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Conservation Genetics: concepts and applications

From 11 Mar 2024 until 15 Mar 2024 - Estação Biológica de Mértola , Mértola (Face-to-face)
Conservation Genetics: concepts and applications
Conservation genetics is a scientific field that deals with the application of genetics to understand and reduce the risk of population and species extinctions. It is both a fundamental and an applied science, aiming to preserve and manage the genetic diversity – and thus evolutionary capacity - of populations and species, by combining fundaments in evolutionary biology, molecular biology, population genetics, mathematical modelling, and ecology. Topics include inbreeding, loss of genetic diversity, genetic management, and the use of genetic markers to aid in species and individual identification, resolve taxonomic uncertainties, understand species biology, and wildlife forensics. This introductory course is composed of lectures, practical lessons, discussion forums and field trips, and includes multiple national and international guest lecturers. The course will be held at the Biological Station of Mértola, located in the Guadiana Valley Natural Park, a biodiversity hotspot area and birdwatch sanctuary where the Iberian lynx has been successfully re-introduced.





PROGRAM (35 hours)
Day 01 | March 11, 2024
Conservation genetics & genomics
Genetic variation in natural populations and its importance for conservation
Molecular methods overview: sampling, DNA extraction, amplification and genotyping/sequencing
Practical lesson #1
Molecular methods overview: first, second and third generation sequencing methods
Forum: Why preserving the legacy of genetic diversity in natural population (Jeremy Searle, Cornell University, US). 

Day 02 | March 12, 2024
Mechanisms of evolutionary change
Fundaments in population genetics: genetic diversity, Ne (Fred W Allendorf)
Population subdivision, genetic drift and fitness
Practical lesson #2
Evolutionary responses to anthropogenic changes
Invasive species and hybridization
Exploited populations and climate change 
Forum: Guest lecturer - the problem of small populations (chaired by Fred W Allendorf).

Day 03 | March 13, 2024
Non-invasive genetic monitoring
Genetic non-invasive sampling (gNIS): from field to the lab
Practical lesson #3 
Field trip to collect and preserve samples for genetic analysis (Ricardo Jorge Lopes Paulo Célio Alves).

Day 04 | March 14, 2024
Conservation and management
Inbreeding depression 
Hybridization and outbreeding depression
Demography and extinction
Population connectivity
Conservation units
Practical group project
Forum: Guest lecturer - conservation units and genetic rescue (chaired by Soraia Barbosa ).

Day 05 | March 15, 2024
Conservation in practice 
Conservation breeding and restoration
Genetic monitoring
Discussion of group projects
Forum: Conservation Genomics of Iberian species (José Antonio Godoy, Biological Station of Doñana, Spain).


COURSE INSTRUCTORS
Paulo Célio Alves  (Coordinator) | FCUP, BIOPOLIS-CIBIO - CONGEN
Fred W Allendorf  | University of Montana
Ricardo Jorge Lopes | FCUL, BIOPOLIS-CIBIO
Soraia Barbosa | FCUP, BIOPOLIS-CIBIO

SELECTION CRITERIA
The course will be open to a maximum number of 20 participants.
10 slots are reserved for BIODIV students.

Priority will be given to:
• 1st year and other PhD students attending the BIODIV Doctoral Program;
• PhD students attending other courses;
• Other post-graduate students and researchers.

REGISTRATION
95€ (students) | 200€ (other participants)
Participation is free of charge for BIODIV students & CIBIO's TwinLabs.
CIBIO-InBIO members will have an additional discount of 20%
Transport to Mértola and accommodation will be provided free for the selected BIODIV students.

No ECTS credits are awarded for attending the course. Participants receive a certificate of attendance without quantitative evaluation


Application deadline: February 15, 2024

To apply, please fill the form available HERE

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