Learn state-of-the-art genomic methods to identify relationships between the structure and function of microbial communities
June 5th - June 16th, 2012
Kellogg Biological Station, MSU
A major goal of this course is to provide hands-on experience with some of the molecular and computational tools that can be used to study relationships between microbial communities and ecosystem functions. However, our vision for the course is to go beyond simply learning these techniques. You will apply them in an ongoing study of the effects of land use on the production of greenhouse gases, and hopefully develop ideas for their use in your own research.
Morning lectures will discuss microbial and ecological principles underlying experiments that you will conduct during the afternoons. The laboratory sessions will include purification of DNA from soil for 454 pyrosequencing, quantitative PCR and assays for enzymatic activities. You will analyze sequence data with a suite of contemporary programs to measure community diversity, and use multivariate analyses to relate these structures to ecosystem function.
Drs. Thomas Schmidt, Clegg Waldron and Jay Lennon of Michigan State University will teach this course. It is an intensive 2-week experience modeled after the internationally-acclaimed MBL Microbial Diversity Course that Dr. Schmidt previously directed. Experiments will focus on links between denitrification genes and the production of N2O at the nearby Kellogg Biological Station Long Term Ecological Research Site (http://lter.kbs.msu.edu).
Who can attend? This course is for advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. It can be taken as a three-credit course (MMG 490 or MMG 890, Section 432).
What do I need to know in advance? We encourage diversity of backgrounds. The primary pre-requisite is a keen interest in adding molecular methods to your research. Familiarity with basic laboratory methods such as use of a pipetman and agarose gel electrophoresis is helpful.
Where will it be held? Lectures and laboratory sessions will be held on the main campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, USA. Single-room accommodation is available on campus.
When do I apply? Application is open until March ???, 2012 at the site below.