Oak Spring eFLOWER Summer School

Oak Spring Garden Foundation, Upperville, Virginia, USA; 18-27 September 2018


Full information available.


We invite applications for the Oak Spring eFLOWER Summer School to be held at the Oak Spring Garden Foundation in Upperville, Virginia (USA) from 18 to 27 September 2018. The goal of the Summer School is to deliver high-quality training in the modern comparative methods used to study plant macroevolution. While the methods are general and applicable to any group of organisms, all of our empirical datasets will be drawn from our recent work on flowering plants. A unique feature of this School will be that the students themselves will participate in the creation of the datasets (floral traits and fossil calibrations) in our collaborative database PROTEUS, thereby gaining hands-on experience of the problems and questions associated with compiling data and building real-life datasets for comparative analyses. In doing so, we hope to further promote the rapidly evolving field of macroevolution among graduate students in plant sciences, while also conveying our experience in building high-quality datasets. Topics addressed in the Summer School will include: divergence time estimation using molecular dating methods (relaxed clock methods, fossil calibration), ancestral state reconstruction and correlation of morphological traits (using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods), and diversification rates and state-dependent diversification. All of these approaches start with phylogenetic trees obtained from molecular or genomic data and thus prior understanding of and experience with phylogenetic reconstruction based on such data is an essential prerequisite for participants, because this topic will not be taught in the Summer School. We also plan to include an outreach component in the form of a short video made by the participants during the course, explaining in simple terms what they have learned and why these methods are important to understand plant evolution. The Oak Spring eFLOWER Summer School is free (no registration fee), including food and accommodation on site. All participants will also receive up to US$ 1000 on a reimbursement basis for their economy flights to Dulles Airport (IAD), Washington D.C. Participants are entirely responsible for arranging their own travel insurance and visas. The School is ideally suited to graduate students (enrolled in a master’s or PhD program) who already have some botanical and phylogenetic background, but who lack training in current macroevolutionary methods. International applicants are welcome (but fluency in English is a requirement of the course) and we will attempt to achieve a good balance in terms of gender and origin in the final Summer School group selected. To apply, please send a one-page letter of motivation and a CV, as a single PDF file with your name, to email: Deadline for applications: 1st June, 2018. Decisions will be made by 18th June. Please include the names and contact details of two referees (e.g., current or previous supervisor), but no letter of support (we will contact referees if necessary). Applications that do not meet these requirements may be automatically rejected. The total number of participants will be limited to 15.
Organizers: Hervé Sauquet (Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, Australia) Susana Magallón (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico) Jürg Schönenberger (University of Vienna, Austria) Peter Crane (Oak Spring Garden Foundation, USA)
Confirmed Guest Lecturers: Else Marie Friis (Swedish Museum of Natural History, Sweden) Laura Lagomarsino (Louisiana State University, USA) Stacey Smith (University of Colorado-Boulder, USA)


Links to learn more:

Oak Spring Garden Foundation

eFLOWER project

First eFLOWER Summer School

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