Winter School B@G 2017

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Bioinformatics for Adaptation Genomics       B@G3–2017

: Alexander & Gerbi Hotel, Weggis, Switzerland

Date: 5th - 11th February 2017

Study systems of B@G participants
Study systems of B@G participants

Funded by the Center of Adaptation to a Changing Environment (ACE) initiative, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Given the positive experiences of the previous two editions of the B@G School that received enthusiastic feedback from both the instructors and the students, we are happy to announce that the School will take place also in 2017 with a similar program and format.

Aims and Objectives

The application of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies to non-model organisms is now well-established and has unlocked new frontiers for research on adaptation genomics. Despite recent technological developments enabling an increasing number of projects to use genome-scale data, the analysis of such complex data sets still raises substantial hurdles for researchers with primarily a biological background. Bioinformatic pipelines offer an invaluable resource to process genomic data, but their underlying rationale often remains hard to understand, which poses significant challenges for their rigorous use and for the accurate interpretation of the results. The B@G Winter School provides an opportunity for researchers to penetrate the ‘black box’ behind the complex bioinformatics approaches available for investigating adaptation genomics throughout the analytical pipeline; from the programs and assumptions necessary to produce a high quality SNP dataset to the in-depth interpretation of methods designed to address key evolutionary questions. B@G teachers are established scientists with a primary role in the development of widely used bioinformatic software, and will provide insights into the foundations of the algorithms and suggest best practice in experimental design and analysis.


The School is primarily aimed at evolutionary biologists and bioinformaticians who want to gain deeper knowledge on state-of-the-art methods used to detect evolutionary patterns from genome-wide nucleotide data. Applications from early career researchers (PhD and post-doctoral level), as well as faculty with a background in ecology, genetics, or bioinformatics, will be considered. The workshop is particularly aimed at candidates with experience of the Unix environment and with preliminary knowledge on analytical pipelines for genomic data. Participants will be requested to bring their own laptop with which to connect to the server for the practical sessions.

Classes will include lectures on the theoretical background of the programs and practical demonstrations given by the instructor followed by hands-on exercises performed by the participants under guided supervision. Computing activity will rely on individual connections to the Genetic Diversity Centre (GDC, ETH Zurich) server, which will provide resources for demonstrations and practical training. Emphasis will be given to interpreting the output of the programs, with time for discussion to facilitate interactions between the instructor and the audience.

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