Upcoming events hosted by or involving Genetics Otago will be listed here. Please check back regularly for updates. A calendar of events that may be of interest to our members can be found at the bottom of this page and in the sidebar of other pages on this site, please note that this includes events hosted outside of Genetics Otago.
VISG Seminar Series
The Virtual Institute of Statistical Genetics (VISG) Hub is a key part of Genetics Otago, providing a platform for researchers to collaborate and exchange knowledge and expertise in statistical genetics. The VISG Hub hosts seminars, workshops, and other events to promote statistical genetics research and foster collaboration between researchers.
We’re excited to announce our monthly genetics research seminars, aimed at connecting researchers in the field. The seminars will commence in May 2023 and will be hosted by GO’s Virtual Institute of Statistical Genetics (VISG) Hub along with the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Otago. These seminars will be available in person or via Zoom, and all are welcome.
Date: 3rd Thursday of the month
Time: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
- May: Associate Professor Phil Wilcox, University of Otago
- June: Professor Mik Black, University of Otago
- July: Dr Ludovic Dutoit, University of Otago – please note that this seminar will be held on the 27th of July rather than the 20th due to ICG.
- August: Dr Setegn Alemu, AgResearch
- September: Ee Cheng Oi, Abacus Bio
- October: Franziska Weik, Beef + Lamb NZ Genetics – Cancelled
- November: Dr Jane Symonds and Dr Megan Scholtens, Cawthron – please note that this seminar will be held on the 17th of November rather than the 16th due to the Genetics Otago Annual Symposium.
If you would like the Zoom details for this event, please contact us.
The next seminar will be held on Friday the 17th of November, 11 am in Biochemistry Seminar Room G13 and will be given by Dr Jane Symonds and Dr Megan Scholtens, Cawthron Institute.
Title: Environmental resilience in aquatic species
Abstract: The New Zealand aquaculture sector faces growing vulnerability due to climate change, with marine heatwaves already causing elevated summer mortality rates in Greenshell mussels and king (Chinook) salmon. To tackle these challenges, selective breeding and genomic selection offer long-term solutions. Temperature challenge models, implemented in controlled tank environments, have been developed for both species. So far, this approach has been applied successfully to test more than 230 pedigree king salmon families and 21 Greenshell mussel families. Heritabilities for time to death at elevated temperature were high (0.34 to 0.48) suggesting that selection for improved thermotolerance is possible.
Megan is a geneticist within the Aquaculture Group at Cawthron and is involved in a number of research projects across the ‘Shellfish Aquaculture’ and ‘Finfish Climate Change Adaptation’ platforms. Megan specialises in the application of genetic and genomic methodologies to enhance the understanding of how genes affect traits such as growth, development, behaviour, reproduction and immunity to improve the efficiency, resilience and survivability of aquatic species. In addition, Megan contributes to research activities of the Aquaculture team by integrating the experimental biology with commercial production to help provide solutions for clients and deliver tangible outcomes for the aquaculture industry.
Jane is a Senior Scientist and Team Leader in the Aquaculture Group at Cawthron. Jane’s focus is the application of research to enhance sustainable commercial production with a specific interest in king salmon farming and selective breeding. She has over 30 years of experience in this field. As a science programme leader she oversees a wide range of multi-disciplinary collaborative projects with internal and external partners, including salmon feed efficiency, genomics, behaviour, health, physiology, microbiomics, climate change adaptation, data science and developing trials to selectively breed resilient and efficient king salmon. Implementation of research for sustainable and profitable aquaculture development is a key driver for Jane. Dr Symonds is also a Senior Adjunct Researcher at the University of Tasmania and helps supervise multiple post-graduate students.
If you have any questions about this seminar series please contact us.
Calendar of Events
The below is a calendar of events hosted by GO as well as events hosted by others that may be of interest to our members. If you have an event you would like us to include please contact us here.
Dovetail Genomics is organising a webinar with the title of “What is 3D genomics and why it matters”on 2nd Aug. In this webinar, we explore the vital role of chromosome folding and spatial organisation in gene regulation, and its seamless integration with multi-omic strategies such as transcriptomics and epigenomics. Discover real-world applications of 3D Genomics in gene regulation and oncology, including oncogenic regulation in multiple myeloma and enhancer hijacking in prostate cancer. Plus, learn how to effectively incorporate 3D Genomics into your research.
What you’ll learn:
- How 3D Genomics fits into the multi-omic toolbox (including ChIP-seq & ATAC-seq).
- What information 3D Genomics uniquely unlocks.
- Why integrating 3D Genomics provides valuable insight into your research.
Speaker: Cory Padilla, Ph. D., Product Manager, Dovetail Genomics, part of Cantata Bio
Department of Zoology Friday Seminar: 4th August, 12:00pm, Zoom
Invasive species, and the secrets they can teach us about the genetics of local adaptation.
Katarina Stuart (School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland)
Invasive species present an invaluable opportunity to explore how organisms may cope with dramatic environmental shifts. Invasive species are introduced to new ranges, and must quickly respond to the new selection pressures in a process termed ‘rapid adaptation.’ At the same time, invasive species often undergo a genetic bottlenecking during translocation, which may cause a reduction of diversity in the population due to a loss of rare genetic variants. By studying the genetic shifts invasive populations have undergone, we may begin to understand better how genetic diversity supports a population’s ability to survive. In particular, ongoing developments in sequencing and analytical tools are enabling more comprehensive characterization of diverse components of genetic diversity present in natural populations. Here, we examine the invasion story of a well known avian pest, the common myna (Acridotheres tristis). Using whole genome resequencing we explore the impacts of successive bottlenecks on genomics variation, comparing patterns across a diverse range of different genetic variants, which include single nucleotide polymorphisms, structural variants, and transposable elements. With such data, we hope to better understand how components of genetic variation contribute to adaptive potential in an invasive population, as this has important implications not just in invasive species management and forecasting, but also in conservation efforts focused on vulnerable and managed native species.
Friday 4th August, 12:00pm
In-person hub: Benham seminar room (B215)
Meeting ID: 978 9088 2533
Species-wide genomics of kākāpō provides transformational tools to accelerate recovery
A reminder about our Genomics Aotearoa seminar, online this Friday, August 4 at 3pm.
We welcome Dr Joseph Guhlin (University of Otago) to talk about Species-wide genomics of kākāpō provides transformational tools to accelerate recovery.
Please invite colleagues to join our genomics community and take part in this seminar. Look forward to seeing you there. Questions and discussions are welcome.
Join from PC, Mac, iOS, or Android:
Dr Joseph Guhlin graduated with a PhD in Plant & Microbial Sciences from the University of Minnesota.
Based at the University of Otago, he is working in the Genomics Aotearoa High Quality Genomes and Population Genomics programme. A programmer by trade, he is interested in small pop genomics, high-performance computing, gene family expansion and contractions, and applying machine learning to small populations and genetics.
This in-person workshop is delivered by Genomics Aotearoa and NeSI, and will be taught over two consecutive days on 9-10 August 2023 from 10am-4pm NZT. It is for New Zealand researchers interested in signals of selection in genomes.
Sign up to this workshop at Eventbrite.
The focus of this workshop is on identifying signals of selection in an example genome using the outlier analysis method. Outlier analysis assumes that the majority of the genome is under neutral selection and some loci will appear as outliers relative to this background.
This lesson assumes learner has no prior experience with the tools covered in the workshop. However, learners are expected to have some familiarity with biological concepts, including the concept of selection. You are expected to have some familiarity with both the R programming language and with basic command line (bash). If you need to refresh, please revise the material in our previous workshops on R and bash.
We encourage you to bring your own data! For participants who do not have their own data, a group dataset is available and will be used by the instructors during the examples.
During this workshop you will:
Download example genomic data (or prepare your own).
Use the PCAdapt tool to identify outlier loci within a genome.
Use VCFtools to identify outlier SNPS in population comparisons.
Use Bayescan to identify outlier SNPS based on allele frequencies.
Relate identified SNPS to phenotypic variation.
Compare the results of the different methods and discuss the results.
This is an in-person, hands-on workshop. This workshop material will be run on the NeSI High Performance Computing (HPC) platforms – there is no need to install any software for this workshop. Instructions on how to access the NeSI HPC service will be sent out with the confirmation letter to registrants.
Participants must have their own laptops and plan to participate actively. You will require a working web browser.
If you have any questions about these workshops, including whether they are suitable for you, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Training Coordinator, Genomics Aotearoa
Webinar: 3D Genomics Experimental Considerations
Aug 10, 2023 3:00 PM (Auckland)
Join us for an insightful talk on 3D Genomics, where we will walk you through what is involved in designing and running a 3D Genomics experiment in the lab, sharing tips and best practices. We will also highlight how to QC the library, and what resources are available to navigate data processing. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions to our expert scientist.
What you’ll learn:
- How to design a 3D Genomics experiment.
- What is involved in running a 3D Genomics experiment in the lab.
- How to navigate data processing and QC analysis.
Speaker: Myriam El Khawand, Ph.D.
Senior Customer Success Scientist
Dovetail Genomics, part of Cantata Bio
There are 20 fully funded positions available on the program.
The program is open to Māori (tauira, kaitiaki, kaipakihi) who want to better understand the opportunities and challenges associated with māori data science, māori data sovereignty, as well as key technical, cultural and ethical issues.
Applications will be considered from university students in any discipline as well as people with strong iwi, community or business background.
Applications will close Sunday 16 July 2023.
Unravelling Gene Regulation with the Dovetail Pan Promoter Panel
Advancements in genomics have revolutionized our understanding of gene regulation, paving the way for ground-breaking discoveries in various fields, from developmental biology to disease research. At the forefront of this transformative landscape is the Dovetail Pan Promoter Panel, a genomics tool designed to unravel the intricacies of gene regulation.
In this seminar, we invite you to embark on a journey into the world of regulatory genomics and explore the power of the Dovetail Pan Promoter Panel. Led by renowned experts in the field, this seminar will delve into the unparalleled capabilities of the panel and its potential to unlock the hidden secrets of gene expression.
Date: 30th August, 2023
Time:3:00 PM – 5:00 PM (Auckland, NZ)
Speaker 1: Professor Yasuhiro Murakawa
Kyoto University Institute for Advanced Study (KUIAS)
Dissecting human disease pathways using high-resolution chromatin contact maps
Large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have yielded an increasing number of disease-associated genomic loci. However, the functional interpretation still largely remains unclear. Recently, it has become apparent that disease-associated genetic variants are often found within enhancers. Enhances act to strongly enhance the expression of their target genes in a cell-type specific fashion, by physically associating with their promoters. We have developed a 5’-end single-cell RNA sequencing approach to comprehensively map active enhancers from heterogeneous helper T cells. By integrating with GWAS datasets, we identified hundreds of human enhancers associated with autoimmune diseases. To gain important clues to human disease pathways, here we used Micro-C as well as promoter-capture Micro-C, methods that can analyze chromatin interactions with super-high resolution. We systematically identified target genes of these enhancers, revealing novel human disease molecular mechanisms. In sum, we provide a general framework to investigate molecular mechanisms underlying human diseases.
Speaker 2: Myriam Elkhawand, Customer Success Manager, Dovetail Genomics
Setting up the Dovetail® Pan Promoter Assay in the lab
In this second talk, Myriam will delve into the details of Dovetail Pan Promoter protocol and library quality control measures that play a pivotal role in assessing the success of the assay. She will discuss best practices in carry out the assay, library QC, emphasizing the importance of stringent quality standards for reliable data analysis. She will also share the analysis pipeline for Dovetail Pan Promoter panels.
Nanopore Day, Queenstown 2023
Date: Thursday 31st August 2023
Venue: Queenstown, New Zealand
Time: 9:00 – 17:00
Hear about the latest technical updates for Oxford Nanopore Technologies as well as talks from local scientists about their latest work using nanopore technology.
There will also be an opportunity to submit questions throughout the talks, which will be answered in the Q&A sessions following each presentation.
Please note that this is an in-person event.
There is no delegate fee for this event, but registration is required at https://nanoporetech.com/event/NanoporeDayQueenstown
Your place at this event will be confirmed via email from email@example.com.
Schedule available here: https://nanoporetech.com/event/NanoporeDayQueenstown
The Environmental Microbiomes team at Genomics Aotearoa is hosting the annual Metagenomics Summer School once more.
This practical, hands-on workshop focuses on prokaryotic metagenomics. It aims to guide learners through the process of analysing metagenomic sequence data, from metagenomic read sequences to curated metagenome-assembled genomes paired with downstream data analyses and visualisation in R. It also includes the following lessons:
Introduction to Bash shell and scripting (pre-workshop session)
Pragmatic considerations during experiment/sampling planning and decision-making (e.g., how much sequence data do I need? What are the approaches to analysing the data I have?)
Best practices in handling and processing metagenomic data
Viral genome prediction from metagenomic assemblies
This in-person workshop will be held at the University of Auckland, City Campus, from 5th to 8th September 2023. See our Metagenomics Summer School poster.
We invite learners of all bioinformatics skill levels to register their interest here.
Jian Sheng Boey
Genomics Aotearoa Bioinformatics Training Coordinator