ConGen - Online Due to COVID-19
Conservation Genetics, Population Genomics
September 7-18, 2020
The goal of ConGen is to provide training in conceptual and practical aspects of data analysis to understand the evolutionary and ecological genomics of natural and managed populations.
New this year is more focus on genome sequencing, assembly, and re-sequencing of whole genomes to prepare participants and instructors for the future which will involve far more whole-genome data production and analyses. Emphasis will be on next-generation sequence (NGS) data analysis (RADs, DNA capture, and whole-genome sequence analyses, and gene expression) and interpretation of output from recent novel statistical approaches and software programs. The course promotes interactions among early-career researchers (students/participants) and leaders in population genomics to help develop the "next generation" of conservation and evolutionary geneticists. We will identify and discuss developments needed to improve data analysis approaches.
This course will cover analysis methods including the coalescent, Bayesian, and likelihood-based approaches. Special lecture sessions and hands-on exercises will be conducted on population structure, detecting selection, and genetic monitoring (of Ne, FST, etc.), landscape genomics, inbreeding detection (RoH), GWAS to identify adaptive loci, genomic vulnerability assessment and more. It will also include lectures and hands-on activities on gene expression mechanisms underlying rapid adaptation to environmental change.
This course is sponsored by the American Genetic Association, the Journal of Heredity, NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration), NSF (the Dimensions in Biodiversity program), along with PacBio, DoveTail Genomics, and support from the publications eDNA, Evolutionary Applications, and Conservation Genetics. It includes at least 12 expert instructors and hands-on data analysis using your data (with instructors) and dummy data sets provided by instructors. It has led to publications describing the main topics and outcomes of the course in past years, with the goal of facilitating data analysis for population geneticists worldwide. For example, see 4 pubs below:
- Stahlke et al. 2020: https://academic.oup.com/jhered/article/111/2/227/5731771
- Hendricks et al. 2018: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/eva.12659
- Benestan et al. 2016: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mec.13647/full
- Andrews and Luikart 2014: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mec.12686/abstract
The cost to participate in ConGen 2020 is $790 US if you pay before July 1st or $850 US if you pay after July 1st. This includes lectures (live and recorded) by at least 12 expert instructors, online question and answer sessions during and after hands-on exercises with worksheets and dummy datasets, copies of all lecture PowerPoint slides, along with ConGen-2020 Swag (T-shirt, mug). Course materials are also available after the end of the course to all students in a box repository including all recorded lectures and class materials and slides for many months after ConGen.
Participants will also receive advice installing programs through multiple online help sessions and also through tutorials and email. Students with PC can receive help installing a Linux virtual machine on their PC in the weeks BEFORE the course. Linux line commands will be used for several analyses during the course. A brief tutorial on Linux will be given the first day for those interested in learning Linux line commands important for population genomics data analysis.
The course will be Online this year using Zoom along with a blog/forum for writing questions to and getting answers from instructors (during and after each lecture). Participants outside North American time zones (e.g., Europe, Australasia) can watch recorded lectures (if they cannot participate live) after lectures are given and still participate in Q & A sessions and on the blog within a few days after each lecture. Because all lectures and hands-on sessions are recorded (in Zoom), participants can watch (or re-watch) them the next day and still ask questions and get instructor feedback (via blog or live).