United States
Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research

NSF-Sponsored Workshop - Detecting Adaptive Evolutionary Events in Genomes of Polar Species

NSF-sponsored Workshop: Detecting adaptive evolutionary events in genomes of polar species 
Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, St. Augustine, Florida

A series of workshops were funded by the National Science Foundation through awards #1935635 and #1935672

Below is the information for the upcoming 2024 workshop:

A two-day workshop will be held at the Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience (University of Florida) in 2024 (July 22 & 23). Participants should plan to arrive on the afternoon of July 21st and depart in the morning or afternoon on July 24th. The workshop organizers, Dr. Scott Santagata and Dr. Joseph Ryan, will lead participants through a series of computational exercises using our SELECTINGS pipeline having the following goals: 

  1. Construct orthologous gene assignments (OrthoFinder), prune paralogous genes (PhyloPYPruner), align orthologous gene (MAFFT), and multi-gene phylogenetic relationships (IQ-TREE); 
  2. Establish collaborative research groups to test for genes under positive selection from diverse organisms and habitats (e.g., polar, terrestrial, marine, tropical) using genomic and transcriptomic datasets; 
  3. Evaluate current analytical methods for determining positive selection (e.g., PAML, HyPHy) and their statistical significance.

Participants are encouraged to work with their own NGS-based datasets, but sample datasets will also be provided and analyzed using a bioinformatics platform. Applicants with transcriptomic datasets that span ecological boundaries (e.g. high vs. low latitudinal habitats, marine vs. freshwater habitats, deep vs. shallow water habitats, etc.) will be given priority. However, anyone who is interested in learning these techniques is encouraged to apply.

Lodging will be provided at the Guy Harvey Resort in St. Augustine Beach, FL and participants will be reimbursed for lodging and travel after the workshop. We will provide transportation between the hotel and the Whitney Laboratory where the workshop will take place. Funds will also be provided to offset the costs of round trip travel based on the number of participants and demonstrated need. Workshop facilities and housing are in accordance with ADA guidelines and we will work with any participants needing accommodations. Details for reimbursable costs will be provided upon acceptance. 

Researchers from underrepresented groups and/or with disabilities are particularly encouraged to apply. Workshop will include a code of conduct to help ensure a safe and inclusive space. The workshop will incorporate structured participation to ensure balance in participation and encourage inclusion. It will include activities that facilitate interaction within small groups. Mentorship opportunities will be facilitated through encouraging post-workshop interaction and mentoring. 

To apply please visit http://ryanlab.whitney.ufl.edu/polar_workshop/. The application (due date: May 17, 2024) requires: A) Current CV, B) 400-word description detailing your research experiences and how this workshop fits into your overall career goals, and C) Estimated funds needed for round trip travel. 

Scott Santagata - Scott.Santagata@liu.edu 
Joseph Ryan - Joseph.Ryan@whitney.ufl.edu