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Subject: UCLA/La Kretz Workshop in Conservation Genomics, 22-27 March, 2014

UCLA/La Kretz Workshop in Conservation Genomics, 22-27 March, 2014

Conservation biology and genetics have had a long and intimate relationship, and constitute one of the key applications of evolutionary analysis to real-world biological problems. The impacts of population genetics, phylogenetics and phylogeography have been particularly striking for conservation biology, and have helped solve some of the most pressing problems in biological conservation.
As the field of landscape-based genetics continues to grow and mature, the increasing availability of genomic-level data, analytical models and methods stand to make profound new contributions to our ability to identify and protect at-risk populations and recover those that are most endangered. However, genomic level analyses also carry a heavy burden—data sets are enormous and often require diverse computational approaches for assembly, quality control and analysis.
This annual workshop provides a comfortable, informal training environment for a small group of motivated graduate students to explore how conservation problems can best be addressed with genomic-level data. Our goal is to provide hands-on experience on the efficient collection, troubleshooting, and analysis of large, genome-level data sets for conservation-relevant problems. One of the highlights of our workshop is active participation from members of several US government agencies who are at the forefront of endangered species protection and management, providing a forum for exploring the most relevant aspects of conservation genomics to managers.
The UCLA/La Kretz workshop is held at the La Kretz Field Station and the Stunt Ranch Reserve, both located a few miles apart in the heart of the Santa Monica Mountains. Only 30 miles from UCLA (and LAX airport), but nestled in the relatively undeveloped 160,000 acre Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, these two venues provide an ideal location to bring exciting new developments in genomic science and pressing needs in conservation and management together in a single workshop.
Our current instructor list, drawn from UCLA, UC Davis, and UC Berkeley includes:

Mike Alfaro
Gideon Bradburd
Brant Faircloth
Evan McCartney-Melstad
Kirk Lohmueller
Mark Phuong
Brad Shaffer
Victoria Sork
Phil Spinks
Ian Wang
Bob Wayne

Participants from USGS, USFWS, and the US National Park Service

Topics covered include:

Traditional conservation genetics
Next generation platforms: the best tool for the job
Data management pipelines:
Quality Control
Data storage
Data organization
Data analysis:
Exploring very large data sets
Functional genomic data
Genomic data and GIS
Conservation phylogenomics

Available housing limits course enrollment to ~15 students. Preference is given to doctoral candidates who are in the early to middle stages of their thesis research, and who have completed sufficient prerequisites (through previous coursework or research experience) to have some familiarity with using a command line interface or programming languages (i.e. Perl, python etc.). Postdocs and faculty are welcome to apply, but our first priority is to graduate student applicants.

Admission and Fees
Students will be admitted based on academic qualifications and appropriateness of research interests. The course fee is $400. This includes food and lodging at the La Kretz Field Station, transportation to and from UCLA to the venue, and any incidental fees for the duration of the course (arriving March 22, departing March 27).

Application Forms and Information
Visit the La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science website for additional information and to download an application form:

Application Deadline
Applications are due by January 17, 2014. Please send a completed application form and one letter of recommendation from your major advisor. Students will be notified via e-mail by January 24, 2014 of acceptance.

Applications should be sent as PDFs, with your name in the title, via email to:

Phil Spinks

Phillip Spinks <>
Wednesday, December 18, 2013

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