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Header of the course Quantitative Genetics of Shape - 3rd Edition


Organising committee



Date and Site


Course length and ECTS


Number of places







Registration Form


Course Poster


From Phenotype to Genotype: The Genetic Bases of Shape
The aim of this course is to provide participants with an overview of quantitative genetics, with specific application to shape analysis and decomposition of phenotypic variation into components of genetic and environmental variation. The basic theoretical concepts of resemblance between relatives, heritability, estimates of selection, and geometric morphometrics will be introduced. Practical lessons will enable participants to learn to use user-friendly (and not so user-friendly) software packages to estimate heritability, phenotypic and genetic variance covariance matrices, response to hypothetical selection, actual selection and QTL mapping. Participants are encouraged to bring their own data for analysis and discussion in the course. Morphometric data involves any kind of quantitative shape data collected on individuals, such as linear measurements and/or 2D or 3D landmark coordinates. Pedigree files usually consist of text files with a list of three columns (individual ID, father ID, mother ID). Specific details about formatting these files will be provided during the practical lessons.


Dr. Neus Martínez-Abadías instructor at Transmitting Science
Dr. Neus Martínez-Abadías
(Centre for Genomic Regulation, Spain).
Dr. Nicolas Navarro instructor at Transmitting Science
Dr. Nicolas Navarro

(École Pratique des Hautes Études, France).

Organising committee:

Dr. Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno organiser committee at Transmitting Science
Dr. Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno

(Transmitting Science, Spain).
Dr. Judit Marigó organiser committee at Transmitting Science
Dr. Judit Marigó

(Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, France; and Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP), Spain).


Graduate or postgraduate degree in Life or Earth Sciences, basic knowledge of statistics and personal computers. Knowledge of Genetics and Geometric Morphometrics. All participants must bring their own personal laptop.

We would like to encourage participants to bring along their own morphometrics data and pedigree / quantitative genetic information.



Date and Site:

Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP): Premises of Sabadell - Museum

Tuesday 6th to Friday 9th September 2016.

Premises of Sabadell of the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP), C/ de l’Escola Industrial, 23, 08201 Sabadell, Barcelona (Spain). GPS Coordinates: Latitude 41.547346 (41° 32’ 50.4459’’N), Longitude 2.106325 (2° 6’ 22.7712’’E). How to arrive.


Tuesday 6th September 2016.

- Overview of Quantitative Genetics.

    • Resemblance between relatives.
    • Fishers variance decomposition: Phenotypic, genetic and environmental variation.
    • Methods to estimate heritability: From correlation to REML.

- Practical.

    • Heritability of simple univariate shape traits.
    • Programs: SOLAR, VCE, Wombat.


Wednesday 7th September 2016.

- Quantitative genetics of shape on a multivariate framework.

    • Geometric Morphometrics analysis of shape.
    • Mixed Models for estimating heritability.
    • G and P: Genetic and phenotypic variance-covariance matrices.

- Practical.

    • Estimation and comparison between G and P components of shape.
    • Programs: VCE, Wombat, MorphoJ.

Thursday 8th September 2016.

- Shape and selection.

    • Response to selection.
    • Estimation of natural selection.

- Practical.

    • Estimation of hypothetical response to selection: Breeder’s equation.
    • Multiple regression of fitness on shape.
    • Programs: MorphoJ.


Friday 9th September 2016.

- QTL mapping of multivariate traits.

    • Crosses for QTL mapping.
    • Recombination model.
    • Interval mapping and Haley-Knott regression.

- Practical.

    • Compute genotype probabilities.
    • Multivariate regression of shape on genotype probabilities.
    • Programs: MorphoJ, R/qtl.


- Klingenberg CP, Leamy LJ, Routman , EJ, Cheverud, JM (2001) Genetic architecture of mandible shape in mice: Effects of quantitative trait loci analyzed by geometric morphometrics. Genetics, 157: 785-802.

- Mcguigan K (2006) Studying phenotypic evolution using multivariate quantitative genetics. Molecular Ecology, 15: 883-896.

- Navarro N, Klingenberg CP (2007) Mapping multiple QTLs of geometric shape of the mouse mandible, in S. Barber, P.D. Baxter and K.V. Mardia (eds), Systems Biology and Statistical Bioinformatics, p. 125-128. Leeds, Leeds University Press.

- Klingenberg CP (2010) Evolution and development of shape: Integrating quantitative approaches. Nature Reviews Genetics, 11: 623-635.

- Martínez-Abadías N, Esparza M, Sjøvold T, González-José R, Santos M, Hernández M (2009) Heritability of human cranial dimensions: Comparing the evolvability of different cranial regions. Journal of Anatomy, 214: 19-35.

- Martínez-Abadías N, Esparza M, Sjøvold T, González-José R, Santos M, Hernández M, Klingenberg CP (2012) Pervasive genetic integration directs the evolution of human skull shape. Evolution, 66: 1010-23.

Classical books on Quantitative Genetics:

- Falconer DS and Mackay TFC (1996) Introduction to quantitative genetics, Essex: Longman Group, Ltd.

- Roff DA (1997) Evolutionary quantitative genetics, New York: Chapman & Hall.

- Lynch M and Walsh B (1998) Genetics analysis of quantitative traits, Sunderland, Massachusetts: Sinauer Associates.

Course length and ECTS:

30 hours on-site. This course is equivalent to 3 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System). Participants who have completed the course will receive a certificate at the end of it.


Tuesday 6th to Friday 9th September 2016:

9:30 to 13:30 Lessons.
13:30 to 15:00 Lunch.
15:00 to 18:30 Lessons.

  • There will be two coffee breaks each day, halfway through each lesson session.

The schedule is approximate; it is possible that the content of one day may run into the next and a working day may be longer than advertised.

Number of places:

Places are limited to 16 participants and will be occupied by strict registration order.


Reduced registration fee until January 31, 2016: 485 €. Full registration fee after January 31, 2016: 645 €. This includes course material, coffee breaks and lunches.

2 % of each fee will be donated to the R project.

Former participants will have a 5 % discount** on the current course fee.

We offer the possibility of paying in two instalments (contact us at judit.marigo@transmittingscience.org).

Please complete and submit your Registration Form (see below); we will confirm your acceptance by e-mail. If you do not receive any confirmation by e-mail after registration, please contact us at judit.marigo@transmittingscience.org.

This course will be held if at least 50 % of the places are filled.

Cancellation policy:

If you wish to cancel your participation in this course, cancellations up to 20 days before the course start date will incur a 30 % cancellation fee. For later cancellations, or non-attendance, 75 % of the fee will be charged.

If Transmitting Science must cancel this course due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of Transmitting Science, you will either be entitled to a full refund of the course fee, or your fee can be credited toward a future course / workshop. Transmitting Science is not responsible for travel fees, or any expenses incurred by you as a result of such cancellation. Every effort will be made to avoid the cancellation of any planned course / workshop.


The course will take place in the city of Sabadell, Barcelona (Spain).

You may stay in Barcelona city or Sabadell. You will find information about Hotels and Hostel in Sabadell here. It takes about 45 minutes by public transport to arrive to Sabadell from the centre of Barcelona city. The place of the course is about 15 minutes walking from the train stop.

How to arrive to Sabadell from Barcelona city.


Unfortunately there are no internal grants available for this course. However some discounts are offered to people belonging to some of the Associations, Institutions or Universities listed here. If you want to apply to this discount please state the name of your Association, Institution or University in the “Comments” field of the Registration Form (proof will be asked later).

Spanish unemployed scientists, as well as Spanish PhD students without any grant to develop their PhD, could benefit from a 40 % discount** on the course fee. If you want to ask for this discount, please contact us at judit.marigo@transmittingscience.org. That would apply for a maximum of 2 places and they will be covered by strict inscription order.


For further information contact: judit.marigo@transmittingscience.org.


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Registration Form

  • Do you need an invitation letter for processing a visa?
    (list of countries in which visa is required to visit Spain).
  • Are you going to validate the course in any research PhD School or doctorate?
  • At which University / Postgraduate School / PhD School?
  • Information about background and data

  • - Previous experience with GMM:
  • - Knowledge of R:
  • - Do you have your own data to run quantitative genetic analysis? If so, briefly describe the type of data and your main goals:
  • - Main interests of the course:


** Discounts are not cumulative.