23rd Summer Institute in Statistical Genetics (SISG)

Module 10: Conservation Genetics

Session 4: Wed Jul 18 to Fri Jul 20

Module dates/times: Wednesday, July 18, 1:30-5 p.m.; Thursday, July 19, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., and Friday, July 20, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

This new module provides training in conceptual foundations and practical aspects of data analysis to understand conservation and management of species. It will introduce the principles and applications of conservation genetics, from assessing the genetic health of individuals and whole populations to deciding on species and sub-species divisions. Students will learn foundational models in population and evolutionary genetics, as well as core methods used in genetics and genomics.

Topics covered will include genetic variation, dynamics of small populations, effective population size, population fragmentation and gene flow, phylogeography, inbreeding and inbreeding depression, natural selection, ancient DNA and resurrecting extinct organisms. The module will also cover methods for developing genomic resources with an emphasis on next generation sequence data generation and analysis (RAD-seq, whole genome sequencing, transcriptome sequencing).

Dahlia Nielsen is an Associate Professor of Biological Sciences and a resident member of the Bioinformatics Research Center at North Carolina State University. Her research focuses on methods development and applications in identifying genes underlying complex traits, including gene expression responses and molecular signaling between hosts and pathogens. She has been engaged in various projects to develop genomic resources for non-model species. She recently published “Networks Underpinning Symbiosis Revealed Through Cross-Species eQTL Mapping.” Genetics 206(4): 2175-2184, 2017.

Nadia Singh is an Associate Professor of Biology and a member of the Institute for Ecology and Evolution at the University of Oregon. Her research focused on the causes and consequences of variation in fundamental genetic processes for evolution. She is particularly interested in phenotypic plasticity in recombination and the molecular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon. She recently published “Variation in Recombination Rate: Adaptive or Not?” Trends in Genetics 33(5): 364-374, 2017.