• Header of Genetics and Genomics at Transmitting Science

Advanced Courses in Life Sciences

1st Edition

Introduction to Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics

April 9th-13th, 2018, Barcelona (Spain)

Introduction to Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics

The rate and direction of adaptive evolution critically depends on the additive genetic variances and covariances underlying the traits subject to selection. As a consequence, understanding the genetic basis of complex morphological, life-history, physiological, ornamental and behavioural traits is crucial if we are to understand their evolutionary potential, and the evolutionary process in general.

Quantitative genetics uses the phenotypic resemblance among related individuals to infer the role of genes and the environment in shaping phenotypic variation. Depending on the species, we can use data obtained from breeding experiments in captivity (e.g. insects), or from individual-based monitoring programs in the wild (e.g. birds and mammals). Especially the latter has benefited greatly from the application of animal model methodology, originally developed in animal breeding to identify individuals of high genetic merit. By simultaneously using the resemblance among all individuals in the pedigree, these methods provide more precise and accurate estimates of genetic and non-genetic variance components (heritabilities and genetic correlations). Furthermore, they allow for the estimation of individual-level genetic effects (breeding values), and thereby the inference of evolution.

In this course we will cover everything from basic quantitative genetic theory and statistics to advanced mixed model-based approaches. You will learn how to estimate genetic variances and covariances in wild and captive populations, and how to test for evolutionary change. Along the way, you will be exposed to the main software packages, and the R packages MCMCglmm and ASReml-R in particular, and you will learn about their strengths and weaknesses. You are strongly encouraged to bring your own data (if you have it), which you will be able to work on during the course and which will allow you to put the theory into practice.

LOCATION

Centre de Restauració i Interpretació Paleontològica (CRIP)

C/ Mestre J. Lladós, 1
08781 Els Hostalets de Pierola, Barcelona (Spain)

How to get there

LANGUAGE

English

COURSE LENGTH & ECTS

32 hours on-site.

This course is equivalent to 2 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) at the Life Science Zurich Graduate School.

The recognition of ECTS by other institutions depends on each university or school.

PLACES

Places are limited to 20 participants and will be occupied by strict registration order.

Participants who have completed the course will receive a certificate at the end of it.

Instructors

Erik Postma instructor for Transmitting Science

Dr. Erik Postma
University of Exeter
United Kingdom

Jesús Martínez-Padilla instructor for Transmitting Science

Dr. Jesús Martínez-Padilla
Universidad de Oviedo
Spain

Coordinators

Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno instructor at Transmitting Science

Dr. Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno
Transmitting Science
Spain

Jesús Martínez-Padilla instructor for Transmitting Science

Dr. Jesús Martínez-Padilla
Universidad de Oviedo
Spain

Ana Rosa Gómez-Cano coordinator at Transmitting Science

Dr. Ana Rosa Gómez-Cano
Transmitting Science
Spain

Requirements

Graduate or postgraduate degree in any Biosciences discipline. All participants must bring their own personal laptop (Windows, Macintosh, Linux).

While some knowledge of R (e.g. importing and manipulating data) is required, you do not need any previous experience with quantitative genetics and animal models.

Program

Monday, April 9th, 2018. Introduction into quantitative genetics.

  • Morning:
    • Quantitative genetic theory.
      • From single loci with two alleles to the infinitesimal model.
      • Additive and non-additive genetic variance.
      • Quantifying relatedness and inbreeding.
      • Heritability and genetic correlations.
      • Evolvability.
    • Basic statistics.
      • Correlation.
      • Regression.
      • ANOVA.
    • Estimating heritabilities, Part I.
      • Parent-offspring regression.
      • Fullsib/halfsib analysis.
  • Afternoon:
    • Practical.
      • Simulate data on parents and offspring.
      • Estimate heritabilities using parent-offspring regression and ANOVA.


Tuesday, April 10th, 2018. Mixed models, pedigrees and animal models.

  • Morning:
    • Advanced statistics.
      • Mixed models.
    • Estimating heritabilities, Part II.
      • Mixed model analysis of halfsib data.
    • Practical.
      • Analyse simulated data with mixed model (continuation of Monday afternoon).
  • Afternoon:
    • Pedigree reconstruction.
      • Observational and marker-based.
      • Pedigree errors.
      • Software.
      • Descriptive statistics.
      • Visualisation.
    • Analysis of own (or simulated) data.

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018. The animal model.

  • Morning:
    • Estimating heritabilities, Part III.
      • The animal model.
      • Software.
    • Practical.
      • Animal model tutorials ASReml-R and/or MCMCglmm.
  • Afternoon:
    • Analysis of own (or simulated) data.



Thursday, April 12th, 2018. Advanced topics.

  • Morning:
    • Multivariate models.
      • G matrix estimation.
      • Genotype-environment interactions.
      • Intersexual genetic correlations.
    • Random regression.
    • Breeding values.
      • Prediction.
      • Inferring evolution.
  • Afternoon:
    • Analysis of own (or simulated) data.



Friday, April 13th, 2018.

  • Morning:
    • Presentations.

Literature

  • Falconer DS, Mackay TFC (1996) Introduction to quantitative genetics, Prantice Hall, Harlow, United Kingdom, 4th Edition.
  • Lynch M, Walsh B (1998) Genetics and analysis of quantitative traits, Sinauer, Sunderland, MA, United States.
  • Kruuk LEB (2004) Estimating genetic parameters in natural populations using the ‘animal model’. Phil Trans R Soc Lond B, 359: 873-890.
  • Kruuk LEB, Slate J, Wilson AJ (2008) New answers for old questions: The evolutionary quantitative genetics of wild animal populations. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst, 39: 525-548.
  • Wilson AJ, Réale D, Clements MN, Morrissey MM, Postma E, Walling CA, Kruuk LEB, Nussey DH (2010) An ecologist’s guide to the animal model. J Anim Ecol, 79: 13-26.
  • Charmantier A, Garant D, Kruuk LEB (2014) Quantitative genetics in the wild, Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Fees

  • Course Fee
  • Early bird (until October 31st, 2017):
  • 470
  • Regular (after October 31st, 2017):
  • 590
  • This includes course material, coffee breaks and lunches.
    (VAT included)
  • Accommodation Package
  • Early bird (until October 31st, 2017):
  • 300
  • Regular (after October 31st, 2017):
  • 300
  • This includes local transportation, lodging, breakfasts, dinners and social (tourist) activities.
    (VAT included)
  • Course Fee + Accommodation Package
  • Early bird (until October 31st, 2017):
  • 770
  • Regular (after October 31st, 2017):
  • 890
  • This includes course material, coffee breaks, local transportation, lodging, breakfasts, lunches, dinners and social (tourist) activities.
    (VAT included)

We offer the possibility of paying in two instalments (contact the course coordinators). Discounts (see Funding below) are not cumulative and apply only on the fee, not to Accommodation Package or other options.

Accommodation

If you take the Accommodation Package you will be hosted in the Youth Hostel Can Roviralta (take a look at the venue), in shared dormitories (common bathrooms), although you will only share rooms with other classmates. The possibility exists that the dormitories will be mixed. Therefore, if this is an inconvenience for you, and you require staying in a dormitory with only women, or only men, please indicate so in the “Comments” field of the Registration form (see below).

A supplemental charge will be added if you prefer to stay in a single room with private bathroom. The number of rooms is limited and if you prefer to have a single room, let us know it as soon as possible. If you want more information on this please contact the course coordinators.

Please be aware that from the centre of Barcelona city it takes about one hour by car and one hour and a half by public transport to arrive to Els Hostalets de Pierola. Course participants will find that staying in Els Hostalets de Pierola is more convenient.

If you do not want the Accommodation Package, accommodation is available in places other than Els Hostalets de Pierola. You may stay in Barcelona city, Martorell or Igualada. You will find information about Hotels in Martorell here, and information about Hotels in Igualada here.

How to get to Els Hostalets de Pierola from Barcelona city, Martorell or Igualada.

Youth Hostel Can Roviralta (Els Hostalets de Pierola, Barcelona, Spain)

Funding

Former participants will have a 5 % discount on the Course Fee.

Unfortunately there are no scholarships available for this course. However a 20 % discount on the Course Fee is offered for members of some organizations (Organizations with discount). If you want to apply to this discount please indicate it in the Registration form (proof will be asked later).

Spanish unemployed scientists, as well as Spanish PhD students without any grant or scholarship to develop their PhD, could benefit from a 40 % discount on the Course Fee. If you want to ask for this discount, please contact the course coordinators. That would apply for a maximum of 2 places and they will be covered by strict inscription order.

Discounts are not cumulative and apply only on the fee, not to Accommodation Package or other options.

Schedule

Course ScheduleCourse + Accommodation Package Schedule
Sunday, April 8th, 201819:00 Meeting point in Plaza Catalunya (Barcelona) to take the bus to Els Hostalets de Pierola. If you are planning to arrive later, you can find more information in How to get there.
20:00 Registration in the Youth Hostel.
20:30 Dinner.
Monday, April 9th through Thursday, April 12th, 20189:30 to 13:30 Lessons.
13:30 to 15:00 Lunch.
15:00 to 18:00 Lessons.

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

8:30 to 9:00 Breakfast.
9:30 to 13:30 Lessons.
13:30 to 15:00 Lunch.
15:00 to 18:00 Lessons.
20:30 Dinner.

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

Friday, April 13th, 20189:30 to 13:30 Lessons.
13:30 to 15:00 Lunch.

There will be a coffee break during the morning lesson session.

8:30 to 9:00 Breakfast.
9:30 to 13:30 Lessons.
13:30 to 15:00 Lunch.
15:15 Meeting point in the Youth Hostel to take the bus to visit a wine cellar.
16:00 Arrival at the wine cellar.
17:30 Bus to Barcelona city.
19:00 Arrival at Plaza Catalunya (Barcelona).

There will be a coffee break during the morning 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.

Organizers

Transmitting Science Logo
Centre de Restauració i Interpretació Paleontològica (CRIP) Logo
Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP) Logo

Collaborators

Colegio Oficial de Biólogos de Castilla y León Logo
Colegio Oficial de Biólogos de Euskadi Logo
Colexio Oficial de Biólogos de Galicia Logo
Col·legi Oficial de Biòlegs de la Comunitat Valenciana Logo

Registration