak shape evolves. This will be com­bined with a prac­tic­al activ­ity to extract DNA from cheek cells using every­day equip­ment and mater­i­als to high­light the basic prin­ciples of genet­ics and inheritance.

2019 – Accepted Proposals

A 600 mil­lion year time travel through the evol­u­tion­ary his­tory of sponges – an edu­ca­tion­al video
Applic­ant: Astrid Schuster (PT)
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

Out­reach video explain­ing the evol­u­tion­ary his­tory and suc­cess of sponges through­out the Earth’s his­tory. We will use slow motion video tech­nique and film­ing at dif­fer­ent loc­a­tions to explain and illus­trate the basic con­cepts of how tra­di­tion­al tax­onomy, mod­ern gen­om­ics and the fossil record can be com­bined to gain a bet­ter under­stand­ing of sponge evol­u­tion. Through a diving field trip to Islas Cìes in Galicia we will show and explain the eco­lo­gic­al import­ance of sponges as hab­it­at build­ers. We will explore the Mio­cene sponge fauna in Albu­feira, South of Por­tugal to intro­duce the audi­ence to the remark­able fossil record of cer­tain sponge groups. The video will include exper­i­ment­al steps in the labor­at­ory to show how mod­ern genet­ic and tra­di­tion­al taxo­nom­ic tools can be linked with the fossil record to bet­ter under­stand sponge evol­u­tion. The video will be pro­duced in Eng­lish with sub­titles in Por­tuguese, Span­ish, Ger­man and French.

Act­ive Learn­ing Mater­i­als for Classroom and Out­reach Activ­it­ies focused on Human Evol­u­tion
Applic­ant: Trav­is Hagey (US)
Fund­ing provided: € 830

Enga­ging with pub­lic and shar­ing our know­ledge and excite­ment for learn­ing is an import­ant part of being a sci­ent­ist. As an effort towards this goal, I am excited to receive ESEB sup­port to pur­chase a set of rep­lica prim­ate and Hom­in­id skulls to sup­port activ­it­ies high­light­ing the ori­gins of Homo sapi­ens in the con­text of our liv­ing and extinct rel­at­ives. Accept­ance and under­stand­ing of evol­u­tion in the US is a uniquely Amer­ic­an issue. These mod­els will sup­port pub­lic engage­ment activ­it­ies with adults and chil­dren in the Colum­bus, Mis­sis­sippi, USA area and will be included as part of my intro­duct­ory and upper-level bio­logy cur­riculum at Mis­sis­sippi Uni­ver­sity for Women.

An evol­u­tion­ary per­spect­ive on bac­teri­al anti­bi­ot­ic res­ist­ance
Applic­ants: Paulo Durão, Roberto Bal­bontín (PT)
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

The intens­ive and uncon­strained use of anti­bi­ot­ics has accel­er­ated the dis­sem­in­a­tion of anti­bi­ot­ic res­ist­ant bac­teria, which is con­sidered to be one of the greatest threats to pub­lic health glob­ally. Anti­bi­ot­ic-res­ist­ant infec­tions are increas­ing world­wide and deaths related to res­ist­ant bac­teria are estim­ated to reach mil­lions by 2050, even over­com­ing can­cer. Our white­board anim­a­tion divul­ga­tion video aims to inform soci­ety about the evol­u­tion­ary con­cepts behind the emer­gence and dis­sem­in­a­tion of anti­bi­ot­ic res­ist­ance in bac­teri­al pop­u­la­tions. For instance, we illus­trate how the sur­viv­al of res­ist­ant bac­teria depends on key evol­u­tion­ary para­met­ers, such as the select­ive pres­sures for and against res­ist­ant bac­teria, and the effects of com­pens­a­tion for poten­tial costs of res­ist­ance. The video also stresses how basic research can impact the clin­ic, remind­ing soci­ety about the rel­ev­ance of sup­port­ing fun­da­ment­al research. Finally, the video provides some basic guidelines that help pre­vent the spread of anti­bi­ot­ic resistance.


Evol­u­tion: a dance as old as time
Applic­ant: Joana Loureiro (PT)
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

What can a small but­ter­fly teach us about evol­u­tion and cli­mate change?
To pro­mote pub­lic know­ledge of how evol­u­tion shapes the adapt­a­tion of organ­isms to envir­on­ment­al changes, we pre­vi­ously con­ceived a school chil­dren-suit­able game, “Cam­ou­flage”, that explores adapt­ive sea­son­al plas­ti­city in the Afric­an but­ter­fly Bicyc­lus any­n­ana.
Now, with the sup­port of the ESEB Out­reach Fund, we want to pro­duce a dance piece and film entitled “Evol­u­tion: a dance as old as time” to recre­ate and refor­mu­late “Cam­ou­flage”. We believe using the uni­ver­sal lan­guages of dance, music and film will allow us to take con­cepts like evol­u­tion, genes, and envir­on­ment to a much wider audi­ence.
The film will fea­ture ama­teur dan­cers – stu­dents, postdocs and non-research­ers – and ori­gin­al cho­reo­graphy to explore how thermally plastic B. any­n­ana traits – eye­s­pot size or col­or – influ­ence but­ter­fly detec­tion by pred­at­ors, as the dry and wet sea­sons become increas­ingly unpre­dict­able in the face of cli­mate change.

Evol­u­tion, Genes, and Envir­on­ment. Learn­ing Evol­u­tion on the Way Home
Applic­ants: Talia Ros­as & Car­los D. Suárez-Pas­cal (MX)
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

Mex­ico City is a crowded place and more than one and a half mil­lion people travel every day in its sub­way net­work. The goal of this pro­ject is to offer to this massive num­ber of pas­sen­gers a mul­ti­me­dia exhib­i­tion on the omni­pres­ence of bio­lo­gic­al vari­ation in nature and its impact on evol­u­tion through heredity.

The exhib­i­tion will illus­trate dif­fer­ent kinds of bio­lo­gic­al vari­ation, the pro­cesses that influ­ence their emer­gence, the mag­nitude of each kind of vari­ation, and the role that they play in evolution.

This exhib­i­tion will be access­ible to a vari­ety of people of dif­fer­ent ages and edu­ca­tion­al back­grounds, who use the sub­way as their main means of trans­port­a­tion to com­mute between the places where they work, study, or have leis­ure activ­it­ies, and their place of residence.

Evol­u­tion is fun: edu­ca­tion­al games in the school
Applic­ant: Istvan Sch­eur­ing (HU)
Fund­ing provided: € 1400

Have you ever been glad to catch a dis­ease? Chances are you have nev­er played the Epi­dem­ic Game! In this game, school­chil­dren flock togeth­er hop­ing to remain healthy, but fur­ther­ing the spread of con­ta­gion with every con­tact. This is a great tool to edu­cate kids about what makes an infec­tion effect­ive and how patho­gens evolve – and it is way more effect­ive than a lec­ture. With the sup­port of the ESEB Out­reach Fund, we will com­pile an open-access book­let of party and board games in the field of evol­u­tion and eco­logy – both in Eng­lish and in Hun­gari­an. In addi­tion to the Epi­dem­ic Game, the book­let will con­tain games about spe­ci­ation, illu­min­at­ing dens­ity-depend­ent selec­tion and trait sep­ar­a­tion, social con­flicts and many more. Bring­ing these games to the classrooms we can help teach­ers to demon­strate evol­u­tion and eco­logy in dif­fer­ent ways. Hav­ing fun at school can be contagious!

Is evol­u­tion really how we see it in sci-fi films?
Applic­ants: Jose Luis Horreo Escandón (ES)
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

Evol­u­tion­ary know­ledge will be dis­sem­in­ated com­par­ing sci­ence fic­tion films and real­ity. Evol­u­tion has been widely employed in cinema, espe­cially in sci-fi films, as cause or explan­a­tion for amaz­ing stor­ies; but obvi­ously such pro­cesses must not be actu­ally real. This can lead audi­ence to believe in erro­neous hypo­theses or evol­u­tion­ary the­or­ies as well as to dis­sem­in­ate them among friends and rel­at­ives. The here-presen­ted activ­ity will try to change this by explain­ing how evol­u­tion would agree, or not, with dif­fer­ent film plots. To do it, sev­er­al posters will be cre­ated and writ­ten in two lan­guages: Span­ish and Eng­lish, includ­ing a short descrip­tion of the film with the evol­u­tion­ary the­ory that it pro­poses, as well as the actu­al evol­u­tion­ary aspects supporting/disagreeing them in an eas­ily under­stood lan­guage. The posters will be exhib­ited in vari­ous loc­a­tions includ­ing films fest­ivals and oth­er film and sci-fi related events in Spain, or even in oth­er countries.

Geo­logy Park
Applic­ant: Kath­er­ine E. Carter (US)
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

Geo­logy Park is an immers­ive game that lets fam­il­ies and adults time travel back to the Per­mi­an-Tri­as­sic extinc­tion and through­out the Phan­er­o­zo­ic to recov­er the escaped Per­mi­an creatures. Mis­con­cep­tions about evol­u­tion are addressed with the feet as par­ti­cipants must travel a scaled mod­el of deep time. In addi­tion to explor­ing the radi­ations of import­ant phylo­gen­et­ic groups, par­ti­cipants can also col­lect data use­ful in recon­struct­ing the past. These include meas­ur­ing oxy­gen and car­bon diox­ide con­cen­tra­tion assess­ing pos­i­tion of con­tin­ence and even count­ing the rel­at­ive cov­er of dif­fer­ent groups of plants. We’ve cre­ated a strong nar­rat­ive the drives the story and the par­ti­cipants explor­a­tion for­ward and cre­ate mul­tiple oppor­tun­it­ies for fur­ther engage­ment. Many of the char­ac­ters that they will meet have sep­ar­ate side quests and stor­ies that will keep par­ti­cipants inter­ested long after the ini­tial nar­rat­ive. NCSE has designed this activ­ity to have 3 levels so that par­ti­cipants can have exper­i­ences last­ing between 15 minutes and 1 hour. With ESEB fund­ing we were also able to cre­ate an app that allows par­ti­cipants to play across the world. We released this activ­ity to 20 clubs across the coun­try and have made all of the mater­i­als freely avail­able online. → Resources → News about the activity.

Life in Euca­lypts
Applic­ant: Maid­er Iglesi­as-Car­rasco (AU)
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

The concept of adapt­a­tion and how it can gen­er­ate biod­iversity is rarely dis­cussed in Aus­trali­an cul­ture. Australia’s Euca­lypts are an icon­ic nation­al emblem, yet very few people real­ise the import­ant role that these trees play in shap­ing Aus­trali­an eco­sys­tems and biod­iversity. We will run the “Life in Euca­lypts” pho­to­graphy com­pet­i­tion to encour­age both adults and chil­dren to get out­side and look at the Euca­lypts around them and doc­u­ment the inver­teb­rate life that they see. The com­pet­i­tion will be accom­pan­ied with a pop­u­lar sci­ence talk focus­ing on the var­ied ways in which anim­als have adap­ted to liv­ing on Euca­lypts and how Euca­lypts have con­trib­uted to the evol­u­tion of Australia’s unique biod­iversity. By get­ting people to observe and doc­u­ment loc­al biod­iversity by them­selves and then share some of the won­der­ful stor­ies about how evol­u­tion has gen­er­ated this diversity, we aim to engage our com­munity in what seems like an abstract topic.

Nat­ur­al selec­tion in the nat­ur­al world
Applic­ant: Hana Kucera (CA)
Fund­ing provided: € 1350

Out­door edu­ca­tion provides an optim­al oppor­tun­ity for teach­ing about the pro­cesses of adapt­a­tion and evol­u­tion because it allows stu­dents to observe and inter­act with nature and make dir­ect con­nec­tions to the con­cepts they are learn­ing. In this pro­ject, we used our out­door set­ting to teach stu­dents about the pro­cesses of adapt­a­tion and nat­ur­al selec­tion. This pro­ject provides sup­port for teach­ers in the imple­ment­a­tion of the new cur­riculum and engages stu­dents in mean­ing­ful, hands-on, and act­ive learn­ing in the out­doors. Our col­lec­tion of mam­mal skulls (bear, cou­gar, wolf, deer, bat, and beaver) forms the basis of a hands-on com­par­at­ive activ­ity focused on identi­fy­ing nat­ur­ally selec­ted traits. Stu­dents par­ti­cip­ate in act­ive out­door games that demon­strate nat­ur­al selec­tion. This immers­ive and act­ive exper­i­ence helps to build stu­dents’ under­stand­ing of the rela­tion­ship between nat­ur­al selec­tion and pred­a­tion. Teach­ers can down­load all les­son plans, sev­er­al of which can be adap­ted and used in their own classrooms. Museums and oth­er non-form­al edu­ca­tion plat­forms are invited to use the les­sons as well.

SEARCH­ing for Dar­win
Applic­ant: Gemma Waters (UK)
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

Hamp­shire Cul­tur­al Trust is a char­ity man­aging 26 arts and museums attrac­tions across Hamp­shire, UK. This pro­ject will be based at the Trust’s edu­ca­tion centre, SEARCH in Gos­port. SEARCH provides oppor­tun­it­ies for hands-on learn­ing with access to real nat­ur­al sci­ence col­lec­tions. Dur­ing a week in Feb­ru­ary 2020, schools will be offered the oppor­tun­ity to vis­it SEARCH for Dar­win Detect­ives work­shops, explor­ing adapt­a­tion and evol­u­tion through hands-on activ­it­ies. In addi­tion, Hamp­shire teach­ers will be offered a pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment work­shop to help build con­fid­ence and inspire new ideas for teach­ing evol­u­tion in the classroom.

SEARCH will also work with col­leagues at Hamp­shire Ward­robe, the Trust’s cos­tume and school loans box hire ser­vice to pro­duce a Dar­win themed resource for schools. This resource will be a loans box of arte­facts and peri­od cos­tume that schools can bor­row to help teach­ers deliv­er the Evol­u­tion and Inher­it­ance aspect of the Nation­al Cur­riculum in class.

Sem­in­ar of Fran­cis Hallé at the Botan­ic­al Garden of Bar­celona: Is there such a thing as intel­li­gence in plants? Or How evol­u­tion shaped plant’s rela­tion­ships with the envir­on­ment
Applic­ant: Laia Barres (ES)
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

On the occa­sion of the 20th anniversary of the Botan­ic­al Garden of Bar­celona, Fran­cis Hallé gave a lec­ture on his the­or­ies about plant evol­u­tion and if there is such an intel­li­gence in plants and signed ver­sions of Hallé’s books “Plaidoy­er pour l’arbre” and “Eloge de la plante” could be pur­chased. The lec­ture was trans­lated sim­ul­tan­eously from French to Span­ish thanks to the sup­port by ESEB. Addi­tion­ally, the lec­ture is now avail­able online at You­Tube:
Fur­ther­more, Fran­cis Halle gave an inter­view to El Per­iódico, the most read news­pa­per in Cata­lonia. The res­ult­ing art­icle is avail­able here:
Anoth­er art­icle related to the con­fer­ence will be pub­lished in Cuer­po­mente (, and will spread the idea of plant evol­u­tion even further.

To the bones! – Haptic exper­i­ence of ver­teb­rate evol­u­tion
(ger­man: Bis auf die Knochen! – die Wir­bel­tier­ent­stehung erfüh­len)
Applic­ant: Astrid Böhne (DE)
Fund­ing provided: € 1420

Com­mu­nic­a­tion of sci­entif­ic know­ledge tends to be strongly based on visu­al resources, often exclud­ing people with sens­ory defi­ciency. Evol­u­tion is no stranger to this trend. When inform­a­tion is delivered only visu­ally, blind people are denied access and par­ti­cip­a­tion. Our sci­entif­ic com­munity thus loses diversity that could pro­mote more stim­u­lat­ing ways of teach­ing every­one. With this in mind, we designed a haptic game that will teach evol­u­tion to chil­dren with visu­al dis­ab­il­ity in a play­ful and enjoy­able way! Chil­dren will walk through the phylo­gen­et­ic tree of ver­teb­rates, dis­cov­er­ing biod­iversity and evol­u­tion­ary nov­elty, and the pro­cesses that give rise to it: nat­ur­al selec­tion and adapt­a­tion… all with real spe­ci­mens from museum ped­ago­gic col­lec­tions made avail­able through touch and sound. We believe that explor­ing altern­at­ive senses in out­reach is a first step to pro­mote inclus­ive edu­ca­tion and make sure that our com­munity is wel­com­ing to all who wish to learn about evolution.

Vir(Ev)o: High qual­ity intro­duc­tion videos on molecu­lar epi­demi­ology
Applic­ant: Sebasti­an Lequime (BE)
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

Molecu­lar epi­demi­ology focuses on explor­ing the dynam­ics of infec­tious dis­eases using the evol­u­tion­ary his­tory of patho­gens to gain new insights on the epi­demi­ology of infec­tious dis­eases. Our pro­ject, called Vir(Ev)o, will cre­ate a series of three edu­ca­tion­al videos to present to the gen­er­al pub­lic, in a high qual­ity and enter­tain­ing set­ting, key con­cepts of the field. We will first (i) present how vir­uses evolve, then (ii) how we can recon­struct, through stat­ist­ic­al tools, the evol­u­tion­ary links between these vir­uses and finally (iii) how this recon­struc­tion can be exploited to infer a prob­able spread­ing “his­tory” of these vir­uses in time and space, and how this helps us to under­stand epi­dem­ics. Avail­able in three lan­guages (French, Dutch and Eng­lish), these videos will be uploaded on the pop­u­lar stream­ing plat­form YouTube.

2018 – Accepted Proposals

Bring back the dodo? – Edin­burgh Inter­na­tion­al Sci­ence Fest­iv­al 2019
Applic­ant: Edin­burgh Inter­na­tion­al Sci­ence Fest­iv­al (UK)
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

Extinc­tion, evol­u­tion and de-extinc­tion are all top­ics that have proved hugely pop­u­lar in mod­ern enter­tain­ment and cul­ture – how­ever they have also been widely mis­rep­res­en­ted. Premier­ing at the 2019 Edin­burgh Inter­na­tion­al Sci­ence Fest­iv­al, we will cre­ate a brand new com­edy style event that asks: ‘did Jur­as­sic Park get any of it right?’

With clips and excerpts from films, TV and books, the pan­el of genet­i­cists and extinc­tion experts will chat through their resur­rec­tion bio­logy research and dis­cuss moments from Jur­as­sic Park and Jasper Fforde’s ‘The Eyre Affair’, to explore the valid­ity of bring­ing back extinct spe­cies such as the dodo and the woolly mam­moth. We will inter­rog­ate the poten­tial bene­fits and costs of de-extinc­tion and explore the pos­sible impacts on wider eco­sys­tems – includ­ing coun­try-spe­cif­ic examples like lynx and beavers in Scotland.

Bring­ing The Evol­u­tion Of Ant­arc­tica To Life at the Lyme Regis Fossil Fest­iv­al
Applic­ants: Huw Grif­fiths (UK), Hil­ary Blagbrough (UK)
Fund­ing provided: € 1500
Evolution of Antartica_Outreach2018

Ant­arc­tica was once a lush, for­es­ted con­tin­ent con­nec­ted to South Amer­ica, Africa, India and Aus­tralia. Over three days in May in 2019 more than 12,000 school chil­dren, sci­ent­ists, enthu­si­asts and fam­il­ies had a rare hands-on oppor­tun­ity to find out how anim­als and plants sur­vive the now frozen con­tin­ent at the Lyme Regis Fossil Fest­iv­al (3rd – 5th May).  The hands-on exper­i­ence involved unique Ant­arc­tic anim­al and plant fossils and chil­dren could check their height to see if they were as tall as a giant fossil pen­guin. Vis­it­ors came face to face with the unusu­al creatures that live around Antarctica’s coast today, includ­ing sea spiders and giant iso­pods (mar­ine wood­lice) bring­ing eco­lo­gic­al sci­ence to life. The inter­act­ive dis­play let the pub­lic meet real polar sci­ent­ists, learn how Ant­arc­tic they uncov­er clues to the Earth’s past cli­mate, see how they live in tents, try on their clothes required and check out the food they eat. The whole event was a huge success.

Evolution of Antartica_Outreach2018
But­ter­fly evol­u­tion & eco­logy: flex­ible out­reach through mul­ti­lin­gual mod­u­lar mater­i­als
Applic­ants: Krzysztof Kozak (PL/PA), Car­o­lina Concha (CL/PA), and Ana Pess­oa Pin­har­anda (PT/US)
Fund­ing provided: 1100

“Although Hel­ic­oni­us but­ter­flies have cap­tured the atten­tion of nat­ur­al­ists and bio­lo­gists for cen­tur­ies, few mem­bers of the pub­lic are aware what this won­der­ful group can teach us about evol­u­tion, genet­ics and eco­logy. At the same time, the few out­reach mater­i­als about Hel­ic­oni­us that do exist are stat­ic: designed for a spe­cif­ic audi­ence and mes­sage, exclus­ively in Eng­lish. We are design­ing a sys­tem of dynam­ic out­reach mod­ules that can be (a) mod­i­fied for a par­tic­u­lar audi­ence; (b) com­bined into a spe­cif­ic material/activity, using tem­plates for leaf­lets and posters. As a test case, we will dis­trib­ute a series of out­reach mater­i­als in Span­ish focus­ing on prom­in­ent aspects of Hel­ic­oni­us (life cycle, spa­tial eco­logy, mim­icry, pat­tern genet­ics), to dis­play and dis­trib­ute at nature Vis­it­or Centres in Panama, and later in oth­er devel­op­ing coun­tries where we study butterflies.”

Dia do Dar­win (Darwin’s Day)
Applic­ant: Grupo de Estudos Sobre Evolução Bio­ló­gica – GESEB (BR)
Fund­ing provided: € 600

In cel­eb­ra­tion of Darwin’s Day was held through a series of activ­it­ies over three days, count­ing with activ­it­ies for a wide vari­ety of pub­lics and, as the name sug­gests, the event pays an homage to the nat­ur­al­ist Charles Dar­win for his con­tri­bu­tions to sci­ence. On the first day pro­fess­or Sávio Torres, from Paraíba Fed­er­al Uni­ver­sity, gave two lec­tures: “Chal­lenges of Sci­entif­ic Divul­ga­tion in the Big Data Era” and “Intel­li­gent Design: An Altern­at­ive to the Evol­u­tion­ary The­ory?”. Also, pro­fess­or Max­well de Lima, from Ala­goas’ Fed­er­al Uni­ver­sity, presen­ted “Darwin’s Cri­tique of Paley’s Theo­lo­gic­al Argu­ment”. On the second day was held the Work­shop for Sci­entif­ic Com­mu­nic­a­tion – Ignite Evol­u­tion, with Gra­ci­elle Higino which aims to work out the best way to approach evol­u­tion­ary con­cepts with a non-sci­ent­ist pop­u­la­tion. On the third and last day, the sched­ule was geared for chil­dren. The recre­ation­al activ­it­ies held in Ala­goas’ Fed­er­al Uni­ver­sity Nat­ur­al His­tory Museum focused on teach­ing the chil­dren about evol­u­tion through play, movies and lots of fun.

For more inform­a­tion, please fol­low @geseb.ufal on Ins­tagram and Facebook!

Evol­u­tion­ary Tales
Applic­ants: Daisy Hessen­ber­ger (CH) & Chloé Schmidt (CA)
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

The tale of the three little pigs versus the wolf in their houses of straw, sticks, and bricks is a les­son about hard work. Retold from a biologist’s per­spect­ive, their clas­sic struggle could also teach us about anti-pred­at­or beha­vi­or, plas­ti­city, or per­haps adaptation!

We cre­ated a col­lec­tion of illus­trated short stor­ies that delves into fun­da­ment­al ideas in eco­logy and evol­u­tion, such as spe­ci­ation, genet­ic drift, loc­al adapt­a­tion, and nat­ur­al selec­tion, among oth­ers. “Evol­u­tion­ary Tales” is a fun twist on tra­di­tion­al fairy tales that make com­plex sub­jects easy to under­stand by telling them through stor­ies. The goal of this pro­ject is to increase curi­os­ity both about evol­u­tion and how research­ers study it. By reima­gin­ing nar­rat­ives known and loved by many, we endeavor to include audi­ences who are not com­monly reached by sci­ence com­mu­nic­a­tion efforts. Evol­u­tion­ary Tales is freely avail­able online in Eng­lish, French, Ger­man, and Span­ish:

Evol­u­tion­ary Bio­logy stars in the Sunday edi­tion of the Catalan qual­ity daily news­pa­per ARA
Applic­ants: Insti­tute of Evol­u­tion­ary Bio­logy (Uni­versit­at Pom­peu Fabra, ES) and Diari ARA (ES)
Fund­ing provided: € 2000

In the occa­sion of IBE’s 10th anniversary, the Catalan news­pa­per ARA pub­lished (July 1st) a spe­cial edi­tion on evol­u­tion under the leit­mot­iv “How we were and how we will be” mak­ing it coin­cide with the anniversary of the Day Dar­win and Wallace’s the­ory on nat­ur­al selec­tion was first presen­ted to the sci­entif­ic com­munity, back in 1858. This issue has dealt with top­ics such as the ori­gin of life and the ori­gin of mul­ti­cel­lu­lar­ity, the ori­gin of humans, what makes us humans, and how we will be in the future / the future of our spe­cies. Ten pages and the cov­er of the news­pa­per were devoted to evol­u­tion and two online inter­act­ive applic­a­tions were launched:

The pro­ject is aimed at explain­ing evol­u­tion to a lay audi­ence, spark­ing people’s interest in evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy and mak­ing vis­ible our Insti­tute and the research it under­takes. Des­pite IBE hav­ing a wide expert­ise in out­reach, most of the ini­ti­at­ives launched up to date are tar­geted either to chil­dren and young­sters or to a sci­en­tific­ally lit­er­ate adult audi­ence. Our 10th anniversary seemed a good oppor­tun­ity to take a step for­ward and reach a much wider and gen­er­al audi­ence. With that in mind, col­lab­or­at­ing with a qual­ity daily news­pa­per has demon­strated to be highly effect­ive and reached a huge impact towards this goal.
The amount of fund­ing provided by ESEB was used to pay part of the pro­duc­tion of the inter­act­ives. The Insti­tute of Evol­u­tion­ary Bio­logy and the news­pa­per ARA cofoun­ded the action.

Evol­u­tion in Action – tak­ing evol­u­tion research to the classroom
Applic­ants: Carita Lindstedt-Karek­sela (FI), Aigi Mar­gus (FI), and Emily Burd­field-Steel (FI)
Fund­ing provided: € 1200

In a recent ques­tion­naire pub­lished by the Envir­on­ment­al Min­istry of Fin­land, Finns were less con­cerned about the loss of biod­iversity as a glob­al threat than cli­mate change or plastic waste. One reas­on may be that know­ledge about biod­iversity, ‘where it comes from’ and how we are all depend­ent on it does not per­meate the research com­munity. Devel­op­ing work­shops and out­reach ven­ues, where we bet­ter dis­sem­in­ate this know­ledge, is key to solv­ing this. We star­ted “Evol­u­tion in Action –pro­ject” in 2017. Our aim is to pro­mote children’s under­stand­ing of the evol­u­tion, its times­cales and how humans impact eco­lo­gic­al and evol­u­tion­ary pro­cesses. This will guar­an­tee that people under­stand how bio­lo­gic­al inter­ac­tions shape and main­tain biod­iversity and how human actions cur­rently threaten it. Our work­shops are based around prac­tic­al activ­it­ies and will pro­mote crit­ic­al think­ing skills and inquiry-based learn­ing. We also organ­ize short courses for teach­ers and teach­er stu­dents to use these work­shops in their own teach­ing. From the begin­ning of 2019, we star­ted to col­lab­or­ate with artists to invest­ig­ate how to exper­i­ence sci­ence through art meth­ods. Togeth­er we cre­ate high-qual­ity con­tent that helps teach­ers to present sci­entif­ic ideas while also link­ing it with art teach­ing, cre­at­ive think­ing and the new Finnish Teach­ing cur­riculum. These work­shops encour­age a par­ti­cip­at­ory soci­ety for cit­izens and demon­strate how sci­entif­ic inform­a­tion is produced.

Link to the Evol­u­tion in action web­site:

Evol­u­tion in your school Tour 2018: Talk­ing with chil­dren to appre­ci­ate loc­al biod­iversity
Applic­ants: Len­in Chumbe (PE), Rosa María Cañedo (PE), Pamela Sanc­hez (PE), Nicol Faustino (PE), Ger­ardo Guti­er­rez (PE), José Luis Melo (PE), and Ana Lucía Rodrig­uez (PE)
Fund­ing provided: € 1200

Our goal is to let young schol­ars learn about evol­u­tion trough examples of Per­uvi­an biod­iversity. We want to start this pro­ject by devel­op­ing mod­ules focus­ing on evol­u­tion and biod­iversity top­ics of four selec­ted groups: fishes, amphi­bi­ans, rep­tiles, and mam­mals. These mod­ules will be brought to each school in order to make a work­shop. Each mod­ule will dis­play the prin­cip­al lin­eages, evol­u­tion­ary trees, evol­u­tion­ary his­tory, and their adapt­a­tions to their hab­it­at of the selec­ted groups with­in Per­uvi­an biod­iversity. Moreover, each mod­ule will con­tain maps, infograph­ics, inter­act­ive mater­i­al and mod­els to explain evol­u­tion. We want to make work­shop in schools in rur­al and peri­pher­al areas because we have real­ized for many schools is dif­fi­cult to vis­it an extern­al edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tion such as nat­ur­al his­tory museum mainly because of lack fin­an­cial sup­port and long-dis­tance trips implied.

Focus­ing the Lens on Evol­u­tion: Reach­ing the Span­ish-Speak­ing Pub­lic Through Social Media Videos
Applic­ants: Car­los Guarn­izo (CO), Vicky Fle­chas (CO), Andrew J. Craw­ford (CO)
Fund­ing provided: € 1400

Cien­cia Café, pa’ Sumer­cé (Sci­ence for YOU) is a year-old ini­ti­at­ive that aims to con­nect the Span­ish-speak­ing pub­lic dir­ectly to the excel­lent research in evol­u­tion and oth­er fields of sci­ence being done by Colom­bi­an sci­ent­ists with­in Colom­bia and world­wide. The pro­ject fea­tures a live monthly café in Bogotá that con­sist­ently draws 200+ audi­ence mem­bers, plus an act­ive vir­tu­al space where ori­gin­al video inter­views are pub­lished weekly on You­Tube. In these inter­views, fea­tured sci­ent­ists com­mu­nic­ate their recently-pub­lished research in a fun and enter­tain­ing way. We have quickly reached over 11,000 sub­scribers on Face­book and over 65,000 total views on YouTube.

We thank ESEB for provid­ing us with funds to buy a cam­era to improve the qual­ity of our videos! We are con­tinu­ously work­ing to attract a wider audi­ence, so please join us by search­ing Cien­ciaSumerce on Face­book, Twit­ter, Ins­tagram and YouTube!

Vis­it our webpage here:

“Rock, Paper, Scis­sors – when microbes play games“
Applic­ants: Mari­ann Lands­ber­ger (UK) and Andrei Serpe (UK)
Fund­ing provided: € 1700

“Rock, Paper, Scis­sors – When microbes play games” is an edu­ca­tion­al graph­ic nov­el illus­trat­ing the inter­ac­tions between bac­terio­phages and their hosts. The graph­ic nov­el is the res­ult of a col­lab­or­a­tion that occurred from mid-Feb­ru­ary to mid-July 2018 at the shared Corn­wall Cam­pus of Uni­ver­sity of Exeter and Fal­mouth Uni­ver­sity between Mari­ann Lands­ber­ger, a postdoc­tor­al research­er, and 2018-Fine Art gradu­ate, Andrei Serpe. The graph­ic design­er Chris Lewis helped out with the type­set­ting and format­ting of the Eng­lish, Ger­man and French ver­sions from mid-July to mid-Octo­ber 2018. A tri­lin­gual blog ( was main­tained through­out the pro­ject fea­tur­ing sketches, links and updates, announ­cing events and provid­ing recol­lec­tions of past activities.

A pro­to­type of the graph­ic nov­el and art­work was dis­played in gal­ler­ies (Fox Gal­lery at Fal­mouth Uni­ver­sity, ESI cre­at­ive exchange space at Uni­ver­sity of Exeter) from end May – end June 2018 to gauge the public’s interest and to get feed­back on how to improve the book. Incor­por­at­ing this feed­back into the final ver­sion, the graph­ic nov­el and art­work were exhib­ited and dis­trib­uted at ven­ues in Fal­mouth (The Spring Gal­lery at The Poly, The Hand Bar) from begin­ning July – end Septem­ber 2018.

Sci­ence Com­ic “Epi­gen­et­ics – Bridge between gen­ome and envir­on­ment”
Applic­ant: Alex­an­dra Weyrich (DE)
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

Epi­gen­et­ics is a recently emer­ging field of research that has chal­lenged the estab­lished views on how traits are trans­mit­ted between gen­er­a­tions and has there­fore opened up a more com­pre­hens­ive view on evol­u­tion­ary pro­cesses. We inten­ded to reduce the com­plex­ity of research-based know­ledge by illus­trat­ing the field of epi­gen­et­ics. The res­ult­ing Sci­ence Com­ic “Epi­gen­et­ics – bridge between gen­ome and envir­on­ment” was pub­lished in Decem­ber 2016 in Ger­man and Eng­lish (Authors: Alex­an­dra Weyrich and Olaf Nowacki; Illus­trat­or: Annette Köhn). In this ESEB fun­ded pro­ject we will con­tin­ue by trans­lat­ing the Sci­ence com­ic in more lan­guages to make the top­ic avail­able to a wider audi­ence. Across Europe, bio­lo­gic­al and evol­u­tion­ary edu­ca­tion in schools could thus be improved by provid­ing mater­i­al that explains this recent field of research in dif­fer­ent European languages.

→ Pro­ject report: 190528 IZW_Project Report for Website_Epigenetik

The evol­u­tion of plants on Mad­a­gas­car: who eats their fruits now that the giant lemurs have gone extinct?
Applic­ant: Renske Onstein (DE)
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

Out­reach video that aims to improve the under­stand­ing of evol­u­tion­ary con­cepts (e.g., genet­ic con­nectiv­ity, bot­tle­necks, spe­ci­ation and extinc­tion) at sec­ond­ary schools and uni­ver­sit­ies. These con­cepts are illus­trated using video shoot­age from our fieldtrip to Mad­a­gas­car, as well as by use of anim­a­tions. We study the evol­u­tion­ary fate of Mala­gasy mega­faun­al-fruited plants (fruits > 3 cm) since the extinc­tion of their primary seed dis­pers­ers: giant lemurs and ele­phant birds. Are these plants genet­ic­ally and mor­pho­lo­gic­ally adapt­ing to new, smal­ler-bod­ied fru­gi­vores or have they gone through genet­ic bot­tle­necks and are pos­sibly facing extinc­tion? The video will illus­trate these ideas guided by the sci­entif­ic and con­ser­va­tion activ­it­ies per­formed by research­ers on Mad­a­gas­car. ”

Track­ing the genet­ic foot­prints of mal­aria mos­qui­toes
Applic­ants: Josefa González (ES), Diego Ayala (FR), Roberto Torres (ES)
Fund­ing provided: 2000

A sci­ence out­reach video ori­ented to improv­ing pub­lic know­ledge about evol­u­tion glob­ally by show­cas­ing an ongo­ing research pro­ject aimed at under­stand­ing the adapt­a­tion of Anopheles mal­aria mos­qui­toes to dif­fer­ent envir­on­ments. The sci­entif­ic pro­ject show­cased, is a col­lab­or­a­tion between the CIRMF (Gabon), the CSIC (Spain), and the IRD (France), and it shows how sci­ence advances through inter­na­tion­al col­lab­or­a­tions, and by com­bin­ing labor­at­ory approaches with field work. Through a field-trip in a Nat­ur­al Nation­al Park in Gabon, the video pic­tures the day to day of a sci­entif­ic field trip, and explains to the pub­lic at large the import­ance of under­stand­ing spe­cies evol­u­tion, and how this under­stand­ing has con­sequences in our daily life. The video included the edu­ca­tion­al actions per­formed by research­ers in loc­al Gabonese rur­al vil­lages to raise aware­ness about the import­ance of the sci­entif­ic pro­ject car­ried out in their com­munit­ies. The video show­case the efforts of the research­ers dur­ing field-work in the Afric­an rain forest to obtain the mater­i­al to carry out the research.

The object­ive of the video is to raise aware­ness in the gen­er­al pub­lic about the import­ance of evol­u­tion­ary research on Anopheles mos­quito, respons­ible for human mal­aria para­site trans­mis­sion across the world, and the rel­ev­ance of this research in mal­aria con­trol strategies.

Pro­duced and dir­ec­ted by: Roberto Torres (La Cièn­cia Al Teu Món – Fruit Fly, Adapt­ive Sci­ence Out­reach) Screen­play: Roberto Torres, Josefa González, IBE (UPF-CSIC) and Diego Ayala (IRD, CIRMF)
Foot­age: Roberto Torres and Nil Rahola
Music: The_Dubwegians by Creator_Dub (Cre­at­ive Com­mons)
Fun­ded by: The European Soci­ety for Evol­u­tion­ary Bio­logy (ESEB)

Winter Camp for Per­uvi­an chil­dren: teach­ing basic con­cepts on evol­u­tion
Applic­ants: Marta Mari­alva (CH), Myra Flores (PE), Marco Fuma­soni (US), Angela Quispe-Salcedo (PE), Pedro Romero (PE), Sheena Sangay (PE)
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

Sci­ence edu­ca­tion is the land­mark to encour­age crit­ic­al think­ing and should be intro­duced in early stages of school train­ing. How­ever, bring­ing the sci­entif­ic pro­cess to the classroom through the applic­a­tion of inquiry-based learn­ing meth­od­o­lo­gies and hands-on exper­i­ment­a­tion is still often dif­fi­cult and con­sequently neg­lected. This work­shop inten­ded to improve the sci­entif­ic know­ledge of young Per­uvi­an stu­dents because we highly sup­port the idea that edu­ca­tion and sci­entif­ic know­ledge should be for every­one – regard­less of social status and gender. Giv­en the neg­at­ive impact that gender ste­reo­types has in girls’ atti­tudes towards sci­ence we there­fore decided to focus on teach­ing girls about a sub­ject that is typ­ic­ally under-rep­res­en­ted in the cur­riculum but that help us to have an integ­rat­ive and mul­tidiscip­lin­ary under­stand­ing of the world – Evolution.

We organ­ized four days of train­ing to teach dif­fer­ent aspects of the evol­u­tion­ary pro­cess: from the pro­duc­tion of genet­ic vari­ation (at the DNA level) to the selec­tion of vari­ants (at the pop­u­la­tion level) and adapt­a­tions (at the spe­cies level). Sev­er­al hands-on exper­i­ments and games were developed in order to turn stu­dents into act­ive play­ers in their learn­ing pro­cess. They were be encour­aged to work in teams, and stim­u­lated to ques­tion, to for­mu­late hypo­thes­is, to design exper­i­ments, to record obser­va­tions, to com­mu­nic­ate res­ults and to draw con­clu­sions. This teach­ing meth­od­o­logy inten­ded to improve their under­stand­ing about the sci­entif­ic pro­cess and Evol­u­tion, and to encour­age crit­ic­al think­ing. In addi­tion, we aimed to show that evol­u­tion­ary prin­ciples can be applied into vari­ous con­texts of our daily life. Hence, we looked at the dif­fer­ent adapt­a­tions of the uni­cel­lu­lar organ­ism that allows the pro­duc­tion of many fer­men­ted foods (yeast).

Over­all, we observed that this work­shop had pos­it­ive effects as all stu­dents showed interest to par­ti­cip­ate in future work­shops of this nature, con­firmed that they learned new things, and described ses­sions as fun or amaz­ing. In addi­tion, for 33% of the par­ti­cipants this was the first con­tact they had with a female sci­ent­ist; we observed an increase in stu­dents’ interest in sci­ence and in their motiv­a­tion to con­tin­ue stud­ies after sec­ond­ary school. These obser­va­tions jus­ti­fy our inten­tion to extend the pro­ject to oth­er par­ti­cipants includ­ing the rur­al areas of Peru – where school drop rate after com­plet­ing sec­ond­ary school is high­er – and to oth­er coun­tries includ­ing Por­tugal – where we already estab­lished part­ner­ships with Cova do Mar (, a non-profit organ­iz­a­tion work­ing with chil­dren in need, and PAJE (, a plat­form that helps foster children.

→ More inform­a­tion avail­able in the report: Evol­u­tion Work­shop @Peru_Report

2017 – Accepted Proposals

A Timeline of Human Evol­u­tion­ary Tree with Actual/Replica Skulls
Applic­ants: Çağrı Bakır­cı (USA), Babür Erdem (TR), Ezgi Altınışık (CZ), and Mehmet Somel (TR)
Fund­ing provided: € 2000

The pro­ject will involve a pub­lic, per­man­ent exhib­i­tion of hom­in­id fossils that will allow any­body vis­it­ing the Depart­ment of Bio­lo­gic­al Sci­ences at the Middle East Tech­nic­al Uni­ver­sity to see and learn about the evol­u­tion­ary his­tory of human beings and their close rel­at­ives. The goal of the exhib­i­tion is to teach the pub­lic that human evol­u­tion is not only about a cari­ca­tur­ized ver­sion of human-mon­key rela­tion­ship, but it is a com­plic­ated yet com­pel­ling his­tory of how spe­cies change through evol­u­tion­ary pro­cesses and how spe­cies like humans are not spe­cial in the realm of bio­logy. The exhib­i­tion will have real and/or rep­lica fossils of human skulls that will be arranged in the most cur­rent ver­sion of the human evol­u­tion­ary tree with plenty of inform­a­tion about each spe­cies that are taken from the lit­er­at­ure but sim­pli­fied for pub­lic audi­ence. The exhib­it will use a bright and attract­ive design to catch the atten­tion of vis­it­ors and stu­dents, and it will be pro­tec­ted with­in a glass case rein­forced by wood.

Cli­mate Pur­suit Goes Glob­al
Applic­ant: Mar­lene Cob­ben (NL)
Fund­ing provided: € 1500
Climate Pursuit Logo

Many spe­cies are cur­rently chan­ging their spa­tial dis­tri­bu­tions, either in a response to increas­ing tem­per­at­ures or while invad­ing new ter­rit­or­ies. Micro-evol­u­tion as a res­ult of spa­tial sort­ing and founder effects are largely over­looked aspects of these dis­tri­bu­tion­al changes, while they can have huge impact on pop­u­la­tion dynam­ics, as e.g. in the cane toad as it invades the Aus­trali­an continent.

In the online com­puter game Cli­mate Pur­suit ( you have to sur­vive 100 years of warm­ing by chan­ging your dis­tri­bu­tion and evolve increased repro­duc­tion and dis­pers­al cap­ab­il­ity. The game can be played in three modes: plant, rodent, and bird, each with their own rules on dis­pers­al and effect of urb­an areas. The ESEB Out­reach Ini­ti­at­ive Funds allowed us to trans­late the game into Eng­lish, to reach a much big­ger audi­ence for com­mu­nic­a­tion and edu­ca­tion about spa­tial sorting.

Image_CobbenReport_Can YOU survive climate change

‘Can you sur­vive cli­mate change? Try it yourself!’

→ More inform­a­tion avail­able in the report: ProjectReport_ClimatePursuitGoesGlobal

Dar­win Day at the Museum
Applic­ant: Jen­nah Dharam­shi, Elean­or Hey­worth, and Daniel Tam­ar­it (SE)
Fund­ing provided: € 500

Dar­win Day is an inter­na­tion­al cel­eb­ra­tion of the fam­ous bio­lo­gist Charles Dar­win, and it provides an excel­lent oppor­tun­ity for the pop­ular­isa­tion of evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy and sci­ence as a whole. Togeth­er with 60 young research­ers from Uppsala Uni­ver­sity, we designed and organ­ized a highly inter­act­ive evol­u­tion-themed event at the Naturhis­tor­iska Riks­museet (Nat­ur­al His­tory Museum, NRM) in Stock­holm over Dar­win Day week­end (Feb­ru­ary 10–11, 2018).

See this report (OutreachReport_Dharamshi) for more inform­a­tion and vis­it our pro­ject web­site for details on the activ­it­ies and the pic­ture gal­lery at

DNA Unrav­elled: Straw­berry DNA Extrac­tion
Applic­ants: Megan Phifer-Rixey and Bri­an Reiss (US)
Fund­ing provided: € 1000

The aim of our pro­ject was to engage with young stu­dents, explor­ing con­cepts related to DNA and evol­u­tion, while also encour­aging them to see them­selves as future sci­ent­ists. Teams of under­gradu­ates vis­ited five loc­al ele­ment­ary schools and guided classes aim­ing to extract DNA from straw­ber­ries using every­day items. The work­shops high­lighted the sci­entif­ic pro­cess and the sig­ni­fic­ance of DNA and evol­u­tion in our every­day lives. Import­antly, the inter­act­ive nature of the work­shops gave stu­dents a chance to be “sci­ent­ists” and to work dir­ectly with col­lege stu­dents pur­su­ing careers in sci­ence. Funds from the ESEB Out­reach Ini­ti­at­ive allowed us to engage about 500 stu­dents in this activ­ity and to provide teach­ers with kits to con­tin­ue this work­shop in the future at low cost.

Fur­ther inform­a­tion about the work­shops and the pro­to­cols used is avail­able at

Evol­u­tion in Action – tak­ing evol­u­tion research to the classroom
Applic­ant: Emily Burd­field-Steel (FI)
Fund­ing provided: € 1100


Twit­ter: @EvoWorkshops

Since receiv­ing fund­ing in 2017 the Evol­u­tion in Action Pro­ject has suc­cess­fully developed and imple­men­ted our evol­u­tion­ary work­shops in schools and pub­lic events across Fin­land. We have received extremely pos­it­ive feed­back from chil­dren, teach­ers, and under­gradu­ate stu­dents from the Teach­er Edu­ca­tion Depart­ment at the Uni­ver­sity of Jyväs­ky­lä. We have vis­ited eight schools, ran­ging from pre-schools to high schools with­in Fin­land as of May 2018. In total, 642 chil­dren have taken part in the Aposemat­ism Work­shop and 604 in the Inva­sion Bio­logy Workshop.

Evol­u­tion on the way
Applic­ant: Vladi­mir Jovan­ović (RS)
Fund­ing provided: € 1200

The aim of our pro­ject is to explain evol­u­tion­ary mech­an­isms to ele­ment­ary and high school stu­dents through the inter­act­ive work­shops, that would pro­mote evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy. Work­shops would be part of Evo­C­orner activ­it­ies of Research­ers’ Night ReFo­cuS pro­ject in 2017. We envi­sion two types of work­shops: short­er ones that will travel in a truck-labor­at­ory to three small towns in Ser­bia (May Septem­ber 2017), and the ones that will take place in 7 big­ger towns (29th Septem­ber 2017, Research­ers’ Night). Work­shops trav­el­ling in the Sci­ence Truck are inten­ded for groups of 20–30 pupils and would last for an hour with 4 work­shops per day. The sci­ent­ists will be present­ing evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy research in Ser­bia (selec­tion for longev­ity in weevil strains, meta­pop­u­la­tion dynam­ics etc.), as well as work­ing on evol­u­tion­ary hypo­theses (e.g. evol­u­tion of gir­affe neck) with stu­dents. Dur­ing the Research­ers’ night, vis­it­ors will learn more on evol­u­tion­ary mech­an­isms, espe­cially the role of migra­tions. Among oth­er things, we plan to devel­op the board game “bird migra­tions” that will be played dur­ing the Research­ers’ Night 2017, and be giv­en to vis­it­ors as a take away.

From cells to domains – Evol­u­tion of life on Earth
Applic­ant: Ser­bi­an Evol­u­tion­ary Soci­ety rep. by Bil­jana Sto­jković, Mirko Đorđević, and Uroš Savković (RS)
Fund­ing provided: € 1100

The edu­ca­tion­al exhib­it “From cells to domains – evol­u­tion of life on Earth” was a great suc­cess. Vis­ited by more than 4000 people, the impact of present­ing the evid­ence and real­ity of evol­u­tion to gen­er­al pub­lic was con­sid­er­able. The exhib­it itself served as an “evol­u­tion­ary hub” that man­aged to bring pro­fess­ors from vari­ous dis­cip­lines and school teach­ers on one place. Rich and event­ful pro­gram, which accom­pan­ied the exhib­it, uplif­ted and expan­ded its impact. This exhib­it was also a unique oppor­tun­ity for stu­dents to take act­ive part in pro­mot­ing sci­ence, engage in sci­ence com­mu­nic­a­tion and explain the import­ance of evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy in mod­ern world. Dur­ing the exhib­it, stu­dents had a chance to con­nect and get ideas about diverse out­reach activ­it­ies that they could real­ize and imple­ment in their loc­al com­munit­ies. This aspect of the exhib­it was espe­cially import­ant and had a spe­cial weight con­sid­er­ing the ever present threat from non­scientif­ic and pseudos­cientif­ic views in Ser­bi­an society.

At the end, we hope that this exhib­it served as an inspir­a­tion for sim­il­ar activ­it­ies that might take place in Ser­bia and we hope that we will see more such events in the future.

I Encon­tro Ala­goano de Evolução (2st Ala­goas’ Meet­ing on Evol­u­tion)
Applic­ant: Grupo de Estudos Sobre Evolução Bio­ló­gica (GESEB) (BR)
Fund­ing provided: € 950

Due to suc­cess of the first meet­ing and the need­ful sup­port by ESEB, the Study Group of Evol­u­tion­ary Bio­logy (GESEB) real­ized the 2nd Ala­goas’ Meet­ing on Evol­u­tion in March 2018 in Maceió, Ala­goas, Brazil. This is a unique event about evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy, res­ult­ing from con­tin­ued effort by GESEB, a vol­un­tary study group about evol­u­tion, cre­ated by stu­dents of a pub­lic uni­ver­sity from Brazil in 2014. The Ala­goas’ Meet­ing brought import­ant nation­al and region­al researches, loc­al edu­ca­tion pro­fes­sion­als, and stu­dents. The object­ive was to increase the con­nec­tion between aca­demia and soci­ety, pro­mot­ing a dia­logue about sci­ence and evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy teach­ing, philo­sophy, and his­tory. There was debates, lec­tures and short-term courses. Con­cerned with pub­lic schools, GESEB provided train­ing for teach­ers by pro­fess­ors and reseach­ers about the main dif­fi­culties faced in the classroom when teach­ing evol­u­tion and has presen­ted new teach­ing meth­ods. Fur­ther­more, the meet­ing had the hon­or to pro­mote the launch of a new trans­lated ver­sion of the 1st edi­tion of the book “On The Ori­gin of Spe­cies” (in por­tuguese “A Ori­gem das Espé­cies”). This ver­sion has been care­fully revised and trans­lated by the renowned brazili­an research­er PhD. Nelio Bizzo, and was released at the 2nd Ala­goas’ Meet­ing on Evol­u­tion by pro­fess­or Bizzo himself.

Report: Report IIEAE 2018

Nar­rat­ives of evol­u­tion in the primev­al forest
Applic­ants: Bar­bara Pietrzak and Zofia Prokop (PL)
Fund­ing provided: € 1000

Alto­geth­er, 46 people par­ti­cip­ated in the work­shop held on 7–8 April 2018 at the Jagi­el­lo­ni­an Uni­ver­sity (UJ) in Kraków, Poland. The par­ti­cipants came from dif­fer­ent loc­al­it­ies around the coun­try and rep­res­en­ted the wide spec­trum of fields and expert­ise involved in sci­entif­ic inquiry and com­mu­nic­a­tion: from evol­u­tion­ary bio­lo­gists, through psy­cho­lo­gists, lan­guage teach­ers, to story tell­ers, writers, and visu­al artists. Before the work­shop, the par­ti­cipants exchanged their field of expert­ise and com­mit­ted to one of the work­ing groups. The work­shop began with a cre­ativ­ity incent­ive organ­ized by Inter­pret Europe rep­res­ent­at­ives, which was fol­lowed by intro­duct­ory lec­tures by three invited seni­or sci­ent­ists, experts in evol­u­tion, eco­logy and forest bio­logy. The brain storm­ing and pro­ject group work was ini­ti­ated with an intro­duc­tion to storytelling and nar­rat­ive build­ing. The second day of the work­shop was devoted to the devel­op­ment of the ini­tial ideas and craft­ing them into pro­ject drafts. The work­ing groups con­tin­ued devel­op­ing their ideas after the work­shop, with dif­fer­ent pro­jects being cur­rently at dif­fer­ent stage of realization.

Pro­jects final­iz­a­tion and res­ults dis­sem­in­a­tion is in pro­gress. Two of the five work­ing groups have so far con­tin­ued their pro­jects to a developed stage: 1. Eco­lo­gic­al suc­ces­sion in the nat­ur­al forest card game is in its beta-ver­sion, sci­en­tific­ally worked out, with its nar­rat­ive and logics, tested in play, with sug­ges­tions for game­play cor­rec­tions. 2. Film anim­a­tion telling two altern­at­ive stor­ies – on nat­ur­al forest regrowth after dis­turb­ance versus sup­por­ted res­tor­a­tion via tree plant­ing, includ­ing the thread of nat­ur­al selec­tion in action – is at the stage of script finalization.

Nearly 100 Years Since the Scopes Tri­al: Teach­ing Evol­u­tion in Ten­ness­ee
Applic­ant: Nicole Creanza (US)
Fund­ing provided: € 500

Here in the south­ern United States, there is a strong debate over teach­ing evol­u­tion versus cre­ation­ism in the classroom, where evol­u­tion is still often treated as a con­tro­versy. As a con­sequence of these atti­tudes, mis­con­cep­tions about evol­u­tion are com­mon and stu­dents struggle to under­stand the basic prin­ciples. We cre­ated kits with four games are designed to teach kids some com­monly mis­un­der­stood prin­ciples in evol­u­tion. The games are: 1) a puzzle game to teach the role of DNA in evol­u­tion, 2) an act­ive gym-style game to teach pred­at­or-prey dynam­ics and con­cepts of the times­cales of evol­u­tion, 3) a craft activ­ity to teach kids the prin­ciple of des­cent with modi­fic­a­tion, and 4) an indoor com­pet­it­ive game emu­lat­ing Dar­win’s stud­ies on finch evol­u­tion to teach the concept of nat­ur­al selec­tion. These games were tested with middle school age stu­dents (ages 10–13), who enjoyed play­ing them. We assembled 11 kits and donated 9 of them to classrooms cov­er­ing rur­al school dis­tricts across the state of Ten­ness­ee, gave one kit to a stu­dent sci­ence volun­teer pro­gram at Vander­bilt to take with them to loc­al classrooms, and kept one more for our organ­iz­a­tion to use for future out­reach events. This kit will help kids learn evol­u­tion­ary prin­ciples inter­act­ively and with mater­i­als not oth­er­wise avail­able. It will also aid teach­ers when they teach the top­ic and ensure that the kids under­stand the found­a­tion­al con­cepts and are well informed on what evol­u­tion really means and does not mean. The kit con­tents are either reusable, inex­pens­ive, or could be replaced with com­mon classroom or house­hold items so that any­one any­where can make their own kit. The instruc­tions and mater­i­als lists for all games are pos­ted online here ( for any­one who is interested.

Places of Evol­u­tion
Applic­ant: Daniele Por­retta (IT)
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

The Itali­an Pen­in­sula is a hot­spot of biod­iversity. Out­reach activ­it­ies mainly con­sist of spe­cies lists and inform­a­tion about their eco­logy, while the pro­cesses that cre­ated that bio­lo­gic­al rich­ness are restric­ted to the aca­dem­ic world and unknown to the gen­er­al pub­lic. The sea rock pools in the coast around the Mar­atea town in South­ern Italy, have been the focus of research activ­it­ies about micro-evol­u­tion­ary pro­cesses involved in the ori­gin of two beetle spe­cies belong­ing to the Och­thebi­us genus (O. quad­ri­col­lis and O. urban­el­li­ae).

The pro­ject aimed to set up a per­man­ent exhib­i­tion and to organ­ize a pub­lic out­reach sem­in­ar to inform the pub­lic about the con­cepts of spe­cies, nat­ur­al selec­tion, hybrid­iz­a­tion and spe­ci­ation by illus­trat­ing the ori­gin of these beetle spe­cies as well as the his­tory of the sci­entif­ic adven­tures that have occurred in this area.

The exhib­i­tion “Places of Evol­u­tion” was inaug­ur­ated pub­licly at the inter­na­tion­al museum day pro­posed by the Inter­na­tion­al Coun­cil of Museums – ICOM Italy (May 18 2018) in the rooms of De Lieto Palace, a his­tor­ic­al palace loc­ated in the centre of Mar­atea. The exhib­i­tion was pub­li­cized through the press, social net­works, paper invit­a­tions and posters. In the even­ing, a pub­lic sem­in­ar was organ­ized with the par­ti­cip­a­tion of Mr. Domen­ico Cipolla, the May­or of Mar­atea, Miss. Isa­bella Di Deco, Coun­cil­lor for cul­ture of the Coun­cil of Mar­atea, Miss. Tina Pol­isciano, Pres­id­ent of the Cul­tur­al Centre “José Mario Cer­nic­chiaro”, and Mr. Michele Sapon­aro, Head of Press Office and Insti­tu­tion­al Com­mu­nic­a­tion of the Region­al Museum Pole of Basilicata.

In June, the exhib­i­tion moved to Tarant­ini Palace, a his­tor­ic­al palace loc­ated with­in a park in the centre of Mar­atea which hosts cul­tur­al events. It is well known to the cit­izens, vis­ited by stu­dents of the schools of the region, and recom­men­ded by tour­ist guides. The exhib­i­tion is per­man­ent; hence vis­it­or num­bers will increase in the future. The exhib­i­tion will be updated with fur­ther res­ults about evol­u­tion in the sea rock pools along the coasts of Mar­atea from the group of the Evol­u­tion­ary Eco­logy Labor­at­ory of Sapi­enza University.

A report of the sci­entif­ic activ­it­ies and res­ults obtained in Mar­atea will be included into the doc­u­ments that the City of Mar­atea is sub­mit­ting to be elec­ted as UNESCO site. Sapi­enza Uni­ver­sity and the Mar­atea city are work­ing to cre­ate a net­work of places where evol­u­tion has been invest­ig­ated and could be told to people.

Should I stay or should I go?
Applic­ant: José Manuel Cano (FI)
Fund­ing provided: € 1000

Edu­ca­tion­al (K‑12). Based on scanned data (micro-tomo­graphy and elec­tron­ic micro­scopy) we will provide an inter­act­ive web applic­a­tion to visu­al­ize, and explore, evolved mor­pho­lo­gic­al dif­fer­ences in ants. Dis­pers­al is a key factor in pro­mot­ing or con­strain­ing evol­u­tion­ary diver­gence and spe­ci­ation (i.e. favour­ing or lim­it­ing gene flow). The goal is to intro­duce the pub­lic to these con­cepts while inter­act­ing with vir­tu­al 3D morpho­types of fly­ing vs. non-fly­ing ant queens. The pro­to­type will be tested in two Finnish high-schools but will be freely avail­able through the web.

STEB: Selec­ted Top­ics in Evol­u­tion­ary Bio­logy
Applic­ants: Bar­bora Truben­ova & Himani Sach­deva (AT & SK)
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

Our pro­ject, aimed at high school stu­dents in Slov­akia, attrac­ted more than 100 stu­dents from over 50 schools. The stu­dents spent the school year learn­ing about evol­u­tion­ary top­ics through an extra­cur­ricular cor­res­pond­ence course, Selec­ted Top­ics in Evol­u­tion­ary Bio­logy (#STEB), and par­ti­cip­at­ing in the competition.

The pro­jects con­sisted of a series of 5 issues, deal­ing with the dif­fer­ent evol­u­tion­ary top­ics: ‘Evol­u­tion in Action’; ‘Out of Africa’; ‘Evol­u­tion, Anti­bi­ot­ics and Us’; ‘Let’s talk about sex!’; and finally, ‘Evol­u­tion of Cooper­a­tion and Altru­ism’. Each series con­tained an art­icle writ­ten in a way that was clear and attract­ive to high school stu­dents. Stu­dents read the art­icle and then answered sev­er­al mul­tiple choice ques­tions and, most import­antly, car­ried out a pro­ject. After each series, we eval­u­ated answers and pro­ject reports and sent stu­dents feed­back on their work.

At the end of the com­pet­i­tion (begin­ning of June), 20 of the top stu­dents were invited to IST Aus­tria for a two-day meet­ing. They toured the cam­pus and vis­ited sev­er­al sci­entif­ic labs, where they saw sci­ent­ists at work and learned, among oth­er things, about vir­tu­al real­ity for bac­teria. They also par­ti­cip­ated in sev­er­al hands-on activ­it­ies about selec­tion and evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy, heard vari­ous talks, and had the chance to chat inform­ally with sci­ent­ists at a pizza party. At the end of their vis­it, stu­dents received their cer­ti­fic­ates and chose one of many sci­entif­ic books as a prize. The pro­ject was sup­por­ted by IST Aus­tria and ESEB Out­reach Fund.

The next com­pet­i­tion star­ted and all inform­a­tion about it is avail­able on the STEB web­site at If you are inter­ested in the mater­i­al (for instance for run­ning the com­pet­i­tion in your coun­try), please get in touch with us (, or sign up for the competition.

Tack­ling cre­ation­ism in Ser­bia: effect­ive com­mu­nic­a­tion of evol­u­tion in high schools
Applic­ants: Mar­ina Rafa­jlović (SE), Mark Rav­inet (NO), Vladi­mir Jovan­ović (RS), Olja Tol­ja­gić (NO), and Roger But­lin (UK)
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

Edu­ca­tion­al work­shop for high school teach­ers in Serbia

“Effect­ively com­mu­nic­at­ing evolution”


Mar­ina Rafa­jlović (Depart­ment of Mar­ine Sci­ences, Uni­ver­sity of Gothen­burg, Gothen­burg, Sweden);
Mark Rav­inet (Centre for Eco­lo­gic­al and Evol­u­tion­ary Syn­thes­is, Uni­ver­sity of Oslo, Oslo, Nor­way);
Vladi­mir Jovan­ović (Depart­ment of Genet­ic Research, Insti­tute for Bio­lo­gic­al Research “Sin­iša Stanković”, Bel­grade, Ser­bia);
Roger K. But­lin (Depart­ment of Anim­al and Plant Sci­ences, Uni­ver­sity of Shef­field, Shef­field, UK)

Recently, evol­u­tion has been ser­i­ously ques­tioned in Ser­bia: a peti­tion call­ing for Darwin’s the­ory to be excluded from teach­ing in schools has been presen­ted to the Ser­bi­an Min­is­ter of Edu­ca­tion. This calls for urgent effect­ive com­mu­nic­a­tion of evol­u­tion to the gen­er­al pub­lic in Ser­bia. To this end, we will organ­ise a work­shop “Effect­ively com­mu­nic­at­ing evol­u­tion” primar­ily for high-school bio­logy teach­ers. The work­shop will con­sist of three main parts: 1) lec­tures and dis­cus­sions focus­ing on dif­fi­culties in teach­ing evol­u­tion and how to over­come them; 2) inter­act­ive part focus­ing on under­stand­ing evol­u­tion using evol­u­tion-related com­puter games, such as “Dawkin’s bio­morphs”, “Peppered moths” and sim­il­ar; and 3) pop­u­lar-sci­ence lec­tures with the focus on the evol­u­tion of mod­ern humans. We believe that our work­shop will pro­mote innov­at­ive teach­ing of evol­u­tion and cla­ri­fy to the stu­dents many of the com­mon mis­con­cep­tions regard­ing evolution.

Teach­ing evol­u­tion in sec­ond­ary schools: devel­op­ment and imple­ment­a­tion of an edu­ca­tion­al board game.
Applic­ants: Dana Lucía Aguilar, Matías Baran­zelli, Silv­ina Ale­jandra Cór­doba, ; Andrea Cosa­cov, María Eugenia Drewniak, Gab­ri­ela Fer­reiro, Con­stanza Clara Maube­cin, Mar­cela Moré, Valer­ia Pai­aro, Maur­i­cio Renny, Nicolás Rocamundi, Alicia Noemí Sér­sic, and Floren­cia Soter­as (AR)
Fund­ing provided: € 1350

The pro­ject con­sists of the devel­op­ment of a board game that incor­por­ates the main evol­u­tion­ary pro­cesses (nat­ur­al selec­tion, genet­ic drift, gene flow, muta­tion), to be imple­men­ted in the classrooms of sec­ond­ary schools. The game is based on both, know­ledge and haz­ard. The aim is to go through the dif­fer­ent evol­u­tion­ary pro­cesses without becom­ing extinct. It will include nat­ur­al pop­u­la­tions of sev­er­al Argen­tinean nat­ive spe­cies. Such edu­ca­tion­al mater­i­al includ­ing evol­u­tion­ary con­cepts and nat­ive spe­cies has not been pre­vi­ously developed in our coun­try. Moreover, most of the examples used for teach­ing evol­u­tion are based on exot­ic spe­cies. We believe that using an evol­u­tion­ary game with nat­ive spe­cies will help to teach com­plex the­or­et­ic­al con­cepts with spe­cies com­monly found in our nat­ur­al envir­on­ments, thus favor­ing the under­stand­ing of evol­u­tion­ary pro­cesses that shape loc­al biod­iversity. The final goal of the pro­ject is both, to donate the board game to edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tions to be used as teach­ing evol­u­tion­ary tools, and for our reg­u­lar out­reach activities.

Train­ing sec­ond­ary school bio­logy teach­ers to use hands-on classroom activ­it­ies to teach evol­u­tion
Applic­ant: Habiba Chirchir (US)
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

In July 2018, we suc­cess­fully com­pleted the high school bio­logy teach­ers’ work­shop in Mogo­tio, Kenya. We trained 26 teach­ers on classroom activ­it­ies per­tain­ing to: (i) res­ist­ance to chloroquine, and (ii) phylo­geny of the human fossil record. We were able to provide teach­ers with teach­ing mater­i­als on site suited for a rur­al classroom devoid of com­puters and Inter­net access. Fur­ther­more, we con­duc­ted a pre-and post-work­shop sur­vey. The res­ults were inter­est­ing, and showed a shift in atti­tudes in teach­ing and a demand for this type of train­ing. There was also a lot enthu­si­asm among teach­ers in adapt­ing the exer­cises. The res­ults from the sur­veys will be presen­ted as a poster at the Amer­ic­an Asso­ci­ation of Phys­ic­al Anthro­po­lo­gists in Clev­e­land in April 2019.

Under­stand­ing Evol­u­tion­ary Bio­logy for Chilean Sec­ond­ary School teach­ers: improv­ing teach­ing activ­it­ies and edu­ca­tion­al mater­i­al in the classroom.
Applic­ant: Marco A. Mén­dez T. (CL)
Fund­ing provided: € 1700

Out­come: This pro­ject aimed at provid­ing new edu­ca­tion­al mater­i­al to high school teach­ers (K‑12) in order to improve their teach­ing capa­city in evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy. We used the e‑book “Intro­duc­ción a la Bio­lo­gía Evol­utiva” (avail­able at to devel­op new teach­ing tools. One res­ult has been the devel­op­ment of a board game named “Mosa­ico Evol­utivo” (Evol­u­tion­ary Mosa­ic), that is based on evol­u­tion­ary con­cepts such as genet­ic drift, nat­ur­al selec­tion and coe­volu­tion.
This board game was presen­ted to Chilean teach­ers dur­ing three work­shops in 2017. These work­shops, for sec­ond­ary school teach­ers, entitled “Evol­u­tion in Action: Edu­ca­tion­al pro­pos­als for the classroom” took place in Iquique, San­ti­ago, and Talca. Each work­shop con­sisted of lec­tures that updated the teach­ers on evol­u­tion­ary con­cepts, and a prac­tic­al part in which the teach­ers became famil­i­ar and tested the above-men­tioned board game.
Impres­sions of these work­shops and fur­ther inform­a­tion is avail­able at:

Work­shop “Evol­u­tion for girl scientists”/ “Taller de evolu­ción para niñas con cien­cia”
Applic­ants: María Cristina Car­mona-Isunza, Ser­gio Ancona, and Mar­gar­ita Martínez Gómez (MX)
Fund­ing provided: € 1481

We will devel­op Evol­u­tion work­shops for girls in sev­er­al com­munit­ies of the small state of Tlax­cala in Mex­ico, one of the states with the low­est edu­ca­tion scores in the coun­try. These work­shops will con­sist of three fun activ­it­ies that will teach girls the main con­cepts of evol­u­tion: gen­er­a­tion of vari­ation, nat­ur­al selec­tion, adapt­a­tion and Dar­win’s the­ory of evol­u­tion. We have been car­ry­ing out sev­er­al sci­ence activ­it­ies in the past year with girls with the main object­ive of inspir­ing and attract­ing them into sci­ence car­ri­ers. By pro­mot­ing interest since an early age in sci­ence, this pro­gram wants to con­trib­ute to close the exist­ing gap in the num­ber of girls inter­ested and finally enrolled in a sci­ence career versus the num­ber of boys. We will now include the Evol­u­tion work­shop as part of our out­reach activities.


2016 – Accepted Proposals

Ancient Forests Sur­round Us
Applic­ants: Karl Fet­ter, Jam­ie Water­man, (US)
Fund­ing provided: € 1000

Forest com­munit­ies have exis­ted for nearly 380 mil­lion years and the spe­cies that form forests are con­stantly chan­ging through time. Spe­ci­ation, migra­tion, and extinc­tion are import­ant evol­u­tion­ary forces that shape the com­pos­i­tion of the forests that have exis­ted in the past and per­sist today. This exhib­it high­lights the import­ance of biogeo­graphy in the cre­ation of the forest com­munit­ies of North­east­ern North Amer­ica by com­par­ing a Mio­cene fossil flora col­lec­ted in Clarkia, Idaho to a mod­ern day flora in Ver­mont. The exhib­it jux­ta­poses mod­ern and Micoene leaves from the same gen­era – and some­times even the same spe­cies – to present the idea that the forests around us are the res­ult of hun­dreds of mil­lions of years of evolution.

An epi­gen­et­ic orches­tra or how music can help to under­stand epi­gen­et­ics
Applic­ant: Conchita Alonso, ES
Fund­ing provided: € 700

Music provides a unique tool for cre­at­ive and lud­ic learn­ing that can be shared both with­in and out of the classroom. The Epi­gen­et­ic Orches­tra Pro­ject employs music to explain how any organ­ism could become an artist: unique, shaped by the envir­on­ment where it lives, and able to innov­ate. We will estab­lish par­al­lel­isms between life code (DNA) and music code at sev­er­al steps (basic repet­it­ive code, rel­ev­ance of code alter­a­tions, instru­ment-tis­sue spe­cificit­ies, the envir­on­ment as dir­ect­or of the orches­tra) to smooth the under­stand­ing of a com­plex sci­ence concept to young stu­dents that will share the play-learn­ing pro­cess in a final concert.

Build­ing found­a­tions for under­stand­ing evol­u­tion
Applic­ant: Nicole T. Per­na, US
Fund­ing provided: € 1800

The J.F. Crow Insti­tute for the Study of Evol­u­tion has a strong com­mit­ment to evol­u­tion edu­ca­tion and out­reach. We have a his­tory of out­reach to young chil­dren. We have a his­tory of out­reach to middle school and high school teach­ers. But, we have not spe­cific­ally offered pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment dir­ectly to upper ele­ment­ary school teach­ers. This pro­ject addresses that gap. We will offer four evol­u­tion out­reach events for chil­dren as part of the Wis­con­sin Insti­tute for Discovery’s pop­u­lar Sat­urday Sci­ence pro­gram. Each event fea­tures a dif­fer­ent activ­ity designed to stim­u­late interest and increase under­stand­ing of evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy. These activ­it­ies have been pre­vi­ously offered as explor­a­tion sta­tions at our annu­al Dar­win Day out­reach events. We will couple this dir­ect out­reach to ele­ment­ary stu­dents with a linked pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment work­shop for ele­ment­ary school teach­ers. Gradu­ate stu­dents and postdocs will demon­strate the activ­it­ies to teach­ers, then teach­ers will observe the same stu­dents con­duct the activ­it­ies with chil­dren. After­wards, teach­ers and gradu­ate stu­dents will dis­cuss imple­ment­ing these activ­it­ies in their ele­ment­ary classrooms, and revise/refine the activ­it­ies using their com­ple­ment­ary expert­ise and exper­i­ence. For each out­reach exer­cise, we will pub­lish instruc­tions on the Crow Insti­tute web site and oth­er cur­riculum resource data­bases for repeat­ing the activ­ity at oth­er sites.

Colom­bia Pale­on­toló­gica
Applic­ant: Car­los Jara­millo, PA
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

The gen­er­al pub­lic in Colom­bia, a coun­try of about 50 mil­lion people, knows very little about pale­on­to­logy and evol­u­tion.  What is pale­on­to­logy? What does it study? How does it relate to Colom­bia and its high biod­iversity?  How fossils can help to under­stand the his­tory of life and the ongo­ing cli­mate change? We pro­duced “HACE TIEMPO, Un viaje ilus­trado por la pale­on­to­lo­gía Colom­bi­ana”, a book focus­ing on key con­cepts in pale­on­to­logy, evol­u­tion, and cli­mate over dif­fer­ent geo­lo­gic­al peri­ods in Colom­bia. The book is free of charge and the pdf ver­sion is avail­able for down­load here: Jara­millo 2018 IS-IH_Hace tiempo

Cre­at­ing Evol­u­tion Ambas­sad­ors
Applic­ant: Anindita Bhadra, IN
Fund­ing provided: € 1000

“Noth­ing in Bio­logy makes sense, unless in the light of evol­u­tion.” These fam­ous words by Theodosi­us Dobzhansky are repeated in every class on evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy across the globe. Yet, evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy remains one of the neg­lected branches of bio­logy in many cur­ricula, be it at the school, under­gradu­ate or post­gradu­ate levels. The Ambas­sad­ors of Evol­u­tion work­shop was pro­posed with the aim of cre­at­ing an interest on evol­u­tion among stu­dents in middle school, who have been intro­duced to Bio­logy, but are yet to reach the point of no return. 50 stu­dents from classes V to VIII of Ori­ent­al Pub­lic School, Kalyani atten­ded a two-day work­shop at the IISER Kolk­ata cam­pus on 19th and 20th August 2017. The work­shop com­prised of 4 lec­tures, hands-on exper­i­ments and the screen­ing of a film. At the end of the work­shop, the stu­dents were divided into groups of 4–5 and asked to select top­ics of their choice for the sci­ence fair to be hos­ted by their school on 8th Septem­ber 2017. The sci­ence fair was con­duc­ted on the after­noon of 8th Septem­ber 2017 and was atten­ded by all stu­dents from classes V to XI (the highest class at the school). The total num­ber of stu­dents was about 600. The out­reach pro­gram was thus highly suc­cess­ful in cre­at­ing aware­ness of and interest in a large num­ber of young chil­dren. In addi­tion, the volun­teers, who were PhD and Mas­ter­’s stu­dents of IISER Kolk­ata, gained expos­ure in train­ing young people, which would no doubt be of use to them in their careers.

Poster of the event: Ambas­sad­ors of Evolution

Flight of the Bumble­bee: An Inter­act­ive Video Game Exhib­it to Illus­trate Evol­u­tion­ary Prin­ciples from Gen­ome to Phe­nome
Applic­ants: Jeff Lozi­er, Michael Dillon, US
Fund­ing provided: € 1000

Thanks in part to the ESEB funds we developed an edu­ca­tion­al “video game” and incor­por­ated the game into a museum-style emplace­ment that includes graph­ic­al and text inform­a­tion­al pan­els. The install­a­tion focuses on an inter­act­ive video game to teach users (primar­ily K‑12, but the game is fun for all ages!) about evol­u­tion­ary adapt­a­tions for flight in dif­fer­ent sim­u­lated envir­on­ments. Users will play the “flight game,” with inputs provided by motion cap­ture via an Xbox Kin­ect linked to a small PC. The flight game requires users to flap their arms with dif­fer­ent effort to main­tain flight across in-game alti­tudes (sim­u­lat­ing dif­fer­ent air-dens­it­ies), but can “evolve” altered wing-mor­pho­lo­gies, informed by our real data, to reduce required effort. Along­side inform­at­ive dis­plays, the Learner Out­comes will be to teach users about evol­u­tion of flight physiology and loc­al adapt­a­tion to envir­on­ment­al vari­ation. Giv­en the avail­able funds, we decided to focus our efforts on the “flight game” aspect of the install­a­tion, but with later fund­ing from oth­er sources we hope to expand the game with addi­tion­al inter­act­ive mod­ules. The game plat­form has been com­pleted and cur­rently resides in the Lozi­er lab at U Alabama (see, but the inten­tion is to ulti­mately house the game at the UA Nat­ur­al His­tory Museum.

Human impact on para­site evol­u­tion
Applic­ants: Tine Huyse, Bel­gi­um, Iwona Pom, BE/PL
Fund­ing provided: € 1600

The aim of the pro­ject was to visu­al­ize the prin­ciples behind the evol­u­tion and spread of infec­tious dis­eases. In our edu­ca­tion­al anim­a­tion we focused on the impact of man, both in the past as in the present day.

Increas­ing mobil­ity and trade, in com­bin­a­tion with envir­on­ment­al and cli­mate change drive the spread of para­sites. Due to increas­ing tem­per­at­ures, trop­ic­al dis­eases can now per­sist in tem­per­ate cli­mates. Also beha­vi­or­al and socioeco­nom­ic factors involved. The extremely com­plex and sur­pris­ing evol­u­tion of para­sites’ life­cycles is fas­cin­at­ing but usu­ally invis­ible to the naked eye. The authors’ inten­tion was to visu­al­ize such com­plex pro­cesses tak­ing place in our closest envir­on­ment, to boost people’s ima­gin­a­tion con­cern­ing the para­sites’ evol­u­tion, and to under­stand their role in this story.

The main con­cepts of the story have been explained through an anim­ated infograph­ic. Such form is usu­ally facil­it­at­ing the learn­ing pro­cess and schem­at­iz­ing the newly acquired inform­a­tion. Such visu­al­iz­a­tion effect­ively helps in under­stand­ing com­plex top­ics as well as engages the atten­tion of the young and older public.

The pro­duced visu­al mater­i­al will be fur­ther used as work­shop mater­i­al at schools and museums, start­ing with the Roy­al Museum for Cent­ral Africa, which is cur­rently in renov­a­tion, and will reopen in June 2018.

Fol­low the link to the video:

I Encon­tro Ala­goano de Evolução (1st Ala­goas’ Meet­ing on Evol­u­tion)
Applic­ant: Grupo de Estudos Sobre Evolução Bio­ló­gica (GESEB), BR
Fund­ing provided: € 1000

The 1st Ala­goas’ Meet­ing on Evol­u­tion had been held on 09th-11th Novem­ber 2016 in Maceió, Ala­goas, Brazil. This was the first and most import­ant event about evol­u­tion in Ala­goas, a res­ult of the con­tin­ued effort of the Grupo de Estudos Sobre Evolução Bio­ló­gica (GESEB), a vol­un­tary study group about evol­u­tion cre­ated in 2014 by stu­dents of a pub­lic uni­ver­sity in Brazil. Since the first day, GESEB mem­bers aimed to give back to soci­ety and have been pro­mot­ing meet­ings and spe­cial events through these two years. With the 1st Ala­goas’ Meet­ing on Evol­u­tion, they inten­ded to increase the con­nec­tion between aca­dem­ics and soci­ety, pro­mot­ing a dia­logue about evol­u­tion, evol­u­tion teach­ing, philo­sophy and his­tory of bio­logy. This event gathered evol­u­tion research­ers of nation­al and region­al import­ance in Brazil, loc­al edu­ca­tion pro­fes­sion­als and stu­dents, pro­mot­ing exchange of exper­i­ences and know­ledge on the theme. There had been debates, lec­tures, short-term courses, and poster present­a­tions. In order to give spe­cial atten­tion to pub­lic schools, we provided train­ing for teach­ers about the main dif­fi­culties faced in the classroom when they need to teach evol­u­tion and sug­ges­ted new meth­ods. Addi­tion­ally, sec­ond­ary and high school stu­dents had been able to par­ti­cip­ate in activ­it­ies that elu­cid­ate evol­u­tion­ary concepts.

Sum­mary report: Ala­goas’ Meet­ing 2016

Present­a­tion of Classroom Evol­u­tion Activ­ity at the NABT Con­fer­ence
Applic­ants: Trav­is Hagey, Louise Mead, US
Fund­ing provided: € 1200

We will be imple­ment­ing, assess­ing, and dis­sem­in­at­ing a evol­u­tion classroom activ­ity. Our activ­ity has been used pre­vi­ously as a sci­ence-fair style activ­ity and was recently expan­ded into a classroom activ­ity. This pro­ject will provide the par­ti­cipants a valu­able pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment oppor­tun­ity to hone their skills teach­ing, assess­ing, and improv­ing activ­it­ies they have developed in pre­par­a­tion for teach­ing as fac­ulty. Our activ­ity intro­duces stu­dents to the pro­cess of evol­u­tion, spe­cific­ally the inher­it­ance and vari­ation of traits and nat­ur­al selec­tion, over time. Vis­ion and Change identi­fy evol­u­tion as one of the core con­cepts for bio­lo­gic­al lit­er­acy (Brew­er and Smith 2011). The format of this activ­ity was inspired by the 5E instruc­tion­al mod­el (engage, explore, explain, elab­or­ate, and eval­u­ate), encour­aging stu­dents to learn the same way sci­ent­ists do by mod­el­ing data, ask­ing ques­tions, and pro­pos­ing hypo­theses. Our activ­ity asks stu­dents to mod­el the evol­u­tion of a trait (bird col­or) in a pop­u­la­tion through time, stress­ing the pop­u­la­tion-level pro­cesses that gen­er­ate mor­pho­lo­gic­al diversity such as drift and selec­tion. Our example con­siders bird col­or, but the pat­terns illus­trated are gen­er­al to all of evol­u­tion. Over the course of the exer­cise, stu­dents will be intro­duced to eco­lo­gic­al car­ry­ing capa­city, muta­tion (dele­ter­i­ous, bene­fi­cial and neut­ral), her­it­ab­il­ity, fit­ness, spe­ci­ation, and extinction.

Pro­mot­ing evol­u­tion edu­ca­tion in Ghana: equip­ping high school teach­ers for hands-on stu­dent train­ing
Applic­ant: Thomas K. Karikari, UK/GH
Fund­ing provided: € 1000

To improve the incor­por­a­tion of evol­u­tion edu­ca­tion in sci­ence cur­ricula in resource-lim­ited set­tings requires that teach­ers are adequately trained and resourced on this top­ic. This pro­ject is there­fore aimed at train­ing juni­or high school teach­ers in Ghana to inde­pend­ently devel­op and imple­ment simple, low-budget evol­u­tion exper­i­ments using bench-sci­ence and com­pu­ta­tion­al approaches. Activ­it­ies will focus on under­stand­ing nat­ur­al selec­tion in an inter­dis­cip­lin­ary man­ner, by con­sid­er­ing key vocab­u­lary and con­cepts, spe­cif­ic examples and sim­u­la­tions, ana­lys­ing and inter­pret­ing data using math­em­at­ics and build­ing infer­ences from out­comes. Sub­sequently, our stu­dent-led out­reach team will vis­it selec­ted schools to sup­port teach­ers to integ­rate the new know­ledge into their teach­ing and engage stu­dents with excit­ing, inter­act­ive out­reach activ­it­ies. This pro­ject will be under­taken in part­ner­ship with the Ghana Edu­ca­tion Ser­vice, with the long-term goal to influ­ence cur­riculum changes towards inquiry-based education.

Phylo­geny at the High School
Applic­ants: Toni Gabaldón, Toni Pou Puja­das, Sal­vador Fer­ré Bene­dicto, ES
Fund­ing provided: € 1000

In many coun­tries, high school stu­dents have to devel­op a Research pro­ject in which they per­form an ori­gin­al small research study on a top­ic of their interest. This pro­ject aimed to pro­mote interest of stu­dents to per­form such research pro­jects on top­ics related to evol­u­tion and phylo­geny and by devel­op­ing edu­ca­tion­al mater­i­al to pro­mote the use of a pub­licly avail­able phylo­gen­et­ic repos­it­ory such as PhylomeDB ( Thanks to ESEB sup­port we organ­ized a work­shop with high-school teach­ers and meet­ings between stu­dents and research­ers to train and pro­mote the use of PhylomeDB, the largest repos­it­ory of evol­u­tion­ary his­tor­ies to answer ques­tions related to the evol­u­tion of genes, path­ways, and phen­o­types. This pilot pro­ject was very suc­cess­ful and res­ul­ted in the elab­or­a­tion of train­ing mater­i­al that is access­ible to teach­ers and stu­dents who want to under­take a research pro­ject on evol­u­tion using pub­licly avail­able data.

Sci­ence Boost­er Club: Evol­u­tion at the Farmer’s Mar­ket
Applic­ant: Emily Scho­ern­ing, US
Fund­ing provided: € 1000

While NCSE’s Sci­ence Boost­er Club in Iowa City did not man­age to pro­duce the “Evol­u­tion at the Farmer’s Mar­ket” exhib­it by spring of 2017 due to lead­er­ship trans­itions in the pro­gram, the exhib­it was pro­duced by fall of 2017.  Dur­ing the spring of 2018 about 1,500 people in rur­al com­munit­ies inter­ac­ted with this exhib­it, which was aug­men­ted to provide inform­a­tion about genet­ics as well as the evol­u­tion of food crops.  In August of 2018, this exhib­it will be presen­ted dur­ing the open­ing week­end of the Iowa State Fair, along­side an inter­act­ive touch­screen exhib­it provid­ing com­ple­ment­ary genet­ics and evol­u­tion inform­a­tion.  The Iowa State Fair usu­ally reports an audi­ence of nearly 100,000 Iow­ans a day.  We anti­cip­ate that more than 15,000 Iow­ans from rur­al com­munit­ies will inter­act dir­ectly with this exhib­it through this cent­ral­ized and aug­men­ted oppor­tun­ity, in the con­text of a highly pop­u­lar region­al event focused on agri­cul­ture and com­munity pride.

Sci­ence Boost­er Club Pro­ject: Sum­mer Camp
Applic­ant: Emily Scho­ern­ing, US
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

The Sci­ence Boost­er Club Pro­ject, an out­reach ini­ti­at­ive of the Nation­al Cen­ter for Sci­ence Edu­ca­tion, will provide a week-long sum­mer day camp with hands-on activ­it­ies related to evol­u­tion for chil­dren in a rur­al school dis­trict. At this camp, stu­dents will engage in the sci­entif­ic meth­od to learn about evol­u­tion in an age-appro­pri­ate con­text.  We will focus on devel­op­ing skills related to the sci­entif­ic meth­od and sci­entif­ic prac­tice as we explore nat­ur­al envir­on­ments in a vari­ety of loc­al eco­sys­tems to learn about pop­u­la­tions, vari­ation and adapt­a­tion in extant organ­isms.  We will then vis­it loc­al fossil sites with palae­on­to­lo­gists to apply these les­sons to eco­sys­tems of the past.

This day camp will be a fun and edu­ca­tion­al exper­i­ence for par­ti­cipants and will provide valu­able inform­a­tion on evol­u­tion edu­ca­tion in rur­al, reli­gious, lim­ited income pop­u­la­tions. Data from the camp will be used for fur­ther pro­gram devel­op­ment, and the camp cur­riculum will be made pub­licly avail­able on the NCSE web­site ( so that oth­ers can imple­ment this activ­ity in their communities.

Sci­ence In Real Life (Sci­ence IRL): A You­Tube series that cul­tiv­ates enthu­si­asm for sci­ence
Applic­ants: Molly Edwards, Ram­in Rahni, US
Fund­ing provided: € 1000

Sci­ence IRL is a You­Tube series that provides the miss­ing link between text­book sci­ence con­cepts and sci­entif­ic research “in real life.” Cre­ated and hos­ted by Har­vard Uni­ver­sity PhD stu­dent Molly Edwards, each epis­ode of Sci­ence IRL shows how a text­book concept comes to life through an exper­i­ment that a sci­ent­ist does every day in the lab or the field. One of the most import­ant ele­ments of our videos is the anim­a­tions that illus­trate the sci­en­tific­ally com­plex con­tent we com­mu­nic­ate. Our anim­at­or, New York Uni­ver­sity PhD stu­dent Ram­in Rahni, cre­ated anim­a­tions for a spe­cial 7‑episode series about plant evol­u­tion. Each epis­ode fea­tures at least one guest sci­ent­ist at lead­ing plant bio­logy insti­tu­tions across the US such as Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity, UC Berke­ley, and the Uni­ver­sity of Illinois, and cov­ers top­ics such as plant-pol­lin­at­or inter­ac­tions and flor­al evo-devo.

→ Epis­odes:

  1. Har­vard Uni­ver­sity with Asst. Prof. Robin Hop­kins and post-doc Heath­er Briggs about but­ter­fly pol­lin­at­or pref­er­ence rein­for­cing Phlox repro­duct­ive isol­a­tion and col­or vari­ation. Released 10/18/16 with 3,009 views as of 10/27/17:
  2. Uni­ver­sity of Illinois at Urb­ana-Cham­paign with Asst. Prof. Katy Heath about plant-microbe mutu­al­isms for nutri­ent uptake. Released 12/19/16 with 1,192 views as of 10/27/17:

3.&4. Uni­ver­sity of Cali­for­nia, Berke­ley with Specht Lab PhD stu­dents about how plant col­lect­ing and herb­ar­i­um spe­ci­mens are used for plant evol­u­tion research (2 epis­odes). Part 1 released 1/31/17 with 1,375 views as of 10/27/17:; Part 2 released 3/10/17 with 721 views as of 10/27/17:

  1. Boyce Thompson Insti­tute on the cam­pus of Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity with Asst. Prof. Joyce Van Eck, about genet­ic engin­eer­ing tech­no­lo­gies and how they dif­fer from tra­di­tion­al select­ive breed­ing tech­niques. Released 8/4/17 with 1,345 views as of 10/27/17:
  2. Har­vard University’s Arnold Arbor­etum with Dr. Ned Fried­man (Arbor­etum dir­ect­or) and his PhD stu­dent Kristel Schoon­der­wo­erd, about the evol­u­tion & devel­op­ment of tree winter buds. Released 11/29/17
  3. Boyce Thompson Insti­tute on the cam­pus of Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity with USDA Sci­ent­ist Michelle Cil­ia about the inter­ac­tion tri­angle between cit­rus plants, cit­rus green­ing dis­ease-caus­ing bac­teria, and the psyl­lid insect that trans­mits the infec­tion. Released 09/13/18
“Sen­es­cence” – An Anim­ated Music Video About George Wil­li­ams’ Evol­u­tion­ary The­ory of Aging
Applic­ants: Baba Brink­man, UK, Steph­en Ste­arns, US
Fund­ing provided: € 2000

Sci­ence-based rap artist Baba Brink­man presents “Sen­es­cence”, a new anim­ated music video about the evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy of aging, based on George Wil­li­ams’ the­ory of ant­ag­on­ist­ic pleio­tropy. The song is part of Baba’s recent album “The Rap Guide to Medi­cine” (2015) which explores the emer­ging field of evol­u­tion­ary medi­cine. The full album can be streamed or down­loaded here. The video for “Sen­es­cence” will be sim­il­ar in style to Baba’s pre­vi­ous anim­ated music videos for the album, includ­ing “Gene’s Eye View” and “So Infec­tious”, and will tell the story of the human body and its evolved vul­ner­ab­il­it­ies, in the form of a love song about the evol­u­tion of aging.

Sym­bi­os­is Wars!
Applic­ant: Roberta Fish­er, NL
Fund­ing provided: € 1800

The goal of this pro­ject was to cre­ate a ‘sym­bi­os­is-themed’ card game for use as an edu­ca­tion­al and fun dis­cus­sion starter, either in classrooms or in museums. The card game is based on the pop­u­lar ‘top trumps’ concept – mean­ing that the game is mostly based on luck and not strategy. This means it can be intro­duced, played and dis­cussed quickly with a range of ages and abil­it­ies. There is also a short instruc­tions card and con­sist­ent design on the reverse of each card.

Picture of the cards "symbiosis war"

Each card has a bold image of the spe­cif­ic sym­bi­os­is, dif­fer­ent cat­egor­ies that are scored out of 10 and then a short blurb telling a little bit about the sym­bi­ot­ic rela­tion­ship. This can stim­u­late dis­cus­sion once the game is over.
A pre-print ver­sion of the card game was exhib­ited in 2018 at the Chel­ten­ham Sci­ence Fest­iv­al. It was shown as part of a stall on ‘Major Trans­itions in Evol­u­tion’, and was very pop­u­lar with guests.
If you are inter­ested in using the game as part of an exhib­i­tion or teach­ing, or want to devel­op it fur­ther, please con­tact Roberta Fish­er on

2015 – Accepted Proposals

5th Evol­u­tion, Sci­ence and Edu­ca­tion Sym­posi­um
Applic­ants: Ezgi Altinisik, Mehmet Somel, Zelal Ozgur Dur­mus, and Iraz Akis, TR
Fund­ing provided: € 1800

The 5th Evol­u­tion, Sci­ence and Edu­ca­tion Sym­posi­um took place from 19th-20th of Decem­ber 2015 at the Boga­zici Uni­ver­sity, Istan­bul.  A total of 800 par­ti­cipants atten­ded the sym­posi­um. Par­ti­cipants ranged from under­gradu­ate stu­dents to aca­dem­ic staff sci­ent­ists as well as bio­logy teach­ers. Plen­ar­ies were giv­en by Dr. Kahra­man Ipek­dal and Dr. Ergi Den­iz Özsoy. The ses­sions top­ics included Eco­logy and Evol­u­tion, Evol­u­tion in Edu­ca­tion Exper­i­ments, How Humans Became Human, Evol­u­tion of Birds, Evol­u­tion­ary Genet­ics, and Evol­u­tion The­ory in History.

EBES Pro­gram

A pic­ture book for loc­al com­munit­ies on evol­u­tion­ary strategies of endem­ic wild­life
Applic­ants: Dav­id Lehmann and Kath­leen Roel­lig, DE
Fund­ing provided: € 1800

In a recent cooper­a­tion between insti­tu­tions from Ger­many and Nam­i­bia ( research­ers dis­covered that gems­bok (Oryx gazella gazella) developed an evol­u­tion­ary adapt­a­tion that allows them to sur­vive in a region of restric­ted food resources. In drought peri­ods they switch their diet to a high pro­por­tion of pois­on­ous plants. We planned to com­mu­nic­ate the res­ults of this research cooper­a­tion and know­ledge on the concept of evol­u­tion­ary adapt­a­tions to the loc­al people in the study region in an eas­ily under­stand­able manner.

The goal of the pro­ject was to devel­op a pic­ture book for chil­dren and their par­ents to com­mu­nic­ate the res­ults of this research cooper­a­tion embed­ded into a frame­work of sev­er­al oth­er aspects:

(a) teach­ing the concept of evol­u­tion­ary adapt­a­tions
(b) increase aware­ness for loc­al wild­life and con­ser­va­tion
© impart know­ledge on the under­stand­ing of basic science

The pic­ture book “The Magic Trick”

Bonos Adventure: The Magic Trick - Oryx antelope and survival in the desert

Children’s book, 17x17cm, 24 pages

Idea, concept and story: Kath­leen Röl­lig,
Illus­tra­tions: Stef­fen Gump­ert
Scientif­ic consulta­tion: Dav­id Lehmann, John KE Mfune, Chris­ti­an Voigt
Project management: Miri­am Brandt, Heribert Hofer

The story:Bono the hare, Jinny the mouse and Otto the bat live under the hot Afric­an sun. One morn­ing, a stranger comes to the desert. The three friends fol­low him and find they have embarked on quite an adventure…”

Take home mes­sage of the story: Oryx can con­sume pois­on­ous plants in order to sur­vive peri­ods of drought.

The ESEB funds were used for the printing, trans­la­tions and distri­bu­tion of the book in Namibia.

More inform­a­tion on

Dif­fer­ent Approaches and Mod­els for a New Didactics of Evol­u­tion (Evo­DiA­MoND)
Applic­ant: Claudia Van­nini, IT
Fund­ing provided: € 1000

→ Sum­mary: The 1st edi­tion of EVODIAMOND was held in Pisa on 12th Feb­ru­ary 2016 (Dar­win Day) organ­ised by the Depart­ment of Bio­logy of the Uni­ver­sity of Pisa with the sup­port of an ESEB Out­reach Fund. A total of 120 attendees from all over Italy par­ti­cip­ated to the event: teach­ers and stu­dents from sec­ond­ary schools, journ­al­ists, museum cur­at­ors, schol­ars with dif­fer­ent expert­ise, MS/PhD stu­dents. The aim of the pro­pos­al was to raise aware­ness in future research­ers and teach­ers of the mul­ti­fa­ceted aspects of evol­u­tion as they are shap­ing by the latest fron­ti­ers of know­ledge. A call of ideas, EVODIAMOND Graph­ics, was launched to pro­mote a syn­ergy between visu­al arts and life sci­ences for find­ing new strategies to com­mu­nic­ate the his­tory of life.

High­lights of the day, slides and pho­tos, togeth­er with guidelines on “how to com­mu­nic­ate evol­u­tion” and the win­ning graph­ics are hos­ted on the EVODIAMOND web page – – for the free use of stu­dents and teach­ers of any country.

Encour­aging Slov­ak bio­logy teach­ers to include evol­u­tion in their classes
Applic­ant: Kristína Hudáková, SK
Fund­ing provided: € 1300

The aim of this pro­ject was to provide Slov­ak bio­logy teach­ers with a col­lec­tion of hands-on activ­it­ies, which would enable them to intro­duce evol­u­tion­ary ideas into their classes while still fol­low­ing the Slov­ak Nation­al Cur­riculum. The col­lec­tion con­tains 22 activ­it­ies that explain major evol­u­tion­ary prin­ciples in a way inter­est­ing and clear to high school stu­dents. The activ­it­ies range in their nature, top­ic and dif­fi­culty, enabling teach­ers to accom­mod­ate vari­ous indi­vidu­al require­ments of their classes. Each activ­ity con­tains detailed instruc­tions for the teach­er, as well as a stu­dent sheet with instruc­tions, ques­tions, tasks, tables or graphs, accord­ing to the nature of the activ­ity. Stu­dent sheets can be dir­ectly copied and dis­trib­uted to stu­dents, enabling teach­ers to incor­por­ate the activ­it­ies into their classes with min­im­al effort. The col­lec­tion of activ­it­ies was prin­ted as a book of 150 pages, dis­trib­uted to high school bio­logy teach­ers in Slov­akia, as well as to the main Slov­ak lib­rar­ies. The elec­tron­ic ver­sion of the book is also avail­able to be downloaded.

Ref­er­ence: Kristína Hudáková, Bar­bora Truben­ová. Úlo­hy z evolučnej bio­ló­gie pre gym­náz­iá. Brat­is­lava 2016. ISBN 978–80-972404–7‑9

Evol­u­tion’s toolkit: how spe­cies came to be
Applic­ants: Wendy A. Valen­cia-Mon­toya, Blanca Arbeláez, Car­los Jiménez, Héct­or M. Arango, Edwin Hur­tado, and Henry Aren­as-Castro, CO
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

→ Lat­in Amer­ica holds some of the most biod­i­verse regions on our plan­et. How­ever, the gen­er­al pop­u­la­tion is unaware of the pro­cesses that gen­er­ated and cur­rently main­tain such biod­iversity. Although evol­u­tion is com­monly taught in high-school bio­logy courses, deep mis­con­cep­tions still persist.

Image of the games

The Evol­u­tion’s toolkit (cam­Bio: caja de her­rami­entas de la evolu­ción) aims to provide didact­ic mater­i­al about evol­u­tion for a non-spe­cial­ist audi­ence to intro­duce the com­plex­ity of the mod­ern evol­u­tion­ary the­ory in a friendly man­ner. It com­prises four board games, one for each major evol­u­tion­ary force: muta­tion, migra­tion, nat­ur­al selec­tion, and genet­ic drift. Each game is set on a dif­fer­ent eco­sys­tem and fea­tures outoch­thon­ous and cha­ris­mat­ic spe­cies recog­niz­able to a Lat­in Amer­ic­an audi­ence. Through muta­tion, play­ers will gen­er­ate vari­ation in olfact­ory recept­ors in a Andean condor pop­u­la­tion; through migra­tion, they will intro­duce vari­ation among puff­bird pop­u­la­tions in the trop­ic­al dry forest; through nat­ur­al selec­tion, they will modi­fy the pro­por­tion of coat col­ors in mice in the páramo and the cloud forest; and through genet­ic drift, they will ran­domly vary the pro­por­tion of shell col­ors among turtles’ pop­u­la­tions in wetlands.

The games are freely avail­able at the Repos­itorio Institu­cion­al Hum­boldt:

Exper­i­ment­al evol­u­tion at play: Illus­trat­ing the import­ance of the com­pon­ents of adapt­ive evol­u­tion by using draw­ings.
Applic­ant: Adam Uri­el and Jelle Zandveld, NL
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

‘Exper­i­ment­al evol­u­tion at play’ is a com­bined edu­ca­tion­al and artist­ic work­shop in which we illus­trate the role of selec­tion, her­it­ab­il­ity and vari­ation in evol­u­tion by mak­ing use of draw­ings made by stu­dents. The key aim is to fire young adoles­cents´ ima­gin­a­tion so as to envi­sion for them­selves what life´s char­ac­ter­ist­ics, chal­lenges and con­di­tions were/are like in remote times, envir­on­ments, or scales.
As Richard Dawkins sug­gests in ‘the selfish gene’(1976) there are par­al­lels between what he terms ´memes´ in cul­ture, and genes in nature. Memes can be seen as cul­tur­al ana­logues to genes in that they self-rep­lic­ate, mutate and respond to select­ive pres­sures. In the work­shop, we apply this concept to draw­ings (of a life form) as draw­ings can also be rep­lic­ated (i.e. redrawn), show vari­ation between stu­dents (new muta­tions occur when draw­ings are redrawn) and can be selec­ted by anoth­er stu­dent to be redrawn. And so we expect a gradu­al change of draw­ings to hap­pen when this pro­cess is repeated enough times.
After vis­it­ing twelve high schools, each of which rep­res­ents anoth­er gen­er­a­tion of this ‘exper­i­ment­al evol­u­tion of draw­ings’ we make an anim­a­tion movie of the gradu­ally changed draw­ings that will be shown at each high school.

Improv­ing Skills of Bio­logy Teach­ers in Ser­bia
Applic­ant: Pet­nica Sci­ence Cen­ter, HS
Fund­ing provided: € 1300

The main goals of the work­shop was to empower high school teach­ers to be act­ive par­ti­cipants in pub­lic dia­log, to use evid­ence-based teach­ing meth­ods in the classroom, and to become cata­lysts of sci­ence out­reach in their com­munit­ies. Lec­tures and hands-on activ­it­ies were organ­ized and the par­ti­cipants developed nov­el teach­ing tools, pro­duced art­icles to be used in class and school clubs, and improved their sci­ence com­mu­nic­a­tion skills.

-> More details can be found here: Report – Petnica-Serbia-2016_web

Ode to Evol­u­tion: a pod­cast series integ­rat­ing evol­u­tion, art and storytelling.
Applic­ants: Lauren Esposito and Kath­ryn Quigley, US
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

It is very dif­fi­cult for mod­ern humans to sim­ul­tan­eously grasp their insig­ni­fic­ance in the evol­u­tion­ary tree of life, and their tre­mend­ous sig­ni­fic­ance with respect to influ­en­cing the course of evol­u­tion. This fun­da­ment­al mis­con­cep­tion lies at the heart of what has led us to the pre­cip­ice of anoth­er mass extinc­tion event on Earth. Ode to Evol­u­tion is a five epis­ode pod­cast series, that uses a storytelling approach to relate key con­cepts in evol­u­tion. Each pod­cast will fol­low sci­ent­ists explor­ing evid­ence for evol­u­tion via examples of cur­rent research in the field of Evol­u­tion­ary Bio­logy, accom­pan­ied by 1–2 minute anim­ated videos, and les­son plans for adapt­a­tion in schools. Offer­ing the pub­lic a deep per­spect­ive of the scale of evol­u­tion and the human rela­tion­ship with life on earth, Ode to Evol­u­tion provides a valu­able per­spect­ive at a crit­ic­al moment in history.

Sci­ence Bus
Applic­ant: Ian Song, US
Fund­ing provided: € 1600

“5C Sci­ence Bus con­tin­ued to teach hands-on, inter­act­ive sci­ence les­sons to more than 500 upper ele­ment­ary school stu­dents on a weekly basis. Using the funds gran­ted by the European Soci­ety for Evol­u­tion­ary Bio­logy, we con­tin­ued to cre­ate and teach les­sons in evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy. We taught les­sons on host-para­site inter­ac­tions, DNA tran­scrip­tion, nat­ur­al selec­tion, and fossils. We were also able to bring stu­dents by bus to our annu­al Sci­ence Day event, where stu­dents came to our col­lege cam­pus and learnt evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy from both a les­son on bot­tle­necks and nat­ur­al selec­tion and a mobile museum that describes the evol­u­tion of creatures in deep sea. Finally, towards the end of the grant, we taught a les­son on fossils.”

Applic­ants: Kamna Shastri and Bashira Chow­dhury, US
Fund­ing provided: € 983

sci­en­ceRMBL is a weekly half-hour long radio broad­cast of stor­ies nar­rated by evol­u­tion­ary eco­lo­gists in Eng­lish and Span­ish. We bring togeth­er three sci­ent­ists per epis­ode to tell the stor­ies under­ly­ing their work. Through storytelling, we aim to excite our audi­ence about evol­u­tion and eco­logy while emphas­iz­ing the crit­ic­al think­ing that sci­ent­ists employ to address evol­u­tion­ary puzzles. In our stor­ies, we will explore per­spect­ives that are often over­looked in dis­cus­sions of evol­u­tion­ary eco­logy. And through our sta­tion affil­i­ates, we will speak to under­rep­res­en­ted com­munit­ies world­wide, bring­ing stor­ies to those often left out of main­stream sci­entif­ic enrichment.

Snap­shots of adapt­a­tion: what nature’s pic­tures tell us about evol­u­tion
Applic­ant: Laura Flórez, CO
Fund­ing provided: € 1000

Our work­shop “Snap­shots of Adapt­a­tion” com­bines art and sci­entif­ic know­ledge to bring kids into con­tact
with their nat­ur­al envir­on­ment and to encour­age their under­stand­ing about it. Spe­cific­ally, pho­to­graphy is used
to stim­u­late children’s curi­os­ity towards loc­al flora and fauna, and didact­ic activ­it­ies on evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy
famil­i­ar­ize them with basic con­cepts in evol­u­tion like adapt­a­tion and nat­ur­al selec­tion that can be linked to
their own obser­va­tions. The work­shop was car­ried out in three dif­fer­ent com­munit­ies in Bogotá, Colom­bia,
belong­ing to the loc­al­it­ies Ciudad Bolivar, Kennedy and Usaquén. In total, 75 kids ran­ging from ages 4 to 15
took part.
A single work­shop con­sisted of 3 sessions:

  • Ses­sion 1: con­tact with nature through a guided vis­it and a pho­to­graphy activ­ity in the wet­land area “La Vaca” in Bogotá, Colombia.
  • Ses­sion 2: didact­ic activ­it­ies on adapt­a­tion and nat­ur­al selec­tion con­nect­ing these con­cepts to the exper­i­ence and obser­va­tions from ses­sion 1.
  • Ses­sion 3: exhib­i­tion of pho­to­graphs and pic­tures gen­er­ated by the children

→ More details are giv­en in here: Snap­shots of Adapt­a­tion – Report.

Teach­ing & Pop­ular­iz­ing Evol­u­tion in Tur­key
Applic­ants: Tülin Çet­in, Dilek Kop­tekin, Mehmet Somel, Mur­at Tuğrul, TR& AT
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

A 3‑day edu­ca­tion­al work­shop on teach­ing evol­u­tion for sci­ence teach­ers has taken place in Mevlana Pub­lic and Sci­ence Cen­ter in Bornova in Izmir province between August 25–27, 2017. It became a very pro­duct­ive meet­ing for 18 teach­ers and 9 sci­ent­ists. The first day of the work­shop was devoted to sci­entif­ic lec­tures by sci­ent­ists. In the second day the par­ti­cipants developed edu­ca­tion­al activ­it­ies for teach­ing evol­u­tion. The last day wel­comed 10 chil­dren with whom teach­ers had chance to prac­tise the edu­ca­tion­al activ­it­ies. By also wel­com­ing the fam­il­ies of these chil­dren, the work­shop was con­cluded with a con­cert by the Şubadap Çocuk, a music band which com­poses edu­ca­tion­al songs for chil­dren and devoted one of their albums to evol­u­tion. The details of the work­shop (pro­gram, pho­tos, etc.) can be found in the web­site of the work­shop:

As a part of the work­shop, a 108 pages book­let was also com­piled where the sci­entif­ic lec­tures and edu­ca­tion­al activ­it­ies in the work­shop are presen­ted. The first ver­sion of this book­let was dis­trib­uted in the work­shop. After receiv­ing feed­back from the teach­ers, we revised it and made it avail­able to down­load freely from the workshop’s web­site:

Undercurrent’s new edu­ca­tion­al theatre pro­duc­tion about the evol­u­tion­ary bio­lo­gist George Price (1922–1975) and his work, in co-pro­duc­tion with Cam­den People’s Theatre
Applic­ant: Under­cur­rent Theatre, UK
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

‘Cal­cu­lat­ing Kind­ness’ ran for three weeks at Cam­den People’s Theatre in April 2016, with four aca­dem­ic advisors (Pro­fess­or Grafen, Oxford; Pro­fess­or Pomi­ankowski, UCL; Dr Gard­ner, St Andrews; Dr Valli, KCL) and in part­ner­ship with the Brit­ish Lib­rary. The pro­duc­tion stim­u­lated pub­lic engage­ment with evol­u­tion­ary bio­lo­gist George Price and his work, used ima­gin­at­ive stage­craft and nar­rat­ive to effect­ively com­mu­nic­ate pre­vi­ously inac­cess­ible ele­ments of sci­entif­ic research to the gen­er­al pub­lic, and explored how the two strands of evol­u­tion­ary genet­ics and psy­chi­atry inter­sect in order to give dimen­sion to Price and his world. All eight­een per­form­ances were sold out, and the show received three Off West End award nom­in­a­tions (judging due early 2017) for Best Play, Best Pro­duc­tion and Best Male Per­form­ance. It received pos­it­ive reviews and excep­tion­al edit­or­i­al press cov­er­age in loc­al, region­al and nation­al papers, radio and online. A UK tour of the pro­duc­tion is now book­ing for autumn 2017.

Using object-based learn­ing to sup­port pre-ser­vice teach­ers’ sub­ject and ped­ago­gic­al know­ledge and under­stand­ing of the evid­ence for bio­lo­gic­al evol­u­tion.
Applic­ants: Paul Dav­ies, Joanne Nich­oll, and Dean Veall, UK
Fund­ing provided: € 1735

→ Sum­mary: This pro­ject was based at the Grant Museum of Zoology (GMZ), Uni­ver­sity Col­lege Lon­don (UCL). The pro­ject involved col­lab­or­a­tion between Sci­ence Edu­ca­tion experts at UCL and Museum Edu­ca­tion experts from the GMZ. Using an Object-Based Learn­ing (OBL) approach, the pro­ject brought togeth­er both in-ser­vice and pre-ser­vice school­teach­ers to design a series of OBL activ­it­ies focused on evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy, that the museum then delivered to school stu­dents. An import­ant aspect of the pro­ject was that, as par­ti­cip­at­ory design­ers, the teach­ers took own­er­ship of the activ­ity design and, in doing so enhanced their own know­ledge and under­stand­ing of evol­u­tion. The pro­ject revealed how influ­en­tial objects can be in sup­port of both ped­agogy and know­ledge acquisition.

2014 – Accepted Proposals

Anim­a­tion explain­ing the dangers asso­ci­ated with the evol­u­tion of anti­bi­ot­ic res­ist­ance in microbes to increase aware­ness in the Egyp­tian pub­lic
Applic­ant: Sara Mitri, UK
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

→ Sum­mary: With the help of the ESEB Out­reach Fund, we have had the pleas­ure of devel­op­ing a short video (1:35 minutes in length) to increase aware­ness in the Egyp­tian pub­lic about the dangers of the glob­al spread of anti­bi­ot­ic res­ist­ance, and thereby to help reduce the wide­spread and super­flu­ous use of anti­bi­ot­ics to cure many dis­eases includ­ing those of non-micro­bi­al ori­gin. Excess­ive use of anti­bi­ot­ics is not only dan­ger­ous because of the spread of res­ist­ance, but is also dam­aging to the health of patients. The video is tar­geted at the Egyp­tian pub­lic because they are largely unaware of the prob­lem. Anti­bi­ot­ics can be bought over the counter in Egypt, and patients typ­ic­ally pur­chase anti­bi­ot­ics with no pri­or med­ic­al con­sulta­tion. The video also includes Eng­lish sub­titles, how­ever, to make it access­ible to a lar­ger audience.

Fol­low this link to watch the video on You­Tube:

Break­ing Bio: video and audio pod­casts with lead­ing sci­ent­ists
Applic­ant: Tom Houslay, UK
Fund­ing provided: € 900

→ Sum­mary: The Break­ing Bio pod­cast provides a plat­form for sci­ent­ists to demon­strate their enthu­si­asm for their sub­ject, and illus­trates the diversity of both the research and the people work­ing in evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy and eco­logy. Hav­ing pub­lished almost 100 epis­odes in both audio and video format (avail­able freely as a pod­cast and You­Tube video respect­ively), our guests run the gamut of sci­entif­ic careers; from MSc stu­dents to dis­tin­guished pro­fess­ors, and high school teach­ers to acclaimed nature doc­u­ment­ary makers. This diversity should help inspire not only the next gen­er­a­tion of sci­ent­ists, but also those who decide to use their aca­dem­ic cre­den­tials to fol­low dif­fer­ent paths. Hav­ing totalled over 10,000 down­loads over the course of the past year, the gen­er­ous fund­ing from ESEB’s Out­reach ini­ti­at­ive has enabled us to keep our audio pod­casts online. We have also inves­ted in new design work and audio record­ing equip­ment, giv­ing our pod­cast a more pol­ished and pro­fes­sion­al feel. We hope to con­tin­ue this work long into the future.

Com­ic book and game to cov­er the recent addi­tion of evol­u­tion to the UK primary school cur­riculum
Applic­ant: Daniel Zadik, UK
Fund­ing provided: € 1000

We are pro­du­cing a com­ic book for schools, aim­ing to cov­er the evol­u­tion­ary con­cepts recently added to the UK primary school cur­riculum. We also plan to provide sup­ple­ment­ary teach­ing mater­i­als, such as home-work tasks, required to eas­ily plan les­sons. Humour, char­ac­ter­ful art­work and an integ­rated game will ensure that the sub­ject mat­ter is fun and inspir­ing, as well as sci­en­tific­ally accur­ate, so that chil­dren would also enjoy reading/playing at home.
It will ini­tially be avail­able on-line to teach­ers and chil­dren around the world, free of charge, and will be updated as work con­tin­ues. On com­ple­tion, books will be prin­ted and dis­trib­uted to col­lab­or­at­ing primary schools. We will also trans­late the text into oth­er lan­guages, and make sev­er­al ver­sions avail­able on-line.

Darwin’s spar­rows’: meas­ur­ing evol­u­tion in the school­yard.
Applic­ants: Xana Sá Pinto, Raquel Vas­con­celos, Carina Fernandes, Rui Freitas, Cor­rine Almeida, Aline Rend­all, Ely­ane Dias, Pedro Car­dia, Samir Mar­tins, Augusto Faustino, and Mar­tim Melo, PT
Fund­ing provided: € 2000

→ Sum­mary: Dur­ing his stay in Cape Verde, Dar­win was amazed by the nat­ur­al curi­os­ity and genu­ine interest of chil­dren. We built on these chil­dren fea­tures to pro­mote a long last­ing under­stand­ing of evol­u­tion in Cape Ver­dean stu­dents by focus­ing on Pass­er iag­oen­sis, an endem­ic spar­row from this archipelago and one of the first spe­cies col­lec­ted by Dar­win. We organ­ised 3 work­shops for bio­logy teach­ers in San­ti­ago and São Vicente. Dur­ing these work­shops evol­u­tion­ary pro­cesses and edu­ca­tion­al activ­it­ies based on Cape Ver­dean examples were explored. We also intro­duced teach­ers to a research pro­ject that aims to study the evol­u­tion of Pass­er iag­oen­sis and to its research team.
In a second phase, two high school classes engaged with the pro­ject research­ers put­ting for­ward hypo­theses to explain pre­lim­in­ary res­ults and plan­ning exper­i­ments to test these. Dur­ing this pro­cess, stu­dents explored the role and expec­ted con­sequences of evol­u­tion­ary pro­cesses such as drift, nat­ur­al and sexu­al selec­tion and noticed the sci­entif­ic poten­tial of their insu­lar coun­try for stud­ies on evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy.
Read the report.
Applic­ant: Eli Vie­ira Araujo-Jnr., UK
Fund­ing provided: € 450

→ Sum­mary: is a web­site cre­ated in 2009 to tackle some of the prob­lems faced in the teach­ing of evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy in Por­tuguese-speak­ing coun­tries, by spread­ing up-to-date inform­a­tion about evol­u­tion and related top­ics. Among the edu­ca­tion­al chal­lenges faced by these coun­tries, those related to the teach­ing of evol­u­tion are of par­tic­u­lar con­cern. Even when, e.g., the Brazili­an gov­ern­ment’s guidelines are accept­able, stu­dents will often learn about evol­u­tion only in the last year of high school. Sci­ence deni­al­ists are increas­ing in num­bers and get­ting more organ­ised and polit­ic­ally act­ive, even try­ing to pass a bill (PL 8099/2014, Brazil) to impose the teach­ing of Cre­ation­ism in schools. The pro­ject has reached thou­sands of people in Brazil, Por­tugal, Angola, Mozam­bi­que and Cape Verde; and includes a Q&A sec­tion now with more than 477 answers, all freely avail­able for teach­ers and stu­dents. Evolu­cion­ismo is run vol­un­tar­ily by bio­lo­gists and can also be found on Twit­ter and Facebook.

Thanks to ESEB’s grant we were able to con­tin­ue our work on to pop­ular­ise evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy for Por­tuguese speak­ers.
Since Septem­ber 2014, we have pub­lished and peer-reviewed 14 blog posts in our main web­site, and our com­munity of mem­bers has grown to 1610 people. More than 80 ques­tions from the pub­lic about evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy were answered in the sub­si­di­ary blog, to the best of our know­ledge and always, when applic­able, cit­ing peer-reviewed sources.
We were also act­ive on social media. While we use our Twit­ter mainly to spread our posts, our more than 100 posts on Face­book in the peri­od since the grant were devoted to keep­ing our fol­low­ers updated on news about evol­u­tion, fossil dis­cov­er­ies, and gov­ern­ment policies with an impact on edu­ca­tion and the teach­ing of evol­u­tion.
Click here to reach the pro­ject web site

Evol­u­tion Edu­ca­tion with Feel­ing!
Applic­ant: Kristin Jen­kins, US
Fund­ing provided: € 1100

→ Sum­mary: Phylo­gen­et­ic trees are a visu­al rep­res­ent­a­tion of key evol­u­tion­ary ideas, such as com­mon ances­try, trait evol­u­tion and rela­tion­ships. Under­stand­ing what trees rep­res­ent can strengthen stu­dents’ under­stand­ing of evol­u­tion and abil­ity to apply evol­u­tion­ary con­cepts to prob­lems. Read­ing trees accur­ately is import­ant but chal­len­ging and sev­er­al activ­it­ies are avail­able to help stu­dents devel­op this skill. How­ever, these activ­it­ies are inac­cess­ible for visu­ally impaired stu­dents who are then left without tools to under­stand­ing phylo­gen­et­ics. The goal of this pro­ject was to adapt exist­ing evol­u­tion edu­ca­tion mater­i­als for K‑16 stu­dents with visu­al impair­ments. We focused on devel­op­ing a uni­ver­sal design adapt­a­tion to an effect­ive activ­ity (The Great Clade Race, Gold­smith 2003) for teach­ing tree think­ing to allow visu­ally impaired stu­dents to bene­fit from this activ­ity along­side their sighted peers.

Evol­u­tion in a Sum­mer Sci­ence Camp: Answer­ing the Why(s)?
Applic­ants: Leila Masri, Georg Hei­lig and Soph­ie Fessl, AT
Fund­ing provided: € 1100

→ Sum­mary: The research week for primary school chil­dren at IST Aus­tria in Lower Aus­tria took place between August 17 and 21, 2015. Thirty-four chil­dren got in touch with nat­ur­al sci­ences and com­puter sci­ences. They applied for three dif­fer­ent “research groups”: evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy, phys­ics and robot­ics. High­lights were the excur­sion to the Wolf Sci­ence Cen­ter in Lower Aus­tria and the IST Aus­tria sci­ence exhib­i­tion at the end of the week dur­ing which the chil­dren demon­strated exper­i­ments to vis­it­ors. Par­ents, rel­at­ives, and friends atten­ded also the fol­low­ing “gradu­ation cere­mony” where the kids received their dip­loma. Elev­en stu­dents of edu­ca­tion sci­ence from the Uni­ver­sity Col­lage of Teach­er Edu­ca­tion in Lower Aus­tria took care of the chil­dren and accom­pan­ied them dur­ing the “sci­entif­ic activ­it­ies” which were super­vised by 18 sci­ent­ists from IST Aus­tria.

“Evolve an anim­al”: an inter­act­ive game for kids
Applic­ant: Denis M. Lar­kin, UK
Fund­ing provided: € 1200

→ Sum­mary: In the con­text of the pro­ject an inter­act­ive game for school age kids aim­ing at help­ing them to under­stand the prin­ciples of chro­mo­some evol­u­tion has been developed and tested at sev­er­al out­reach activ­it­ies organ­ized by the Roy­al Veter­in­ary Col­lege. The latest ver­sion of the game is freely avail­able from Dr. Denis Larkin’s RVC web­site (

I’m a Sci­ent­ist, Get me out of here: Evol­u­tion Zone
Applic­ant: Sive Fin­lay, IE
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

→ Sum­mary:
I’m a Sci­ent­ist is a pub­lic engage­ment activ­ity that gets sci­ent­ists talk­ing to school stu­dents all over Ire­land online at Sci­ent­ists put up a pro­file on this site, answer stu­dents’ ques­tions, and engage dir­ectly with them in live text-based chats. Stu­dents vote for their favour­ite sci­ent­ist to win €500 to spend on fur­ther pub­lic engage­ment.
In Novem­ber 2014, we run an Evol­u­tion Zone in which 279 stu­dents engaged with 5 sci­ent­ists research­ing dif­fer­ent aspects of evol­u­tion. 84% of the stu­dents act­ively engaged with the sci­ent­ists in 14 live chats, asked over 400 ques­tions, and cast 272 votes.
Chloe Kin­sella, Mar­ine Bio­logy Research­er at Uni­ver­sity Col­lege Dub­lin, was crowned win­ner of the zone.
“The best part of this whole exper­i­ence was being able to talk, totally cas­u­ally, about sci­ence” – Chloe Kinsella

The report is avail­able on the Evol­u­tion Zone at:

Meet­ing with Dar­win and his ideas Tour
Applic­ants: César Alberto González Zuarth, MX
Fund­ing provided: € 1800

The ulti­mate goal of our pro­ject is to cre­ate “The Evol­u­tion Fest Tour” and vis­it the main cit­ies in the Pen­in­sula of Yucatan México to spread the import­ance of watch­ing our world from the per­spect­ive of the evol­u­tion­ary the­ory, so chil­dren, stu­dents and adults real­ize that this the­ory not only allows us to answer such pro­found ques­tions as “Who are we?” “Where did we come from?”, but also the sig­ni­fic­ant role of evol­u­tion in our daily lives. For example, the ori­gin of the anti­bi­ot­ics res­ist­ance bac­teria. The Fest will con­sist of a posters exhib­i­tion with basic inform­a­tion about the evol­u­tion­ary the­ory, video present­a­tions with a debate at the end of each one, con­fer­ences with our par­ti­cip­a­tion and loc­al aca­dem­ics as speak­ers, a dis­cus­sion pan­el entitled “Evol­u­tion vs ID”, a work­shop “Build­ing com­plex­ity through nat­ur­al selec­tion” for all people and the work­shop “Play­ing with Dar­win” for ele­ment­ary school children.

Spe­ci­ation pat­terns on Mount Kin­abalu explained for vis­it­ors of the Kin­abalu World Her­it­age Site
Applic­ant: Menno Schilthuizen, NL
Fund­ing provided: € 2000

→ Sum­mary: The Kin­abalu / Crock­er Range Exped­i­tion of 2012 was organ­ised by Nat­ural­is Biod­iversity Cen­ter and Sabah Parks. It con­sisted of a two-week exped­i­tion to Mount Kin­abalu in Malay­si­an Borneo, the tallest moun­tain in South­east Asia, and the sur­round­ing Crock­er Range. Some 50 taxo­nom­ic spe­cial­ists from Malay­sia and the Neth­er­lands took part, as well as almost 100 sup­port staff. Aim of the exped­i­tion was to use a com­bin­a­tion of tra­di­tion­al nat­ur­al his­tory museum invent­ory and advanced phylo­gen­et­ic ana­lyses of DNA-sequences, to under­stand the age and ori­gin of the rich endem­ic biota on the moun­tain sum­mit. The res­ults were pub­lished in 2015 in the journ­al Nature.

In 2016, the pro­ject was crowned with an out­reach pro­ject, fun­ded by the ESEB Out­reach Fund, the Treub Found­a­tion, and Nat­ural­is Biod­iversity Cen­ter. The out­reach pro­ject con­sisted of six large bilin­gual inform­a­tion boards placed in five of the parks’ sub­sta­tions, a web­site hos­ted by Nat­ural­is, and an inform­a­tion book­let. The inform­a­tion prosen­ted explains, for the gen­er­al (eco­tour­ist) pub­lic, the aims and set-up of the exped­i­tion, and the out­put in terms of under­stand­ing of ori­gin and fate of the endem­ic anim­als, plants, and fungi of Mount Kinabalu.

Touch Tank Evol­u­tion: Explor­ing Loc­al Adapt­a­tion in a Vari­able Ocean
Applic­ants: Sara Schaal and Katie E. Lot­ter­hos, US
Fund­ing provided: € 950

Loc­al adapt­a­tion plays an import­ant role in evol­u­tion, but this pro­cess is not widely under­stood by the gen­er­al pub­lic. This activ­ity will illus­trate loc­al adapt­a­tion in the ocean through the use of touch tanks con­tain­ing dif­fer­ent pop­u­la­tions of the East­ern oyster (Crassostrea vir­gin­ica) grown in a com­mon garden. These pop­u­la­tions exper­i­ence vari­ous pH levels and tem­per­at­ures in their nat­ur­al range, which cause vari­ation in shell thick­ness and size between pop­u­la­tions. By observing dif­fer­ences in these mor­pho­lo­gic­al traits, stu­dents from loc­al high schools and the loc­al sci­ence cen­ter will be chal­lenged to make hypo­theses as to why phen­o­types dif­fer when grown under the same con­di­tions. In addi­tion, the work­shop will illus­trate con­cepts of cli­mate change, how know­ledge of loc­al adapt­a­tion can help us pre­dict responses to cli­mate change, and how loc­al adapt­a­tion relates to the mech­an­isms of evol­u­tion: migra­tion, muta­tion, selec­tion, and drift. Finally, we will pro­duce an inter­act­ive webpage for use in classrooms that can­not vis­it the tanks.

2013 – Accepted Proposals

A bed­time pic­ture book of evol­u­tion
Applic­ant: Jan Heuschele, DK
Fund­ing provided: € 1800

The goal of the pro­ject is to pro­duce a pic­ture book that intro­duces young kids and their par­ents to the gen­er­al pro­cesses and requis­ites of evol­u­tion: vari­ation, her­it­ab­il­ity and selec­tion, as well as com­mon mech­an­isms of spe­ci­ation. The pic­ture book will provide examples for vari­ation (e.g. in shape and beha­viour), her­it­ab­il­ity, and how dif­fer­ent phen­o­types can lead to dif­fer­ent sur­viv­al and fit­ness rates. In addi­tion to the pic­ture book lay­er, it will con­tain a text lay­er with an accom­pa­ny­ing story and a lay­er provid­ing the sci­entif­ic back­ground and real life examples. I think such an easy pic­ture book is neces­sary as for many people evol­u­tion is still a very abstract con­struct, des­pite the fact that the basic prin­ciples of evol­u­tion are actu­ally very access­ible and easy to under­stand. It will be freely avail­able as an e‑book and a pdf, and the text will be ini­tially in Ger­man, Eng­lish and French.
→ The Eng­lish ver­sion of the e‑book is now avail­able here.

Brain Evol­u­tion in the News Video Pod­casts
Applic­ant: Alex­an­dra A. de Sousa, UK
Fund­ing provided: € 1000

In this pro­ject, we will devel­op a video format to dram­at­ize cur­rent research on brain evol­u­tion and include ‘vod­cast’ inter­views with sci­ent­ists. The mater­i­al will be pos­ted on our web­site, Brain Evol­u­tion In the News. The tar­get audi­ence includes the gen­er­al pub­lic (inter­net users), young people, and oth­ers fas­cin­ated by brain evol­u­tion. By mak­ing the videos freely access­ible on the inter­net, we aim to be as inclus­ive as pos­sible, and we will use social media, dir­ect­or­ies, and search engines to max­im­ize out­reach.
→ The epis­odes are freely avail­able on You­Tube, in Eng­lish, with the option of adding sub­titles in oth­er lan­guages. Epis­odes will be released one at a time on the first of every month begin­ning 1 Novem­ber 2014, at you­tube chan­nel
→ The report is avail­able here

Applic­ants: Tatiana Giraud and Laeti­tia Giraud, FR
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

The fund will be used for cre­at­ing a theatre play and a movie (1h) to explain Evol­u­tion to chil­dren, writ­ten based on inter­views, dis­cus­sions and debates between chil­dren, sci­ent­ists and actors/artists in schools, and cre­ated with stage act­ors, pup­pets, music, and car­toon movies. Work­ing with chil­dren will reveal their false beliefs and help dis­cov­er the best argu­ments and illus­tra­tions for them. Inter­ac­tions between sci­ent­ists, artists, teach­ers and chil­dren will also stim­u­late curi­os­ity, ima­gin­a­tion and cre­ativ­ity, and link edu­ca­tion to theatre. The play will inform theatre audi­ences while arous­ing their curi­os­ity and desire to learn about evol­u­tion. The theatre play will be in French, but the movie will be trans­lated in Eng­lish and Spanish.

→ Sev­er­al inter­views (in French) are avail­able at You­Tube fol­low­ing one of the links below:

Inter­views of chil­dren (Primaire, collège, lycée):

Inter­views of sci­ent­ists (spe­cial­ists in evol­u­tion, math­em­at­ics, social sciences)

Inter­act­ive Tree of Life
Applic­ant: Bar­bara Milutinovic, DE/HR
Fund­ing provided: € 700

This pro­pos­al funds the devel­op­ment of an inter­act­ive Tree of Life com­pon­ent to the online edu­ca­tion­al portal in Croa­tia for teach­ing of bio­logy (, a site aimed primar­ily for chil­dren and teen­agers. Mater­i­al on the evol­u­tion of life is cur­rently scattered through­out the portal. This pro­pos­al will draw these art­icles alto­geth­er and make them read­ily access­ible by pla­cing the art­icles, as appro­pri­ate, on the Tree of Life accord­ing to the geo­lo­gic­al time-scale, from the begin­ning of the uni­verse and form­a­tion of the first cells to the evol­u­tion of dif­fer­ent taxa. In this way, the Tree would sig­ni­fic­antly aid under­stand­ing of the evol­u­tion­ary his­tory of life. This edu­ca­tion­al portal is cur­rently the only online portal in Croa­tia (as well as in Ser­bia, Montenegro, Bos­nia, and Herzegov­ina) writ­ten by aca­dem­ic­ally edu­cated experts where chil­dren can read and learn about the evol­u­tion of life.
→ The Inter­act­ive Tree of Life (in Croa­tian) is avail­able here.

Our Cous­in From Mozam­bi­que: Tales (and Skulls) From Our Mam­mali­an Ori­gins
Applic­ant: Rui Castan­hinha, PT
Fund­ing provided: € 2300

→ Sum­mary: We pro­duced a HD doc­u­ment­ary that included a com­bin­a­tion of 3D spe­cial effects and anim­a­tions  about the evol­u­tion of a new fossil spe­cies from the late Per­mi­an of Mozam­bi­que (250 Myr). This spe­cies, named Niass­od­on mfu­mukasi, was found in the Niassa region of Mozam­bi­que, and was used as a cine­mat­ic leit­mot­if for a short-fea­ture broad-audi­ence doc­u­ment­ary on the evol­u­tion­ary his­tory of per­mi­an ver­teb­rates. This short doc­u­ment­ary con­trib­utes to fill in a sci­entif­ic-cul­ture gap that cur­rently pre­vails among the gen­er­al audi­ence: the evol­u­tion­ary his­tory of our mam­mali­an ori­gins. The doc­u­ment­ary is sub­titled in Eng­lish, can be seen in 3D screens, and is freely avail­able on the web (e.g. You­tube). We will invite every­one without com­mer­cial pur­poses, to pro­mote this doc­u­ment­ary and we encour­age any edu­ca­tion­al, museo­lo­gic­al or aca­dem­ic insti­tu­tion to use all suit­able means to broad­cast and pub­li­cize it.

Plants and anim­als evol­u­tion in Mad­a­gas­car
Applic­ants: Elena Car­rió, Alicia Bonilla, Alicia M. Don­nel­lan, and Eduardo Bar­ona, ES
Fund­ing provided: € 1000

Mad­a­gas­car is well known for being one of the most import­ant cen­ters of biod­iversity in the world, but pop­u­la­tion growth and eco­nom­ic crises have exacer­bated the degrad­a­tion and destruc­tion of this unique eco­sys­tem. It is urgent to com­mu­nic­ate the import­ance of biod­iversity to the Mala­gasy pop­u­la­tion. This pro­pos­al will fund an edu­ca­tion­al work­shop for chil­dren from the Tulear com­munity of Mad­a­gas­car. We will explain the evol­u­tion­ary his­tory of Mala­gasy plants and anim­als using games, videos and posters, and a field lab. We also will pro­duce a pamph­let con­tain­ing activ­it­ies about evol­u­tion in French and Malagasy.

→ Sum­mary: The island of Mad­a­gas­car is char­ac­ter­ized by an excep­tion­al evol­u­tion­ary his­tory. The isol­a­tion of the island, the topo­graph­ic and envir­on­ment­al vari­ation, as well as the large vari­ety of rocks and types of soils, has had a fun­da­ment­al role in the plants and anim­als evol­u­tion. The aim of this pro­ject is to encour­age the chil­dren in the Mala­gasy com­munit­ies to know the evol­u­tion­ary his­tory of the island. A one-day ses­sion has been car­ried out in the Tulear dis­trict where 300 chil­dren par­ti­cip­ated. Fur­ther­more, a tutor­ing guide for teach­ers has been elab­or­ated, along with a poster dis­trib­uted to schools in the island. Stu­dents and teach­ers have wel­comed this pro­ject with enthu­si­asm.
→ The report is avail­able here.
→ The guide and the poster can be found at the web site of Yelcho Found­a­tion: Homepage, guide and poster in Span­ish and French.

Pop­ular­iz­ing Evol­u­tion in China
Applic­ant: Long­fei Shu, CH
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

This out­reach ini­ti­at­ive will trans­late ESEB’s “Evol­u­tion Mat­ters: A Guide to the Creationism/Evolution Con­tro­versy” into Chinese. This guide provides inform­a­tion and evid­ence for evol­u­tion and addresses com­mon mis­un­der­stand­ings about evol­u­tion. This trans­la­tion will provide access to this mater­i­al for more than 1.3 bil­lion Chinese speak­ing people.

Vis­it the Chinese web­site of Evol­u­tion Matters

Pub­lic Out­reach to Improve Teach­ing of Evol­u­tion­ary Bio­logy in High Schools in North­ern Ethiopia
Applic­ant: Tsegazeabe Hadush Haile­selasie, ET
Fund­ing provided: € 2000

In Tigray in North­ern Ethiopia, there is cur­rently a lack of evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy ref­er­ence mater­i­al access­ible in the loc­al lan­guage (Tigrigna, ትግርኛ). We will hold an edu­ca­tion­al work­shop with selec­ted high school bio­logy teach­ers and evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy experts. Evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy experts from three Uni­ver­sit­ies in Tigray will present core con­cepts of evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy, mis­con­cep­tions of evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy, and the con­tri­bu­tions of evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy to our under­stand­ing of bio­logy. Sem­inars from this work­shop will then be sum­mar­ized and trans­lated into Tigrigna and prin­ted in a book­let to be dis­trib­uted to loc­al high schools.

→ Check out the Evol­u­tion is Sci­ence booklet.

Sci­ence Goes Kinder­garten: The Entangled Bank
Applic­ant: Anna-Liisa Laine, FI
Fund­ing provided: € 1300

→ Sum­mary report: Chil­dren are inher­ently curi­ous, but kinder­gartens often lack the resources and expert­ise to teach chil­dren how this curi­os­ity trans­lates to sci­ence. We organ­ized a series of work­shops where chil­dren learned, through demon­stra­tions and their own exper­i­ments, how fine-tuned adapt­a­tions link spe­cies to one anoth­er. We focused on the well-char­ac­ter­ized com­munity sur­round­ing plant Plantago lanceol­ata, includ­ing plant patho­gens, and but­ter­fly lar­vae to demon­strate how spe­cies can only sur­vive through inter­ac­tions that range from mutu­al­ism to ant­ag­on­ism. We also com­piled a pack­age of simple ideas that can be used in kinder­gartens to teach chil­dren about coe­volu­tion, ran­ging from field obser­va­tions to small exper­i­ments. Dur­ing the work­shops, we hoped to break any false sci­ent­ist ste­reo­types by show­ing the chil­dren that both boys and girls can have fun and be cre­at­ive in science.

Shim­my­ing the Sci­ence of Sex: Com­mu­nic­at­ing Research via the Plat­form of the Arts
Applic­ant: Cedric Tan, UK
Fund­ing provided: € 1000

Using a com­bin­a­tion of ori­gin­al dance cho­reo­graphy, ori­gin­al music and humor, our team aims to pro­mote the high­lights of cut­ting-edge research in evol­u­tion to high school stu­dents, non-sci­ent­ists and artists through in an instinct­ive yet cre­at­ive man­ner through a video that will leave a last­ing impres­sion. This new artist­ic piece will illus­trate the evol­u­tion­ary con­sequences of kin­ship for sexu­al con­flict and com­pet­i­tion through move­ments inspired by com­pet­it­ive sports. Togeth­er with our pre­vi­ous award-win­ning videos, our new video will be act­ively pro­moted via social media sites, posters, present­a­tions and live per­form­ances at edu­ca­tion­al insti­tutes and theatres.
→ The new video is avail­able here and it won the “Dance your PhD” com­pet­i­tion by Sci­ence journ­al in 2013 (click here for more information).

Small vari­ations for Big changes
Applic­ants: Mushtaq Hus­sain and Nus­rat Jabeen, PK
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

The primary goal of this pro­ject is to devel­op and raise pub­lic aware­ness about evol­u­tion espe­cially with ref­er­ence to micro­bi­al patho­gens and human dis­eases in Pakistan. Lec­tures (delivered by both loc­al and inter­na­tion­al experts) will be organ­ized to famil­i­ar­ize the audi­ence with the fun­da­ment­al con­cepts of evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy and its applic­a­tions in health and medi­cine. The grant will also be used to con­duct phylo­ge­n­om­ic stud­ies on dif­fer­ent genes asso­ci­ated with the micro­bi­al vir­ulence, animal/plant devel­op­ment and dis­eases. Uni­ver­sity level work­shops will be organ­ized to train inter­ested stu­dents to study evol­u­tion of genes and spe­cies using com­pu­ta­tion­al tools. A series of posters will be exhib­ited on ven­ues to illus­trate the evid­ences and processes/mechanism of evol­u­tion across life forms. A small book will be pre­pared to describe evol­u­tion and its import­ance in the under­stand­ing of mod­ern bio­logy. The book will be dis­trib­uted on CDs to par­ti­cipants and will be made avail­able to the ESEB website.

→ Sum­mary: The Pro­ject “Small Vari­ations for Big Changes” fun­ded by European Soci­ety for Evol­u­tion­ary Bio­logy and US Full Bright com­prises series of sem­in­ar and work­shops in con­nec­tion to evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy. The pro­grams have been con­duc­ted suc­cess­fully in Pakistan prin­cip­ally organ­ized by Dr Mushtaq Hus­sain and Dr Nus­rat Jabeen. The sem­in­ar series include lec­tures on prin­ciples and evid­ences of evol­u­tion, evol­u­tion as applied sci­ence, evol­u­tion­ary medi­cine and molecu­lar evol­u­tion which has been delivered in vari­ous uni­ver­sit­ies in Pakistan. In addi­tion, full scale work­shops on com­pu­ta­tion­al molecu­lar evol­u­tion were con­duc­ted in four edu­ca­tion­al insti­tutes namely Dow Inter­na­tion­al Med­ic­al Col­lege, Dow Med­ic­al Col­lege, Fed­er­al Urdu Uni­ver­sity of Arts, Sci­ence and Tech­no­logy, Kara­chi and Shah Abdul Latif Uni­ver­sity, Khair­pur. In total 23 posters were made and exhib­ited on all occa­sions, of these 16 cov­er­ing the basic aspects of the evol­u­tion where­as remain­ing describ­ing the some pre­lim­in­ary research con­duc­ted by the team mem­bers. The posters encom­pass sev­er­al top­ics of evol­u­tion such as phylo­ge­n­om­ics, struc­tur­al phylo­ge­n­om­ics and gen­om­ic repeats etc. In total the sem­inars were atten­ded by more than 2300 indi­vidu­als and train­ing for tools of struc­tur­al phylo­ge­n­om­ics was provided to over 100 individuals.

→ Please find the details fol­low­ing this link: → Get some impres­sions about the events by view­ing “Glimpses

→ View 18 of the posters here:

Poster01_Evolution_Descent_with_Modification Poster02_Natural_Selection_Driving_Force_of_Evolution Poster03_Molecular_Evolution_Roots_of_All_Roots Poster04_Genes_and_Genome_Evolution Poster05_Evolution_of_GAB_Gene_Family Poster06_History_of_History Poster07_Virus_Evolution_Nothing_Short_of_SurprisesPoster08_Bacterial_Evolution_HGT Poster09_Fungal_Evolution Poster10_Plant_Evolution Poster11_Animal_Evolution Poster12_Birds_the_Modern_Day_Dinosaur Poster13_Whale_Evolution Poster14_Evolutionary_Medicine_Ultimate_Reasoning_of_Sickness Poster15_EVO_DEVO_History_Repeats_itself Poster16_Evolution_Basic_Science_to_Drug_Discovery Poster17_Animal_Models_and_Evolution Poster18_Evolution_of_Microsatellites

2012 – Accepted Proposals

Applic­ant: Steph­en E. Har­ris, US
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

Bel­ize is a devel­op­ing coun­try lack­ing suf­fi­cient funds for qual­ity sci­ence edu­ca­tion, but it also con­tains some of the most diverse eco­sys­tems in the world includ­ing one of the largest cor­al reefs. Innov­at­ive, inquiry-based sci­ence cur­riculum is needed to increase stu­dents’ interest in STEM fields and cre­ate authen­t­ic research oppor­tun­it­ies to devel­op the human cap­it­al in Bel­ize.
BioBel­ize addresses this need by teach­ing high school sci­ence stu­dents in Bel­ize the tech­niques of DNA extrac­tion, PCR, and gel elec­tro­phores­is, and then trains loc­al sci­ence teach­ers to work with their stu­dents in cre­at­ing ori­gin­al research. Using a basic lab set up, stu­dents will learn mod­ern tools used by evol­u­tion­ary bio­lo­gists to answers ques­tions about biod­iversity and the evol­u­tion­ary his­tory of organ­isms. While pre­par­ing stu­dents to enter into sci­ence ori­ented careers, the res­ults will be pub­li­cized in Bel­ize through news­pa­per art­icles, loc­al TV, and doc­u­mented on the pro­grams web­site,
→ The pro­ject along with the cur­riculum (Intro­du­cing DNA bar­cod­ing to stu­dents in NYC and Bel­ize) won Sci­ence magazine’s Inquiry Based Instruc­tion prize and an essay has been pub­lished in Sci­ence. Fur­ther inform­a­tion and the link to the pub­lic­a­tion can be obtained at the BioBel­ize.

Evol­u­tion­ary the­ory in the mod­ern world
Applic­ant: Ant­on Chernen­ko, FI
Fund­ing provided: € 1300

Funds will be used to present a sem­in­ar about the his­tory of evol­u­tion­ary think­ing in East­ern Kaza­kh­stan, where few resources on evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy cur­rently exist. The sem­in­ar will be fol­lowed by a movie, which will be developed using ESEB Out­reach funds and pre­pared in col­lab­or­a­tion with loc­al teach­ers. The movie will describe the core ideas in evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy and will present short bio­graph­ies of some of the sci­ent­ists behind these ideas. The movie (in Rus­si­an) will be made avail­able on line, so that teach­ers and the pub­lic will have con­tin­ued access to the movie.
→ To read the report click here, the present­a­tion can be down­loaded here. →To see the movie fol­low the link

Galápa­gos: islands that changed the world
Applic­ant: Lukas Keller, CH
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

The Galápa­gos islands, with their fas­cin­at­ing and unique biod­iversity, were an import­ant source of inspir­a­tion for Charles Dar­win and for many sci­ent­ists that fol­lowed and are con­sequently pro­tec­ted as a UNESCO world her­it­age site. The Galápa­gos badly need this pro­tec­tion: invas­ive plants and anim­als threaten their unique biod­iversity. This pro­ject will devel­op a trav­el­ing museum exhib­it to raise aware­ness of the unique biod­iversity of the Galápa­gos, the pro­cess of evol­u­tion that cre­ated it, and the role that these islands play in evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy. The tar­get audi­ence are fam­il­ies with chil­dren aged 10–14. It will be pro­duced ini­tially in Eng­lish and Ger­man but can eas­ily be adap­ted to oth­er lan­guages.
→ Inform­a­tion about the exhib­i­tion is avail­able here. To down­load the exhib­i­tion travel guide please fol­low this link.

Laugh and Learn
Applic­ants: Valentina Ros­setti, Michael Griess­er, and Math­i­as Köl­liker, CH
Fund­ing provided: € 1000

Funds will be used to devel­op a series of com­ic strips that con­vey key con­cepts in evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy to the gen­er­al pub­lic in an easy, attract­ive, and fun way. A par­tic­u­lar focus will be on the import­ance of cooper­at­ive beha­viour in the evol­u­tion of liv­ing organ­isms. Sci­ent­ists and artist will work col­lab­or­at­ively to devel­op effect­ive take-home mes­sages that are then turned into com­ic strips. These com­ic strips will ini­tially be tar­geted to free news­pa­pers in Switzer­land and then will be made avail­able on-line (in Eng­lish and in Ger­man).
→ The first three com­ics are avail­able here: Com­ic 1; Com­ic 2; Com­ic 3

Little Changes
Applic­ant: Tiffany Taylor, UK
Fund­ing provided: € 2000

“Little Changes” is a children’s book which will be an aide for primary school teach­ers look­ing to intro­duce the top­ic of evol­u­tion. The book will be freely avail­able online, as a free e‑book, and a lim­ited run print ver­sion will also be pro­duced for dis­tri­bu­tion to school sci­ence coordin­at­ors. Import­ant prin­ciples are subtly intro­duced – such as vari­ation, sur­viv­al of the fit­test, her­it­ab­il­ity and adapt­a­tion – in a way that would be eas­ily com­pre­hens­ible by both primary school chil­dren and their teach­ers. This book will also be coupled with online activ­it­ies based around the char­ac­ters, rein­for­cing the themes intro­duced in the book.
→ The vir­tu­al book can be read here.

Ori­gin of life and its con­tinu­ity
Applic­ants: N. Haraprasad, B. Man­oj Kumar, and Hema B.P., IN
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

This out­reach pro­ject aims to increase aware­ness and know­ledge about evol­u­tion­ary the­ory among school chil­dren and under­gradu­ate stu­dents in India. A poster con­test will be held on the top­ic of “Evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy in the 21st cen­tury”. The stu­dents sub­mit­ting the 10 best posters, judged by experts in the field of evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy, will then be ment­ored by the experts to fur­ther devel­op their posters in Eng­lish such that the posters clearly explain core con­cepts in evol­u­tion. These posters will then be pro­fes­sion­ally prin­ted, framed, and presen­ted to ~300 high school stu­dents at 3 dif­fer­ent schools in and around Myso­re.
→ The report is avail­able here.

Rais­ing Aware­ness about Evol­u­tion­ary The­ory and its Rel­ev­ance to Biod­iversity Con­ser­va­tion and Human Health and Dis­ease in Mad­a­gas­car
Applic­ant: Jean Eric Rako­toar­isoa, US
Fund­ing provided: € 1000

Although Mad­a­gas­car is widely viewed as a nat­ur­al labor­at­ory for the study evol­u­tion, evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy is not a part of most cur­ricula in Mad­a­gas­car. The goal of this pro­ject is to raise aware­ness about the import­ance and rel­ev­ance of evol­u­tion, par­tic­u­larly with respect to biod­iversity con­ser­va­tion and human health and dis­ease. This goal will be achieved through three activ­it­ies: 1) work­shops and sem­inars at major uni­ver­sit­ies; 2) pub­lic out­reach sem­inars and exhib­i­tions; and 3) trans­la­tion of rel­ev­ant out­reach mater­i­als from vari­ous sources to French and Malagasy.

Short video teas­ers on evol­u­tion
Applic­ants: Pierre Capy and Sylvie Salam­it­ou, FR
Fund­ing provided: € 2000

Fund­ing will be used to devel­op very short films ded­ic­ated to evol­u­tion. These video vign­ettes will carry a simple mes­sage about evol­u­tion and will be illus­trated by vari­ous means (car­toons, graph­ics, images, etc.). It is cru­cial that sci­ent­ists be able to deliv­er clear mes­sages about evol­u­tion in a man­ner that cap­tures the atten­tion of the audi­ence and that is able to deliv­er simple but import­ant mes­sages. The films will be avail­able on-line in French and in Eng­lish. The tar­get audi­ence includes teach­ers, who could use our films as the basis for les­sons or dis­cus­sions.
→ Click one of the links below to watch the films on Youtube:

in French: L’arbre du vivant est un buis­son, Tous liés, L’homme est un anim­al comme un autre, Vis­ages

in Eng­lish: Arbre vie, Dom­i­n­os, Anim­als, Vis­ages

Tree of Evol­u­tion Move­ment
Applic­ants: Çağrι Mert Bakιr­cι and Babür Erdem, TR
Fund­ing provided: € 2000

Funds will be used to hold sem­inars and work­shops on evol­u­tion in Tur­key, improv­ing the dis­sem­in­a­tion of inform­a­tion about evol­u­tion through­out the coun­try. With sup­port from the METU Bio­logy and Genet­ics Soci­ety, five events are planned in vari­ous Turk­ish cit­ies, involving work­shops and ques­tion-and-answer ses­sions about evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy. In addi­tion, ESEB Out­reach funds will be used for web­site devel­op­ment to improve access to inform­a­tion in Turk­ish about evol­u­tion­ary prin­ciples and to serve as a for­um for dia­logue with the com­munity about evol­u­tion­ary ques­tions (; “Evrim Aĝacι” mean­ing “Tree of Evol­u­tion”).
→ The report is avail­able here.

Under­stand­ing evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy: an ini­ti­at­ive to improve the teach­ing of evol­u­tion in Chilean high schools
Applic­ants: Marco A. Mén­dez, Sylvain Fauger­on, Carezza Botto, and Rodrigo Medel, CL
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

The aim of this pro­ject is to provide high school teach­ers (K‑12) with the basic tools to improve their teach­ing capa­city in evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy. Since evol­u­tion text­books in Span­ish are almost absent for high school use in Chile, we will devel­op a free e‑book that illus­trates the basic con­cepts and cla­ri­fies com­mon mis­con­cep­tions about evol­u­tion. This activ­ity will be car­ried out by the Sociedad Chilena de Evolu­ción (SOCEVOL), whose mis­sion is to pro­mote evol­u­tion­ary think­ing and improve the teach­ing of evol­u­tion in Chile.
→ To read the report click here.
→ The e‑book is avail­able for down­load here.

2011 – Accepted Proposals

Bring­ing Aware­ness about Evol­u­tion­ary The­ory to the Aca­dem­ic Com­munity and Gen­er­al Pub­lic of North Sulawesi, Indone­sia
Applic­ant: John Tas­ir­in, North Sulawesi, ID
Fund­ing provided: € 2000

Evol­u­tion­ary the­ory is not a part of most cur­ricula in Indone­sia, even at the uni­ver­sity level. Con­sequently, the mech­an­isms of evol­u­tion by nat­ur­al and sexu­al selec­tion remain poorly under­stood. This out­reach pro­ject aims to increase aware­ness and know­ledge about evol­u­tion­ary the­ory and about Indone­si­a’s own evol­u­tion­ary her­it­age.
The out­reach efforts will involve

  1. Work­shops and field trips aimed at high school students
  2. Sem­inars aimed at uni­ver­sity stu­dents and scientists
  3. Pub­lic out­reach sem­inars with­in the com­munity
    To sup­ple­ment these oral present­a­tions, ESEB Out­reach fund­ing will sup­port the cre­ation and exhib­i­tion of dif­fer­ent media rep­res­ent­a­tions of evol­u­tion (posters, movies and inter­act­ive maps) as well as hands-on activ­it­ies (e.g. com­par­at­ive mor­pho­logy of Sulawesi macaques). Field trips will intro­duce stu­dents to con­crete examples of evol­u­tion by sexu­al selec­tion (e.g. macaques and horn­bills).
    → The report is avail­able here togeth­er with a poster, a present­a­tion, and a movie clip.
Evol­u­tion­ary games with every­day mater­i­als – activ­it­ies for primary and sec­ond­ary school teach­ers and stu­dents
Applic­ants: Roberto Guidetti, Mat­teo Bis­anti, and Aurora Ped­erzoli, IT
Fund­ing provided: € 2000

This pro­ject aims to devel­op a series of 20 games and activ­it­ies using every­day mater­i­als (e.g. straws and pins) that demon­strate evol­u­tion­ary prin­ciples. The games will be aimed at primary and sec­ond­ary stu­dents, with suf­fi­cient instruc­tion to be used dir­ectly by edu­ca­tion­al staff without expert assist­ance. Activ­it­ies and instruc­tions will be made avail­able at Pikaia (the first Itali­an web­site entirely devoted to evol­u­tion­ary top­ics) in both Itali­an and Eng­lish. Edu­ca­tion­al mater­i­als will also be pro­moted in work­shops tar­geted at teach­ers and stu­dents, in col­lab­or­a­tion with Memo Edu­ca­tion­al Centre.

I have a ques­tion … and may have the answer! – a book about Evol­u­tion
Applic­ant: Rita Cam­pos, PT
Fund­ing provided: € 2000

The goal of the activ­ity is to pro­duce a book about evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy based on ques­tions and answers obtained dir­ectly from chil­dren. These ques­tions and answers will be obtained through a con­test open to chil­dren aged between 5 to 17 years old. Expert com­ments and answers will also be provided for each ques­tion. The book will be freely avail­able on the web (in Por­tuguese and Eng­lish) and a lim­ited run print ver­sion will also be pro­duced (in Por­tuguese). This activ­ity will help address the scarcity of edu­ca­tion­al resources about evol­u­tion avail­able in Por­tuguese for chil­dren as well as for any­one who is inter­ested in biod­iversity and evol­u­tion.
→ A pdf file of the book can be down­loaded here in Por­tuguese and Span­ish.
→ For addi­tion­al inform­a­tion in Por­tuguese fol­low this link to the blog UM LIVRO SOBRE EVOLUÇÃO.

Improv­ing Under­stand­ing of Evol­u­tion­ary Con­cepts for Sec­ond­ary School Teach­ers
Applic­ants: Fabi­en Riz­injira­bake and Egide Kalisa, RW
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

This pro­ject aims to offer a bet­ter under­stand­ing of evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy to teach­ers of evol­u­tion bio­logy in Rwandan high schools. We will organ­ize pro­vin­cial work­shops for Rwandan high school evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy teach­ers, review­ing evol­u­tion­ary pro­cesses and dis­cuss­ing com­mon mis­con­cep­tions of evol­u­tion. We will also devel­op an evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy mod­ule syl­labus to provide to par­ti­cipants, who cur­rently lack evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy books or mater­i­als for use in their classrooms.

Span­ish-Lan­guage Trans­la­tion of “Evol­u­tion in the News“
Applic­ant: Jory P. Wein­traub, US
Fund­ing provided: € 2500

This out­reach pro­ject will trans­late the exist­ing “Evol­u­tion in the News” stor­ies and video pod­casts (see here) from Eng­lish into Span­ish so that they can be dis­sem­in­ated to Span­ish speak­ing stu­dents through­out the world, in col­lab­or­a­tion with the Nation­al Evol­u­tion­ary Syn­thes­is Cen­ter (NES­Cent). This col­lec­tion of stor­ies about recent break­throughs in evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy and evol­u­tion’s applic­a­tions to soci­ety includes links to back­ground lit­er­at­ure and classroom resources, as well as short (7–10 minute) video pod­casts fea­tur­ing inter­views with sci­entif­ic experts.
→ The Span­ish ver­sion of “Evol­u­tion in the News” can be found here.

The Evol­u­tion of Evol­u­tion­ary Thought
Applic­ants: Tania Jen­kins et al., CH
Fund­ing provided: € 2000

The aim of this pro­ject is to trace the evol­u­tion of evol­u­tion­ary thought from pre-Dar­wini­an times to the present in a visu­ally strik­ing way, pro­du­cing a web-based “infograph­ic” (avail­able in French, Span­ish, and Ger­man) and asso­ci­ated poster. Stand­ing at the inter­sec­tion of sci­ence and art, this infograph­ic will show through an innov­at­ive use of col­our, text and graph­ics how selec­ted evol­u­tion­ary the­or­ies have them­selves evolved. By integ­rat­ing design and con­tent, our aim is to show, dir­ectly and visu­ally, how evol­u­tion by nat­ur­al selec­tion has come to be estab­lished and reveal the beauty under­ly­ing evol­u­tion­ary the­ory.
→ The report is avail­able here.
→ The graph­ic can be down­loaded here as pdf file in Eng­lish, in French, in Ger­man, and in Span­ish.
→ The web­site “pro­gressofe­volu­tion” of this pro­ject can be found here.

Unnat­ur­al His­tory: What bizarre bio­logy can teach us about evol­u­tion
Applic­ant: Laurence Loewe et al., US
Fund­ing provided: € 1000

In cel­eb­ra­tion of Dar­win Day 2012, the Uni­ver­sity of Wis­con­sin, Madis­on, holds a pub­lic out­reach event that com­bines a vari­ety of activ­it­ies to engage the pub­lic in inter­est­ing con­ver­sa­tions about evol­u­tion. This pro­pos­al funds a work­shop for high school teach­ers asso­ci­ated with the event, where fac­ulty and staff from the J.F. Crow Insti­tute share their expert­ise with loc­al edu­cat­ors. The work­shop will both enhance their know­ledge-base and provide them with three spe­cif­ic activ­it­ies that they can imple­ment in their classrooms. We believe that by work­ing with high school teach­ers we can have a much amp­li­fied effect on the pub­lic under­stand­ing of evol­u­tion and sci­ence in gen­er­al.
→ The web site of the event can be found here.

Whale of a Tail: What Skel­et­ons Tell Us about Mar­ine Mam­mal Evol­u­tion
Applic­ants: Anne Stew­art and Hana Kucera, CA
Fund­ing provided: € 2000

A major chal­lenge when teach­ing evol­u­tion is the need for appeal­ing examples that are visu­al, clear and con­crete. The diverse col­lec­tion of mar­ine mam­mal skel­et­ons at the Bam­field Mar­ine Sci­ences Centre (BMSC) will be used to demon­strate the evol­u­tion of mam­mali­an adapt­a­tions to the mar­ine envir­on­ment. We will devel­op high school focused labs through a “vir­tu­al lab” to be delivered by video­con­fer­ence, as well as a set of pho­tos and text to be used in an inter­act­ive web­site. The goal is to provide access for stu­dents and teach­ers around the world with the unique oppor­tun­ity to see adapt­a­tion and con­ver­gence in bone struc­ture over the evol­u­tion­ary his­tory of mar­ine mam­mals.
→ Click here to reach the inter­act­ive web page.
→ Click here for the Life lab web site.

2010 – Accepted Proposals

A Com­par­at­ive Embryon­ic Devel­op­ment­al Data­base
Applic­ants: Eric Rot­tinger and Mat­tias Ormestad, FR
Fund­ing provided: € 3000

The funds will be used to build a com­par­at­ive embryon­ic devel­op­ment­al data­base with freely access­ible inform­a­tion about vari­ation in anim­al devel­op­ment and its rela­tion to meta­zo­an evol­u­tion. The pro­posed data­base will be imple­men­ted in an exist­ing plat­form and will serve as an illus­trated atlas allow­ing the pub­lic to visu­al­ize devel­op­ment­al vari­ation among meta­zo­ans and to place this inform­a­tion eas­ily into a phylo­gen­et­ic con­text. The web­site will be eas­ily access­ible to teach­ers, stu­dents, as well as to the gen­er­al pub­lic.
→ The link to the com­par­at­ive embryon­ic devel­op­ment­al data­base is avail­able here.

A philo­soph­er in nature. Evol­u­tion­ary the­ory explained to chil­dren.
Applic­ants: Johan Braeck­man and Johan De Smedt, BE
Fund­ing provided: € 2500

A large empir­ic­al lit­er­at­ure in edu­ca­tion­al psy­cho­logy indic­ates that chil­dren and adoles­cents hold false beliefs about evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy. Giv­en the import­ance of edu­ca­tion­al mater­i­als in the home envir­on­ment, there is a need for chil­dren’s books that explain evol­u­tion and nat­ur­al selec­tion in simple terms (See web­site example). Fund­ing from the ESEB Out­reach Fund will allow the illus­tra­tion of a chil­dren’s book designed to con­vey ideas like nat­ur­al selec­tion and des­cent with modi­fic­a­tion, to be dis­trib­uted at least to primary schools in Flanders, Bel­gi­um and The Neth­er­lands. The book will ini­tially be writ­ten in Dutch and avail­able for translation.

Bring­ing the under­stand­ing of evol­u­tion to Turk­ish primary schools
Applic­ants: B. Duy­gu Özpolat and Erol Akçay, US
Fund­ing provided: € 1700

This out­reach ini­ti­at­ive will allow the non-profit organ­iz­a­tion Hard-work­ers for Evol­u­tion to dis­trib­ute inform­a­tion­al pack­ets to sci­ence teach­ers in Tur­key asso­ci­ated with the Turk­ish trans­la­tion of the Under­stand­ing Evol­u­tion web­site. This inform­a­tion pack­age will include a bro­chure about evol­u­tion and a CD con­tain­ing an off­line ver­sion of the web­site (in Turk­ish), as well as print­able web­site art­icles.
→ Blog and Brochure

Evol­u­tion­ary out­reach: tools for the ana­lys­is of evol­u­tion­ary con­cepts for high-school teach­ers
Applic­ants: Alicia Mas­sar­ini et al., AR
Fund­ing provided: € 1750

This out­reach ini­ti­at­ive will pro­mote a bet­ter under­stand­ing of evol­u­tion­ary bio­logy among span­ish-speak­ing high school teach­ers through dis­tance learn­ing courses and region­al work­shops in Argen­tina. The dis­tance learn­ing courses will be web-based and will devel­op a deep­er under­stand­ing about evol­u­tion­ary pro­cesses, as well as explor­ing com­mon mis­con­cep­tions about evol­u­tion. The work­shop will bring mem­bers of the “Shar­ing Sci­ence” group to two loc­a­tions in Argen­tina to train teach­ers in the use of evol­u­tion­ary mod­ules in the classroom.
→ The report is avail­able here.

Evol­u­tion Mat­ters: A trans­lated guide
Applic­ant: Hugo Gante, CH
Fund­ing provided: € 1500

The pur­pose of this fund­ing is to trans­late ESE­B’s “Evol­u­tion Mat­ters: A Guide to the Creationism/Evolution Con­tro­versy” into Por­tuguese. This guide provides extens­ive inform­a­tion about the evid­ence for evol­u­tion and addresses wide­spread mis­un­der­stand­ings about evol­u­tion. Its trans­la­tion into Por­tuguese will extend the reach and value of this already-developed web­site.
Vis­it the Por­tuguese web­site
→ The report is avail­able here.

Evolving Evol­u­tion­ary Ideas
Applic­ants: Rita Cam­pos and Alex­an­dra Sá Pinto, PT
Fund­ing provided: € 2000

Fund­ing from ESEB will allow the devel­op­ment of teach­ing kits for use in Por­tuguese ele­ment­ary schools, where evol­u­tion­ary con­cepts are cur­rently not taught. Fund­ing will be used to devel­op and build 20 kits and to pay for travel expenses of vis­its with the kits to schools dur­ing the school year. The kits will include flower seeds to demon­strate genet­ic drift, but­tons and plastic pearls with dif­fer­ent col­ours to demon­strate nat­ur­al selec­tion, cards with images of dif­fer­ent organ­isms to demon­strate how tax­onomy relates with evol­u­tion, small mir­rors and gene­a­lo­gic­al trees to demon­strate the her­it­ab­il­ity of char­ac­ters.
Blog “O Jogo da Evolução/Playing Evol­u­tion” and report of activ­it­ies
→ NEW! Fur­ther inform­a­tion mater­i­al – Pub­lic­a­tion “Early evol­u­tion of evol­u­tion­ary think­ing: teach­ing bio­lo­gic­al evol­u­tion in ele­ment­ary schools” and E‑book: “As Bor­boletas da Floresta Amarela” (in Portuguese)

Applic­ants: Dieter Anseeuw et al., BE
Fund­ing provided: € 2000

This pro­ject tar­gets sec­ond­ary school stu­dents in Bel­gi­um to teach key evol­u­tion­ary con­cepts: vari­ation (between and with­in spe­cies); selec­tion (nat­ur­al and arti­fi­cial); and con­ver­gent evol­u­tion. One com­pon­ent, Seavolution@class, will provide course pack­ages for three self-con­tained exper­i­ments. A second com­pon­ent, Seavolution@lab, offers sec­ond­ary school stu­dents to par­ti­cip­ate in hands on work­shops, using mar­ine organ­isms to teach evol­u­tion­ary con­cepts. A third com­pon­ent, Seavolution@seminar, will host a pub­lic sem­in­ar by a spe­cial­ist on evol­u­tion of mar­ine organ­isms in response to nat­ur­al and anthro­po­gen­ic selec­tion.
→ Links: Seavolution@class, Seavolution@lab, and Seavolution@seminar.

Twelve Spot­lights on Evol­u­tion
Applic­ants: Sylvie Salam­it­ou and Domi­n­ique Joly, FR
Fund­ing provided: € 3000

An award from the ESEB Out­reach fund will allow the devel­op­ment of an exhib­i­tion entitled “Twelve spot­lights on Evol­u­tion” com­posed of 12 posters. Each poster will include pho­to­graphs and short descrip­tions that illu­min­ate an import­ant aspect of evol­u­tion. This exhib­i­tion will present both basic notions of evol­u­tion and up-to-date research res­ults, explained in a very access­ible way and designed to interest a gen­er­al audi­ence. The posters will be dis­played to the gen­er­al pub­lic at sci­entif­ic events and at places such as stu­dent lib­rar­ies and shop­ping malls in the Par­is area.
→ The 12 posters are completed:

If you are inter­ested in the pdf files, please con­tact Sylvie Salam­it­ou.