Speciation Genomics Meeting

We are pleased to announce a one-day meeting to address the challenges in the field of speciation genomics. The meeting will be held on Monday 19th March 2018 at St Johns College Cambridge and is organised by Simon Martin, Mark Ravinet and Chris Jiggins.

We plan a format with six short talks by early career researchers working with data and theory in the morning. The afternoon will follow with opportunity for discussion led by more senior researchers.

Confirmed speakers so far include Anja Westram, Camille Roux, Joana Meier, Reto Burri, Dorothea Lindke and Simon Aeschbacher. Ole Seehausen, Konrad Lohse, and Roger Butlin are confirmed attendees and will help lead discussion groups.

Note that this meeting coincides with our annual EGGS meeting to be held the following day on the 20th March – we encourage you to attend both meetings.

Background: Thanks to new methods and advances in sequencing technology, generating genomic data for speciation research has never been so affordable, accessible or straightforward. Huge datasets of tens of thousands (and often many more) loci make it possible to estimate demographic history, identify signatures of divergent selection and quantify gene flow with considerable accuracy. This genomic perspective has changed our understanding of how the speciation process unfolds. Hybridisation and introgression need not be detrimental but instead may promote divergence through the formation of new species, the introduction of novel genetic variation and the introgression of adaptive alleles. Peaks and troughs of relative differentiation measures (i.e. FST) that emerged from early genome scan studies have been interpreted as putative ‘speciation islands’. The rationale is simple; strong divergent selection on barrier loci reduces effective migration at these targets and the loci closely linked to them. However, researchers using population genomic patterns to identify the processes and genes involved in speciation are beginning to recognize that factors such evolutionary history, recombination and mutation rate variation and gene density confound this interpretation of the genomic landscape.

There is now an opportunity to move beyond debate about the validity of identifying ‘speciation islands’. This meeting aims to bring together those working on the empirical and theoretical challenges that face speciation genomics. The meeting will begin with a series of short seminars from researchers using novel approaches to account for factors that confound our understanding of the genomic landscape and will build towards in-depth discussion in the later part of the day.


Relevant references with strangely similar titles:

Ravinet M, Faria R, Butlin RK, et al. 2017. Interpreting the genomic landscape of speciation: a road map for finding barriers to gene flow. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 30: 1450–1477.

Martin SH & Jiggins CD. 2017. Interpreting the genomic landscape of introgression. Current Opinion in Genetics & Development 47: 69–74.


Cambridge Evolutionary Genetics Symposium 11th Jan 2013

We are currently accepting requests for speakers for the 5th Cambridge Evolutionary Genetics Symposium that will be taking place on Friday, January 11th next year.

The Cambridge Evolutionary Genetics (CEG) network has been set up to foster links between researchers in this field based in different institutions across Cambridge.  The talks will cover all areas of evolutionary genetics from comparative genomics to evo-devo, and pathogen evolution to speciation. In previous years speakers have come from the University of Cambridge, the Sanger Institute, EBI, Anglia Ruskin and further afield. The meeting is free to attend and no registration is required.

We are now looking for speakers; if you would be interested in presenting a talk please send a title, brief outline and your affiliation to: cegsymposium@gmail.com

The symposia will consist of ten or so 15 minute talks (with five minutes for questions) given by Cambridge researchers, as well as talks from two high profile outside speakers (see below).

We have two confirmed invited speakers:

Austin Burt, Imperial

Enrico Coen, John Innes Centre

Location: Department of Genetics, Downing Site, Biffen lecture theatre

The programme from last year to give you an idea of the format can be found here

Second CEG Symposium

The Second CEG Symposium will be held in the afternoon of 15 January in the Part II Room in the Genetics Department.  This is an opportunity to learn about some of the exciting evolutionary research going in in Cambridge at the moment! The available abstracts can be downloaded here: CEG-workshop_abstracts

01:00 – 01:40  Invited Speaker – Tracey Chapman, University of East Anglia – Adaptations to sexual selection and sexual conflict

01:40 – 02:00 Hazel Nichols, Molecular Ecology Group, Zoology – The genetics of reproductive conflict and inbreeding in a cooperatively breeding mammal

02:00 – 02:20 Carlo Brena, Evolution and Development lab, Zoology – Dynamics in Centipede development: in search for the common origin of segmentation

02:20 – 02:40 Rob Jones, Butterfly Genetics Group, Zoology – Morphometric analysis of butterfly wing pattern variation

02:30 – 03:00 Beverley Glover, Plant Evo-Devo Group, Plant Sciences – Gilding the lily: the evolution and development of specialised petal cell types

03:00 – 03:50 coffee

03:50 – 04:25 Invited speaker – Simon Frost, Veterinary medicine – Phylodynamics of Viral Epidemics

04:25 – 04:45 Mike Magwire, Host-Parasite Coevolution Group, Genetics – Identifying genes affecting resistance to sigma virus in Drosophila melanogaster

04:45 – 05:05 Tim O’Connor, Evolutionary Genetics Group, Zoology – Substitution Models to Detect Evolutionary Associations Between Genotype and Phenotype: an Interspecies Approach

05:05 – 05:25 Anders Eriksson, Evolutionary Ecology Group, Zoology – A spatially explicit model for Human settlement history

05:25 – 06:00 Invited Speaker – Chris Tyler-Smith, Sanger Institute – Human Evolutionary Genetics

Followed by Happy Hour in the Genetics Tea Room