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[Plant-biology] Call for Applications: Next Generation Genetic Monitoring, a NIMBioS Investigative Workshop

Catherine Crawley via plantbio%40net.bio.net (by ccrawley from nimbios.org)
Tue Mar 8 14:37:35 EST 2016

The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis 
(NIMBioS) is now accepting applications for its Investigative Workshop, 
"Next Generation Genetic Monitoring,"to be held Nov.7-9, 2016, at NIMBioS.

*Objectives: *Genetic variation underlies key ecological processes and 
economic activities, and is thus a collective resource for sustaining 
future species, ecosystems and human society. As biodiversity loss 
accelerates and environmental challenges mount, there is need for 
quantitative evaluation of the status and trends of genetic 
biodiversity. However, appropriate mathematical tools for this 
evaluation are lacking. Despite major recent advances in obtaining 
genetic data, current genetic metrics are piecemeal, may be incomparable 
across studies and data types, and are often collected and presented in 
an ad hoc manner.

There is urgent need to conceive and develop standard, summary-level 
genetic indices that are robust, easily interpretable and tractable 
across diverse datasets. In this workshop we will develop a framework 
for constructing these mathematical tools. Specifically, we will: 
identify key attributes of successful indices in biodiversity science, 
survey and critique existing genetic metrics, and identify potential 
statistical approaches suitable for summarizing the highly dimensional 
nature of genetic data. We hope the workshop will inspire several 
synthesis papers, new collaborations, and research funding proposals for 
developing, evaluating and distributing new genetic indices.

The inherent challenges of our aims require integration of mathematical 
and computational approaches with ecology, genetics, and biodiversity 
science. Our workshop will help unlock the conservation potential of 
genomics research, and ensure that genetic and non-genetic factors are 
considered in quantitative fashion when evaluating and managing wild and 
cultivated species. More broadly, we will lay a foundation for 
developing new theory and approaches for describing, quantifying, and 
interpreting the complex, multidimensional information contained in 
biodiversity datasets.

*Location: *NIMBioS at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

*Co-Organizers: *Sean Hoban (Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL); Michael W. 
Bruford (Biosciences, Cardiff Univ., Wales, UK); Louis Bernatchez 
(Biology, Univ. Laval, Canada); and Erin Landguth (Computational Ecology 
Laboratory, Univ. of Montana)

For more information about the workshop and a link to the online 
application form, go to http://www.nimbios.org/workshops/WS_nextgen

Participation in NIMBioS workshops is by application only. Individuals 
with a strong interest in the topic are encouraged to apply, and 
successful applicants will be notified within two weeks after the 
application deadline. If needed, financial support for travel, meals, 
and lodging is available for workshop attendees.

*Application deadline:* July 24, 2016

The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis 
(NIMBioS) (http://www.nimbios.org) brings together researchers from 
around the world to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries to 
investigate solutions to basic and applied problems in the life 
sciences. NIMBioS is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, with 
additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.


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