Conservation Genetics Course



Conservation Genetics, Population Genomics, and Molecular Ecology
September 6-17, 2022

The goal of ConGen 2022 is to provide training in conceptual and practical aspects of population genomic data analyses to improve understanding of the evolutionary and ecological genomics of natural and managed populations. We will have more than 15 expert instructors from multiple countries to help teach a breadth of concepts and applications.

ConGen teaches Fundamental statistical and computational approaches that will help prepare students and professionals to use population genomic data in their work. Emphasis will be on next-generation sequence (NGS) data analysis (RADs, DNA capture, and genome sequencing/resequencing) and interpretation of output from fundamental and novel statistical approaches and software programs (including R and Linux command line). The course promotes interactions among early-career researchers e.g., grad students & postdocs), mid-career faculty and agency researchers, and leaders in population genomics to help develop our "next generation" of conservation and evolutionary geneticists. We will identify and discuss developments needed to improve data analysis approaches to advance the field. This course often feels like a workshop because multiple instructors ask questions and provide helpful comments during another instructor’s lecture to help advance learning of basic and advanced concepts and approaches.

This course will cover concepts and methods including the coalescent, Bayesian, and likelihood-based approaches. Special lecture sessions and hands-on exercises will be conducted on assessing population structure, testing for HW proportions, detecting selection, genetic monitoring (of NeFSTNm, etc.), landscape genomics, inbreeding detection (RoH), GWAS, population assignment, gene flow estimation, whole-genome sequencing & assembly, and more. It will include daily sessions with hands-on data analysis activities, including genotyping and data analyses using NGS data.

This course is sponsored by the American Genetic Association, the Journal of Heredity, NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration), NSF (the Dimensions in Biodiversity program), along with DoveTail Genomics, and support from publications such as Environmental DNA, Evolutionary Applications, Molecular Ecology Resources, and Conservation Genetics. Some sponsors give talks on new, updated, and future technologies (e.g., Dovetail, PacBio). Many of the expert instructors will lead hands-on data analysis sessions using your data and dummy data sets provided by instructors. This course/workshop has led to publications describing the main topics, course outcomes, and recent advances in the field that facilitate data analysis for population geneticists worldwide.  For example, see 4 pubs below:


The cost to participate in ConGen 2022 is $840 US if you pay before July 1st or $890 US if you pay after July 1st. This cost includes lectures (live and recorded) by at least 15 expert instructors, online question and answer sessions during and after hands-on exercises with worksheets and dummy datasets, copies of lecture PowerPoint slides, along with ConGen-2022 Swag (T-shirt, mug). Course materials are also available after the end of the course to all students in a box repository including all recorded lectures and class materials and slides for many months after ConGen.

The online course supports a virtual server implementation for a majority of the software and tools for the course. This allows students to jump into data analysis with less downtime needed to install bio-informatics tools. Linux line commands will be used for several analyses during the course. A 1-2 hours tutorial on Linux will be given a week before the course for those needing to learn Linux line commands for population genomics data analysis, before the course.

The 2022 course will be online using Zoom along with a blog/forum (via Slack) for questions & answers from instructors (during and after each lecture). Participants outside North American time zones (e.g., Europe, Australasia) can watch recorded lectures (if they cannot participate live) after lectures are given and still participate in Q & A sessions and on the blog after each lecture. Because all lectures and hands-on sessions are recorded (in Zoom), participants can watch (or re-watch) them the next day and still ask questions and get instructor feedback (via blog or live).


All times listed in the schedule below are in Mountain daylight savings time (MDT). MDT is 6 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC; England, Spain, Morocco). 9 AM MDT (Mountain (& Montana) daylight saving time is 4 PM CEST (Central Europe Summer Time; France, Sweden, Egypt), and 2 PM in Sydney Australia). 1 PM MDS is 9 PM CEST and 6 AM in Sydney (9 AM in Perth).


We will use Slack, the free communication platform, to facilitate communication, interaction, and your ability to find information before, during, and after ConGen. When joining Slack, please use your full name so we can identify you as a student or instructor. Users who do not use their real name and cannot be identified as a student or instructor will be removed. Please send an introduction of yourself on Slack as soon as possible. You can run Slack through your browser or download their desktop application for free. Check your email for an invitation to the ConGen channel.


A recording of each lecture, Q & A session (after each lecture), and hands-on sessions (after each lecture) will be added to a UM Box folder for you.