SICB Annual Meeting 2018
January 3-7, 2018
San Francisco, CA

Workshop - Best practices for using NGS-based datasets to determine statistically robust evidence of positive selection and convergent evolution of polar organisms

We will conduct a NSF-funded workshop using cross-disciplinary approaches for determining genetic adaptations in polar organisms using Next Generation Sequencing-based datasets. In particular, this workshop will focus on the following:

1) Establish collaborative research groups to test for genes under positive selection from diverse polar organisms using genomic and transcriptomic datasets.

2) Evaluate current analytical methods for determining positively selected genes and their statistical significance.

3) Explore current and novel methodologies for detecting genetic modifications acquired through convergent evolution in response to similar environmental conditions.

4) Review lab-based protocols for demonstrating the potential functions of candidate genes. Specifically, we will focus on techniques amenable to frozen or otherwise preserved samples that can be accomplished at the home institutional laboratory.

We will conduct a full-day meeting (9am-5pm) before the start of the next two conference meetings of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (San Francisco, CA and Tampa, FL, January 3rd, 2018 and 2019, respectively) with collaborative work among the research groups during the interim period. The requested funds will be used to reimburse the costs of travel to each meeting (up to $300/meeting), SICB meeting registration, and one night of lodging (up to $200/meeting), for all workshop participants per meeting. Workshop participants will contribute to a final report summarizing our findings that will be available through the iDigBio website. We will also publish a multi-authored paper based on the relative contributions of participants towards data acquisition, NGS-based analyses, and the review of lab-based protocols.

Prospective participants should have documented research backgrounds in ONE or more of the following categories: 1) NGS-based studies of polar organisms, 2) Methodologies for determining genes under positive selection or showing evidence of convergent evolution (PAML, HyPHy, Phytools, etc.), 3) Phylogenomics of polar organisms, and 4) Physiological adaptations of polar organisms.

To apply please email (due date:09/06/17) with one attached PDF document containing: A) Current CV and B) One-page description detailing your experience in the research backgrounds listed above, and how this workshop fits into your overall career goals. Graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and early career investigators from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply. Applications may be accepted after the due date depending on the number of applicants and amount of available funds. The preliminary list of agreed participants currently includes investigators, post-doctoral researchers, and graduate students from Auburn University, California State University-Long Beach, Central Michigan University, Long Island University-Post, University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa, University of California-Santa Barbara, University of Florida, and the University of Hawaii.