non-credit workshop | Other

Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics Workshop 2019

Credits: 0

Instructor(s): Dr. Joe Felsenstein , Dr. Stevan J. Arnold


Dates: Arrive Sunday, June 9th; depart Saturday, June 15th
Max students: 30
Dates of instruction: Monday, June 10th – Friday, June 14th
Application deadline: March 15, 2019

Application deadline March 15, 2019, at the end of that day.

The application form will be found here:
The blog web pages for the workshop will be found at

They currently include a 2018 workshop schedule which has links to the materials for that year’s workshop.

This workshop has been given yearly since 2011. Since 2017 it has been given at the Friday Harbor Laboratories of the University of Washington, on San Juan Island. The workshop will review the basics of theory in the field of evolutionary quantitative genetics and its connections to evolution observed at various time scales. One aim of the workshop is to build a bridge between the traditionally separate disciplines of quantitative genetics and comparative methods.

Quantitative genetic theory for natural populations was developed considerably in the period from 1970 to 1990 and up to the present, and it has been applied to a wide range of phenomena including the evolution of differences between the sexes, sexual preferences, life history traits, plasticity of traits, as well as the evolution of body size and other morphological measurements. Phylogenetic approaches to comparative biology were developed in the 1980s and 1990s, including inferring how traits covary in evolution and how optimum values of traits vary between species.

Textbooks have not kept pace with these developments, and currently few universities offer courses on these subjects aimed at evolutionary biologists.

Evolutionary biologists need to understand this field because of the ability to collect large amounts of data by computer, the development of statistical methods for changes of traits on evolutionary trees and for changes in a single species through time, and the realization that quantitative characters will not soon be fully explained by genomics. This workshop aims to fill this need by reviewing basic aspects of theory and illustrating how that theory can be tested with data, both from single species and from multiple-species phylogenies. Participants will use R, an open-source statistical programming language, to build and test evolutionary models.

The workshop involves lectures and in-class computer exercises. You can consult the 2018 workshop website for examples, using the links found at the 2018 schedule mentioned above.

The intended participants for this workshop are graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty members in evolutionary biology. The workshop can accommodate up to 30 participants. Guest instructors are:

* Marguerite Butler, Biology, Univ. Hawai’i, Manoa
* Patrick Carter, Evolutionary Physiology, Washington State University, Pullman
* Adam Jones, Biology, Texas A&M University, College Station
* Brian O’Meara, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville
* Patrick Phillips, Biology, University of Oregon
* Samantha Price, Biological Sciences, Clemson University
* Josef Uyeda, Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg

This workshop is co-sponsored by The American Society of Naturalists
and the Society for the Study of Evolution.


Cost: $1000, to be paid to Friday Harbor Laboratories. This fee will
cover housing and meals at FHL and all other workshop expenses, except
travel. Participants who have been admitted to attend will make their
payment prior to arrival at FHL. Details of payment by credit card or
check will be provided once the applicant has been admitted to attend.

The two scientific societies have generously agreed to provide a
$200 compensation to participants.  This will be paid after the
workshop, to participants who have completed the workshop.  A
condition of receiving the compensation is that the participant have
joined that society by that time.  Each society will compensate 13 of
the participants, for a total of 26.  The capacity of the workshop is
30 people, so this should cover almost everyone (priority will be
given to those registering earliest).