RCN Events

Upcoming Events


Events for 2015 will be announced soon!


Past Events


Joint 2014 Annual Meeting of the British Ecological Society and Société Française d’Ecologie

December 9-12, 2014, Lille, France

Symposium Title: Accelerating ecology and biodiversity research via ecometagenomics: species, communities and environmental DNA.

Final list of speakers:

  • Pierre Taberlet, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine Grenoble – “Introduction to DNA metabarcoding” (Keynote)
  • Kristy Deiner, Eawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology – “Biomonitoring macroinvertebrates with environmental DNA”
  • Serita Frey, University of New Hampshire – “Fungal Biodiversity: Sustaining the Wood-Wide Web in Temperate Forests”
  • John Colbourne, University of Birmingham UK – “Genomes as Indicators of Environmental Health”
  • Dorota Porazinska, University of Colorado Boulder – “Highly endemic diversity patterns of soil microscopic taxa”

Symposium Description:  High-throughput sequencing technologies now offer tremendous opportunities to make major inroads into our understanding of global biodiversity, macroecology, species detection/biomonitoring and multi-level trophic interactions. For microbial eukaryotic taxa, we can now conduct en mass biodiversity assessment using taxonomic gene markers at a fraction of the time and cost required for traditional (morphological) approaches. Complimented by metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metabarcoding of larger organismal communities and the analysis of “free” environmental DNA (eDNA), the possibilities of enhancing current approaches to biodiversity are vast. In addition, as databases of genes with functional descriptions expand and links between genotype and phenotype extend, metagenomic approaches become useful for linking functional diversity and ecosystem function. Despite this promise, current bottlenecks and roadblocks lie in the development of useful distributed tools, links between molecules and morphology/ecology, and common data standards to allow global comparisons across individual studies. In order to make the most of emerging high-throughput sequencing approaches, we must draw on expertise from diverse disciplines, including microbial, molecular and contemporary ecology. The goal of this session is to catalyze cross-disciplinary discussions between the ecology and environmental sequencing communities and showcase the opportunities that currently exist for 21st Century ecologists. This session will begin with an overview of environmental sequencing approaches, introducing participants to the methods, data types and current advantages and limitations of DNA-based studies. This session would stimulate critical discussion related to the 2014 meeting theme of “Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services,” with interdisciplinary links to other international and EU-focused topics (Marine, Freshwater, and Agro-ecology). Since community-based molecular genetic analysis  represents an emerging ecological discipline, it is important to enhance linkages between the environmental DNA community and those focusing on contemporary ecological challenges, to facilitate high-throughput ecological research that will be relevant at the European scale.

This BES session proposal is timely: The understanding of patterns and mechanisms of biodiversity is among the central goals of ecology, yet patterns of the diversity of microscopic organisms continues to remain greatly uncharacterized and unexplored. Spatial patterns of species diversity are important because they generate knowledge for setting priorities for conservation, monitoring, and restoration programs that are strongly advocated in the European Union. Given that microscopic taxa are major components of detrital foodwebs and play key roles as decomposers, predators and parasites, the application of high-throughput sequencing is critical for expediting our understanding of species’ diversity and functional attributes.


2014 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting

August 10-15,  2014,  Sacramento, California

The RCN EukHiTS annual catalysis meeting will take place in conjunction with the Ecological Society of America’s 2014 Annual Meeting to be held in Sacramento, California, August 10-15, 2014. The main events will consist of a hands-on workshop and a special session that includes talks and discussion (times and abstracts listed below).

Workshops #9884: “Environmental sequencing approaches and computational tools for ecologists” 
Sunday, August 10, 2014
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Workshop materials now posted in this wrap-up blog post (slides, agenda, literature references)

Description: This workshop will bring together an interdisciplinary pool of researchers to discuss current approaches, challenges, and future directions for environmental sequencing studies (-omic studies of bacteria, archaea and microbial eukaryotes). The workshop program will introduce ecologists to common data types and scientific workflows currently employed for the analysis of high-throughput sequencing data (e.g. Illumina/454). Participants will be given overview presentations and hands-on demonstrations for a number of different approaches, including rRNA marker gene analysis, shotgun metagenomics, and metatranscriptomics. This workshop will introduce participants to computational biology tools and software pipelines which can be harnessed for DNA/RNA-based “ecometagenomic” studies. In addition, we aim to solicit feedback from workshop participants, fostering discussions on how to establish better links between traditional ecological research and new, high-throughput sequencing approaches.

Special Sessions #9883:”Ecometagenomics”
Monday, August 11, 2014
10:15 AM – 11:30 AM

Description: The goal of this session is to catalyze cross-disciplinary discussions between the ecology and environmental sequencing communities.  High-throughput sequencing technologies now offer tremendous opportunities to make major inroads into our understanding of global biodiversity and biogeographic patterns. However, in order to make the most of emerging high-throughput sequencing approaches, we must move towards a “systems ecology” mindset, drawing expertise from diverse disciplines. For microbial eukaryotic taxa in particular, we can now conduct en mass biodiversity assessment using traditional loci (rRNA genes) at a fraction of the time and cost required for traditional (morphological) approaches. In addition, as databases of genes with functional descriptions expand, metagenomic approaches become useful for elucidating ecosystem function. Despite this promise, current bottlenecks and roadblocks lie in the development of useful distributed tools, links between molecules and morphology/ecology, and common data standards to allow global comparisons across individual studies. This session will begin with an overview of environmental sequencing approaches, introducing participants to the methods, data types and current advantages and limitations of DNA/RNA-based studies. The session is intended to be highly interactive, including brief talks, moderated discussion points, and solicitation of questions and feedback from audience members. This session would stimulate critical discussion related to the 2014 meeting theme of “Its all ecology.” DNA/RNA-based studies represent an emerging ecological discipline, and as such, it is imperative that the growing community of microbial ecologists begins to build strong links to the traditional ecological research that forms the center point of the ESA meetings.

Another ESA session linked to RCN EukHiTS is oral session OOS10: Ecological Genomics as an Emerging Field: Opportunities for Non-model Organisms (organized by Melis Akman, UC Davis)


“Bioinformatics & Biodiversity” Undergraduate Workshop

July 28-31, 2014 – University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH

Our first student training event for RCN EukHiTS will be a  “Bioinformatics & Biodiversity” Undergraduate Workshop, to be held July 28-31, 2014  at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH. Click here to download a PDF flyer

This NSF-sponsored workshop will explore the field of environmental DNA sequencing, including the collection and analysis of data. Students will learn how high-throughput sequencing approaches (rRNA gene surveys, metagenomics) are being used to investigate the biodiversity of microbial eukaryotes and the ecosystem processes taking place in an environment. Students will gain experience in traditional taxonomic methods as well as processing and interpreting metagenomic data from environmental sequencing of whole sediment communities.

We welcome applications from undergraduates currently enrolled in any higher-educational institution in the USA.  All applicants are expected to have taken, at minimum, an introductory college-level course in Biology. Successful applicants will receive a stipend to cover all costs including travel.

To apply, e-mail the following materials to eukhits@gmail.com by Tuesday April 15th:

  • Curriculum Vitae (including references – see comment section below for additional information on references)
  • Statement of interest (indicating biology courses taken and how attending the workshop would benefit your long-term career goals; maximum length 1 page)

workshop_flyer


SMBE Satellite Meeting on Euakryotic -Omics

April 29 – May 2, 2013 – University of California, Davis, CA

Meeting summary, list of participants, and links to slides and presentations are available in this wrap-up blog post.


NESCent Catalysis Meeting on “High-throughput biodiversity research using eukaryotic metagenetics”

January 24-26, 2011 – Durham, North Carolina

Link above goes to the meeting description on the NESCent website.


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