Topic: The Search for Selection
Meeting dates: June 18-22, 2018
Location: NIMBioS at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Organizer: J. Bruce Walsh, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Univ. of Arizona
Biologists are obsessed (indeed, seduced) by the search for signatures of selection in organismal features of interest, ranging from specific traits to genome-wide signatures. A vast number of approaches have been suggested in this search for selection, including genomic-based signatures of recent or ongoing selection, tests based on either excessive amounts or nonrandom patterns of divergence (in both fossil sequences and functional genomics data) and the more classical Lande-Arnold fitness estimates (direct association of phenotypic values with fitness estimates) and their modern extensions (such as aster models). Given the breadth of such searches, a large amount of machinery has been developed, but is rarely presented in a unified fashion. This tutorial presented an integrated overview of all these approaches, highlighting common themes and divergent assumptions. (see Agenda for a list of lectures).
The goal of this tutorial was to expose investigators from all branches of biology to this rich menagerie of tests, applicable for population geneticists, genome biologists, evolutionary ecologists, paleontologists, functional morphologists, and just about any biologist who ponders on how to formally demonstrate that a feature (or features) of interest might have been shaped by selection.
Intended Audience. The intended audience was advanced graduate students, postdocs, and faculty with an interest in searching for targets of selection, be they particular genomic sequences or particular traits. Given the breadth of this topic, the material would be of interest to students from functional genomics, population and evolutionary genetics, ecology, paleobiology, functional morphology, and statistics (as well as other fields). Background required: some basic introduction to population and/or quantitative genetics.
Descriptive Flyer (PDF)