EGGS 2018 drew 150 participants from 41 institutions and 13 countries, making this the largest and most diverse audience in the meeting’s eight year history.
Our keynote speaker was Professor Katie Peichel from the University of Bern, who described how her group has used a combination of QTL mapping, genome-wide association studies and focussed dissection of selected loci in sticklebacks to disentangle the roles of pleiotropy and linkage in adaptation. Katie’s work demonstrates the power of using naturally admixed populations to identify functional genetic variation – showing for example that exactly the same SNP changes could control such different traits as schooling behaviour and armour plating.
We than had talks from seventeen selected speakers, showcasing the great diversity of questions in evolutionary biology that can be addressed using genomic tools. One strong theme of the meeting was population genetics and ecological adaptation. Talks in this area covered study systems ranging from stick insects to killer whales, and were also diverse in terms of the types of genetic variation described as well as the forces shaping that variation. Another topic addressed by multiple speakers was the evolution of pathogens and their hosts, which included talks revealing the influence of pathogens on our own evolution. Other topics covered included the dynamics of mitochondrial transmission and the role of gene regulatory changes in cancer.
The prize for the best talk, as voted for by the participants, was shared by Samuel Lewis and John Welch, both from the University of Cambridge, who spoke respectively about the evolution of piRNAs in arthropods, and how Fisher’s geometric model can explain a variety of patterns observed in speciation. We also invited poster submissions from those who were not offered a talk slot. The best poster prize went to Lara Urban from the European Bioinformatics Institute, whose poster described a citizen science effort to track the microbiome and pathogen landscape of the river Cam in Cambridge.
As in previous years, EGGS 2018 was characterised by lively discussions that continued from the formal talks to the drinks reception and then late into the night at the pub. A number of participants spoke of the open and friendly atmosphere of the meeting, which no doubt reflects the community of evolutionary geneticists. We are grateful to the Genetics Society for supporting what has become a very important annual meeting for this community.
The 2018 programme can be found here.
The EGGS 2016 event was held on the 15th of March and attracted ~ 120 attendees representing 22 different institutions. We had four invited speakers: Federica di Palma (Earlham Institute), Mary O’Connell (Leed University), Magnus Nordborg (Gregor Mendel Institute, Austria) and Eric Miska (University of Cambridge). The 2016 programme can be found here.
We had 117 participants in 2015. We had three invited speakers: Aoife McLysaght, University of Dublin, Nathan Bailey, University of St Andrews and Josephine Pemberton, University of Edinburgh. The full programme of speakers can be found here.
The 2013 meeting is reported here. The first meeting was in 2012.