non-credit workshop | Other 2017

Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics Workshop

Credits: 0

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


Application deadline March 1, 2017
Application forms and details here.

Previous versions of this 5-day workshop were given at National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina from 2011-2013, and then at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville from 2014-2016. Like past versions, the FHL version will review the basics of theory in the field of evolutionary quantitative genetics and its connections to evolution observed at various time scales. The 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. Textbooks have not kept pace with these developments, and currently few universities offer courses in this subject 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 with 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 (consult the 2016 tutorial website for examples). The intended participants for this workshop are graduate students, post-docs, and junior faculty members in evolutionary biology. The workshop can accommodate up to 35 participants. Guest instructors will include:

  • Marguerite Butler, Biology, Univ. Hawai’i, Mānoa
  • 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
  • Josef Uyeda, Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg

Cost: $1000 to be paid to FHL. 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.

This workshop is sponsored by The American Society of Naturalists and the Society for the Study of Evolution. Student members of ASN are eligible for a $200 discount onthe workshop fee. FHL will offer this discount to a maximum of 13 participants, first-come, first-serve, based on the date the workshop application is submitted. Apply for an ASF application is submitted. Apply for an ASN student membership ($20/yr) here.



Instructors for this course are:

Dr. Joe Felsenstein
Department of Genome Sciences
University of Washington, Seattle

Dr. Stevan J. Arnold
Department of Integrative Biology
Oregon State University, Corvallis