Introductory molecular phylogenetics course for species identification and evolutionary analysis

Integrating molecules with taxonomy and systematics:
an introductory molecular phylogenetics course for species identification and evolutionary analysis

The Natural History Museum and BBSRC are offering a one-week introductory course “Integrating molecules with taxonomy and systematics: an introductory molecular phylogenetics course for species identification and evolutionary analysis”, to run from 11-15th March 2019. The course will be taught by NHM scientists and will benefit anyone wishing to gain expertise in molecular diagnostics and phylogenetic analysis for systematic, taxonomic and ecological studies. Note that this course assumes no prior experience with DNA sequence analyses and is an introductory course. As such, it is not appropriate for more advanced students. More information can be found here:


This one-week introductory-level course will teach participants the steps involved to produce molecular phylogenies from raw Sanger and next-generation sequence data (i.e. Illumina paired-end). A phylogeny is essential for defining species boundaries, species identifications, recognition of cryptic species, testing systematic hypotheses, identifying evolutionary and biogeographic patterns and understanding the evolution of traits. As such, knowing how to produce a robust tree is an indispensable tool for modern taxonomists, systematists and evolutionary biologists. By the time the participants have completed the course, they will have had theoretical and practical experience enabling them to i) edit raw Sanger and NGS sequence data, ii) carry out multiple sequence alignments, iii) choose appropriate models of sequence evolution, iv) carry out phylogenetic analyses (including Bayesian inference, maximum likelihood), v) interpret tree topology and nodal support, vi) produce publication ready trees, vii) work with public sequence repositories, vii) assemble and annotate next generation sequence data, and viii) recognise cryptic species.

 Venue and duration:

The Natural History Museum, London. The course will run for one week, 9.30am-6.00pm, 11-15th March 2019


Eligibility and how to apply:

The course is available to anyone but please note that from a short list (based on perceived need and relevance of the course to the applicants project) priority will be given to applicants supported by BBSRC, working on a BBSRC grant or based at a BBSRC institute. There are a maximum of 12 places available. The course is sponsored by BBSRC and the NHM and we are charging only a nominal fee of £300, which includes all course costs as well as accommodation in London and some travel costs. Lunch and light refreshments will be provided each day. To apply please use the application form provided and return by the closing date: 7th December 2018. Applications will be accepted up to the deadline and places will be decided based on merit and suitability.


Email applications to: (Note that this is an automated email account – do not send queries. Your application will receive a bounce back message so you know it has arrived safely). Application forms can be found here: For more information about course content please contact Suzanne Williams For administrative questions (e.g. travel, accommodation) please contact Laura Miles <>.

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