What is Population Genomics?
Population Genomics is an interdisciplinary field in biology, which combines the principles of population biology and genetics with deep genome and transcriptome sequencing, as well as the latest bioinformatics tools necessary to process the massive amount of data involved.
Population Genomics allow us to understand, at an unprecedented level, the key micro-evolutionary processes of mutation, genetic drift, gene flow and natural selection. It is these within population processes that are ultimately responsible for the origin of new species and divergence of their genomic and phenotypic traits. The fundamentals of population genomics allow researchers to cross disciplinary boundaries because it is applicable to a wide variety of questions in biology and medicine.
The technological developments also mean that genomics, including functional genomics, are no longer limited to a handful of model organisms. This technology now allows the observation of large-scale patterns of gene expression. For the first time, ecologists and evolutionary biologists have the possibly to understand the influence of the environment on which parts of the genome are expressed. The development of deep genome sequencing, coupled with major advances in quantitative DNA amplification technologies also add new possibilities in population genetics for looking at genome-wide gene expression differences within and among populations that will ultimately lead to identification of adaptive molecular variation.
Why joining the Program?
Future experts in population genomics need across-discipline training in population genetics, hands-on experience with up-to-date genomics and bioinformatics tools, for acquiring, organizing and analyzing large-scale population genomic data.
The Population Genomics program brings together leaders in the fields of population genetics, ecology, evolution and deep genome sequencing as well as bioinformatics expertise and support.
Students in this program have the opportunity to cross-discipline studies and access to up-to-the-date methods and equipment. The training program of the ProDoc in Population Genomics comprises activities for developing scientific skills, learning new techniques and methods and exchange of ideas among groups and disciplines.
The activities comprise scientific seminars, workshops, methods courses in population genomics and scientific exchanges. The doctoral program will also allow doctoral students to improve their aptitude for communication about their research, and offers a possibility to improve scientific English. Furthermore, the school encourages the doctoral students to acquire experience in the organization of their own scientific events (congress, seminars) and to establish networks of collaboration.