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Kretz Workshop in Conservation Genomics, 22-27 March, 2015

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UCLA/La Kretz Workshop in Conservation Genomics, 22-27 March, 2015 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 burden­data sets are enormous, often requiring diverse computational approaches for assembly, quality control and analysis. This annual workshop will provide 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 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 will be held at the La Kretz Field Station 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, the Field Station provides an ideal location that brings exciting new developments in genomic science and pressing needs in conservation and management together in a single setting. Our current instructor list, drawn from UCLA faculty and several other southern California partners, includes: Jonathon Chang Ben Fitzpatrick Paul Gugger Kirk Lohmueller Evan McCartney-Melstad Mark Phuong Peter Ralph Brad Shaffer Victoria Sork Phil Spinks Bob Wayne Ying Zhen 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: SNPs Sequences Exploring very large data sets Functional genomic data Genomic data and GIS Visualizing geographic structure and demographic history Conservation phylogenomics Prerequisites 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.). Unfortunately, because of limits on class size, postdocs and faculty are discouraged from applying. Admission and Fees Students will be admitted based on academic qualifications and appropriateness of research interests. The course fee is $425. This includes food and lodging at the La Kretz Field Station, as well as any incidental fees, for the duration of the course (arriving Sunday March 22, departing Friday March 27). In addition, those students who want to stay at the field station for the remainder of the weekend may do so for no extra charge. For those opting to stay the weekend, departure time will be by noon on Monday March 30. Application Forms and Information Visit the La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science website for additional information and to download an application form: Mario--Insert URL Here Application Deadline Applications are due by February 2, 2015. Please send a completed application form and one letter of recommendation from your major advisor. Students will be notified via e-mail by February 9, 2015 of acceptance. Applications should be sent as PDFs via email to: Phil Spinks email: pqspinks@g.ucla.edu

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