Post-graduate course on characterization, management and exploitation of genomic diversity in animals (9-13 December 2019)

Organised by Wageningen Institute of Animal Sciences (WIAS)

Mon 9 December 2019 until Fri 13 December 2019

Duration 5 days
Venue Wageningen Campus, t.b.d.

Wageningen University & Research organizes a 5-day interactive course from 9 to 13 December 2019, in the framework of the EU Horizon 2020 project IMAGE (Innovative Management of Animal Genetic Resources).

Scope of the course

Genetic diversity contributes to the ability of a species to respond to environmental changes, with implications in terms of, for example, breeding strategies in farm animals and conservation of endangered species. In the genomics era, genotypes and whole-genome sequence (WGS) play an important role in maintaining and preserving genetic diversity. This course will focus on the use of genomic data to identify and exploit genetic diversity in an optimal way for a sustainable future.

Aim of the course

Learn about novel methods to characterise, manage and exploit genomic diversity (animal genetic resources) and directly apply such methods to your own dataset.

Target audience

Target audience of the course are PhD students, post-docs and researchers interested in genomic diversity.

A prerequisite for participants of the course is a familiarity with genomic data (SNP or sequence), as part of the course focusses on working on genomic data. Without any experience on genomic data and especially working with this data, it is very likely the course will be too ambitious for the applicant. The applicants are therefore asked to hand in an abstract describing their skills with analysing genomic data, and the field they are working in. In case the number of applicants exceeds the maximum number of participants (30), a selection procedure will apply in order to have a good fit between scope of the course and the participants. 

Learning goals

  • How to assess the genetic diversity, either between or within breeds, available in genomic data?
  • How do gene banks help to elucidate the history of local populations and the history of major genes?
  • Which potentially detrimental variants can contribute to inbreeding depression?
  • Can we facilitate the effective use of gene bank samples in breeding by novel genome-assisted methods and tools?
  • How to manage small populations to maintain genetic diversity?

Content of the course at a glance

  • Measures of genomic diversity
  • Diversity across breeds
  • Adaptive introgression
  • Functional genomics
  • Management of small populations
  • Optimal contributions

Confirmed lecturers

  • Mirte Bosse, Wageningen University
  • Martien Groenen, Wageningen University
  • Gabor Meszaros, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences
  • Jack Windig, Wageningen Research

The IMAGE project "Innovative Management of Animal Genetic Resources"

(acronym IMAGE) is a project funded by the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme of the European Union and comprises of a comprehensive consortium of 28 partners from 18 countries. IMAGE aims to enhance the use of genetic collections and to upgrade animal gene bank management by further developing genomic methodologies, biotechnologies and bioinformatics for a better knowledge and exploitation of animal genetic resources. For more information, please visit the project website.

Practical information

  • Training course venue (t.b.c.): Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen Campus, The Netherlands.
  • Wageningen University & Research is located in Wageningen and can be reached from Amsterdam Schiphol airport by train (train to station: Ede-Wageningen) and subsequently taking bus 88 to Wageningen and get off at campus Wageningen. Amsterdam Schiphol airport has direct flights to many countries in the world.
  • From Wageningen Bus station city centre take bus 88 to campus Wageningen University & Research (10 min).
  • Hotel arrangement connected to the summer school can be booked at the WICC-website. The hotel is close to the Wageningen Bus station city centre.
  • Contactperson local organisers: Aniek Bouwman (

Course flyer

Course programme Genetic diversity December 2019.png