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Research PhD courses

A Primer in Population Genetic Modeling


Under the auspices of the Research School Ecology & Evolution:

Prof. Per Palsboll (MarECon, RUG)
Dr. Corine Eising (RSEE)

Aim of the course

The learning objectives of this course is to teach MSc (and PhD) to:
(1) parameterize and execute common population genetic modeling software.
(2) determine the level of simulations necessary for rigorous estimations/inferences.
(3) understand and interpret the output from common population simulation software.
(4) critically assess published population genetic inferences based upon modeling.

Contents & Structure

The course consists of lectures, in-depth reading and discussion of original research papers as well as computer exercises. Each week will focus on a specific type of population/conservation genetic question, such as changes in effective population size, paternity assignment, gene flow and genome wide scans of linkage. Students need to prepare by reading one/two pre-selected papers each week and participate in a group presentation and chairing of the discussion of one case study. Each week students will conduct computer simulations relevant to the case study of the week. The final (3rd) week will be aimed at a larger individual modeling exercise and a written report of the question, approach and results.

Contact hours: 21 hours of lectures, 3 hours of guided class discussion, 36 hours of computer exercises as well as 24 hours of assignments (with the instructor present) = 84
hours Self-study (reading) = 36 hours

Duration 3 weeks (total of 120 hours)

Provisional Programme

The course will run over a period of three weeks, starting Monday 6 February, ending Friday 24 February. Each day there will be lectures from 09.00 till 11.00. From 11.00 till 17.00 there will be computer practicals, discussion sessions, reading of program manuals or scientific papers, presentations etc.

General Information
Required knowledge & preparation * Students should work / have a strong interest in the field of Evolutionary Biology
* Students should have knowledge of Basic Statistics (equivalent to any introductory course)
Course material

Assignments and exercises can all be conducted on the Millipede cluster. However, if you want to conduct the work on your own computer it is in principle possible for most cases BUT you will then be responsible for installing (may require compilation) the required software (e.g., for a Windows PC this would require the installation and use of a Unix emulator such as Cygwin).

Course credits 5 ECTS, upon receiving a 'pass' for participation in the course. A Pass requires (as for all students) full participation and satisfactory performance.
Location The course lectures will be held in Room 5173.0165, assignment sessions will be geld in room 5173.0151 of the Linnaeusborg, Zernike Campus, University of Groningen, The Netherlands. The coumputer practicals will be held in Room 5161.0207 of the Bernouilliborg. Accommodation is not included in the course but is available in the nearby City centre. Student-priced options include: The Bud Gett Hotel and The Simplon Youth Hostel.
Duration & date 6 - 24 February 2017
Costs Master students participate in the course for free. For GELIFES PhD students, only an administration fee of €25 is applicable. Other PhD students, please contact C.M. Eising
Participants The minimum number of participants is 5, the maximum 25.

PhD students may register via the online registration form. Please register at your earliest convenience if you intend to participate as available positions will be filled on a first come, first serve basis.

Last modified:17 June 2019 5.07 p.m.