The AGA grants awards each year to members to support special events that further the purposes of the Association, particularly to encourage student participation. Eligible events include specialized workshops, short courses in some aspect of organismal genetics, and meetings in areas of great current interest, but any event that would advance the purpose of the Association is eligible for support.
The AGA Council is pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s Special Events Awards:
1. $15,000 to Maria Oliveira-Miranda, María Gabriela Montiel-Villalobos, and Víctor H. García Merchán (ReGeneC): ReGeneC XIII Workshop on Conservation Genetics: Preserving the future
2. $9,000 to Jill Pecon-Slattery and Sue VandeWoude (Colorado State University): Genomics of Disease in Wildlife: A workshop
3. $15,000 to Gordon Luikart and Robin Waples (University of Montana): ConGen Course & Workshop
4. $12,600 to Jose Lopez, Heather Bracken-Grissom, and others (Nova Southeastern University): Global Invertebrate Genomics Alliance (GIGA) III Workshop and Conference
Special Event details:
1. Oliveira-Miranda – ReGeneC Colombia
The Conservation Genetics Network, ReGeneC, is organizing its XIII Workshop on Conservation Genetics: Preserving the future. This workshop has as goal to support the training of professionals in the field of conservation genetics in the Latin America, with an updated and relevant program, both conceptually and practical. As in eight of twelve past workshops, support from the AGA will be fundamental to our capacity-building goal, in that will allow us to offer grants to student attendees, thus ensuring the participation of individuals from a broader array of socio-economic backgrounds. The workshop will be held for the first time in Colombia.
2. Pecon-Slattery – Wildlife Disease
Wildlife biodiversity can be drastically affected by the outbreak and transmission of disease pathogens in both natural habitats and managed populations, including vulnerability to anthropogenic interactions that lead to zoonotic emergence. The purpose of the 2nd 'Genomics of Disease in Wildlife' workshop is to advance wildlife disease research through expert instruction on the application of powerful genomic tools in the study of wildlife diseases of vertebrate animals. The workshop will provide in-depth computer training using ‘real world’ next generation sequence data, and opportunities to network with colleagues and experts in wildlife biology, veterinary medicine, genomic biodiversity research and wildlife management. The AGA contribution will be used to provide partial/full scholarships for attendees.
3. Luikart – ConGen
ConGen (short for Conservation Genetics) is a special course and workshop for Ph.D. students, post-docs, faculty, and agency biologists (e.g., USGS, USWS) to provide training in conceptual and practical aspects of population genomic data analysis. The course emphasizes research in conservation and evolutionary genomics of natural and managed populations. Students from 10-12 American Universities typically attend. Some receive college credit through the University of Montana. An additional 10-15 students from 10-12 foreign countries also typically attend, which provides excellent international perspectives. 10-15 expert instructors teach cutting-edge aspects of population genomic data analysis. Students are thrilled to have help analyzing their own data from experts that have developed and/or used extensively the methods and software (see http://www.umt.edu/sell/cps/congen2017/). Emphasis is on next-generation sequence data analysis (RADs, exon capture, RNAseq, epigenetics, and whole genome sequencing) and especially on the interpretation of output from recent novel statistical approaches and software programs. The course allows daily discussions among young researchers (students/participants) and leaders in population genomics to help develop the “next generation” of conservation and evolutionary geneticists. Workshop-style discussion sessions help identify and discuss developments needed to improve data analysis approaches for ecological, evolutionary, and conservation biology. The course/workshop teaches methods including the coalescent, Bayesian, and likelihood-based approaches. Participants from the course will publish an article to inform the scientific community about the most important and exciting recent advances in the field. The publication resulting from this year’s (2018) course would be targeted for J Heredity.
4. Lopez – GIGA
The overarching goal of the Global Invertebrate Genomics Alliance (GIGA) is to support a dynamic network of scientists to study diverse invertebrate genomes. This proposal seeks funding to support graduate/postdoctoral students to attend the 3rd GlGA Workshop/Conference to be held in Curaçao in October 2018 – https://gigaiii.weebly.com/. The goal of this conference is to bring together diverse and new researchers to the field, and provide practical training in bioinformatics. This conference would involve a series of break-out groups and training sessions over three days with the aims to 1) promote the sharing of data and data standards 2) provide bioinformatics training and support to the community 3) disseminate “best practices” for wet-lab protocols and 4) form future collaborations to widen the field. We anticipate international participation with ~100 researchers. This proposal will support 8-10 student travel vouchers to attend.