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2020 Special Event Awards

2020 Special Event Awards

2020 Special Event Awards Outcome

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.    $11,200 to Maria Oliveira-Miranda and Antonio Sole-Cava (ReGeneC): II Latin American Congress on Conservation Genetics

2.    $8,640 to Jill Pecon-Slattery and Sue VandeWoude (Colorado State University): The 4th Genomics of Disease in Wildlife workshop

3.    $12,000 to Gordon Luikart and Robin Waples (University of Montana):  ConGen 2020: Training Future Population and Conservation Genomicists: Applications of Next Gen Sequence Data

4.    $2,500 to Jenn Coughlan and Joana Meier (Gordon Research Conferences):  On the Origin and Persistence of Species

5.    $11,196 to Sandra Hoffberg, Isaac Overcast, Deren Eaton and Natalia Bayona Vasquez (Columbia University): RADcampNYC-2020: Robust and reproducible library preparation sequencing assembly and analysis of RADseq datasets

6.    $2,500 to Jose Lopez (Nova Southeastern University): Fourth Global Invertebrate Genomics Alliance (GIGA) conference and workshop (GIGAIV)

7.    $1,000 to Aileen MacLellan and Meagan King (University of Guelph):  Ontario Ecology Ethology and Evolution Colloquium (OE3C) 2020

8.    $2,500 to Omera Matoo and Maurine Neiman (University of Nebraska-Lincoln):  Genomic Perspectives in Comparative Physiology of Mollusks: Integration across Disciplines

Special Event details:

1.     After 15 years of training professionals and building capacities in the field of conservation genetics in Latin America, ReGeneC will celebrate and organize the II Latin American Congress on Conservation Genetics - CLAGeneC. This conference will provide a new venue for presenting scientific work of more than 300 students from all across Latin America trained by ReGeneC. Also, it will offer a crucial opportunity to reflect on our accomplishments to date, and expanding and strengthening our network. AGA ?s funds have been the most important to support travel grants to student attendees from countries economically less privileged countries from the Caribbean and Latin America.

2.     The 4th Genomics of Disease in Wildlife workshop is to advance vertebrate wildlife disease research through expert instruction on the application of powerful genomic tools. The workshop will provide in-depth computer training using ‘real world’ Nextgen sequence data, and opportunities to network with colleagues and experts in wildlife biology, veterinary medicine, genomic biodiversity research and wildlife management. The AGA support is a major factor for workshop diversity and success by providing scholarships, most notably for international attendees with limited resources.

3.    ConGen 2020 (short for Conservation Genetics) is a special course and workshop for Ph.D. students, post-docs, faculty, and agency biologists (e.g., USGS, USF&WS) 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. Emphasis is on next- generation sequence data analysis (RADs, exon capture, RNAseq, 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.

4.    The Speciation Gordon Research Conference and Seminar (GRC/GRS, respectively) are the world’s largest meetings on speciation. The GRS is a short pre-conference meeting which aims to highlight the work of early career researchers and facilitate networking, with the overarching goal of synthesizing a diversity of topics, systems, and approaches in speciation research. While speciation research has largely focused on the microevolutionary drivers of reproductive isolation, this research fails to explain macroevolutionary patterns of species diversity. Thus, an emerging theme is understanding both the origins and persistence of species. The 2021 GRS will highlight cutting-edge research by students and postdocs that spans both micro- and macro- evolutionary scales and promotes discussion and synthesis. AGA funding will provide registration waivers for attendees, which will increase the diversity of participants, particularly from underrepresented groups.

5.    The third annual RADcampNYC-2020 workshop: Robust and reproducible library preparation, sequencing, assembly, and analysis of RADseq datasets, presented by the Eaton Lab and collaborators at Columbia University, will guide participants through a full RADseq pilot study on their organism of interest. Participants will generate and sequence 3RAD libraries from 16 of their own samples, assemble data in ipyrad, perform statistical analyses, and construct phylogenetic trees. Participants will learn laboratory and computational tools that emphasize simplicity and reproducibility, such as jupyter notebooks. There will be several networking opportunities among the organizers and participants. AGA will subsidize the cost of reagents, sequencing, and student travel.

6.    The goal of the Global Invertebrate Genomics Alliance (GIGA) has been to establish and train a dynamic network of scientists from across the world to promote comparative genomics studies. To this end, GIGA actively supports advanced student training in genomics. This proposal seeks funding to support at least 10 graduate and postdoctoral students to attend a fourth GlGA Conference and Workshop to be held at the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) in Manila. The goal of this conference will be to bring together GIGA researchers, especially Asian students and postdocs, for practical training in the field of invertebrate transcriptomics and genomics with special emphasis in Asia, Australia and regional neighbors. Similar to our previous successful events, this conference would include a series of break-out groups and training sessions over five days. We anticipate international participation with approximately 150 onsite (plus > 200 online only students).

7.    The Ontario Ecology, Ethology, and Evolution Colloquium is a provincial conference organized primarily by students for students. With two local and two international plenary speakers, four student travel bursaries, and up to seven student presentation awards, this event is designed to give students an international experience close to home. With many students having little to no funding to attend conferences, the AGA’s funding would allow us to either: 1) reduce registration fees substantially for all students, or 2) host a poster session for student research and provide prizes to the top poster and oral presentation in the Evolution category.

8.    A unique interdisciplinary molluscan genomics-focused symposium “Genomic Perspectives in Comparative Physiology of Mollusks: Integration across Disciplines” will take place at The Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) annual meeting on January 4, at Washington, D.C, USA. This symposium is especially novel from the perspective of bringing together the organismal biologists, ecophysiologists and genomicists/bioinformaticians at all career stages that are needed to provide a qualitative step forward in understanding the biology of one of the most important animal groups alive today. These scientists will share successes and failures and develop best practices in how to use new sequencing technologies and newly available genome assemblies to elucidate the biology of this diverse phylum. In particular, we will apply new insights and developments from bioinformatics and genomics to address how genome-scale processes underpin organismal physiology and interact with ecological and evolutionary processes over multiple spatiotemporal scales.



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