QPCR for Coral Biologists
workshop at Mote TRL, July 22-29, 2011
 
Why?
Gene expression can be indicative of physiological condition, genetic background, long-term acclimation, or evolutionary adaptation. All these aspects are of great interest for marine biology, especially in the context of organisms’ response to the ongoing climate change. Despite its great potential, gene expression profiling remains under-utilized in marine biology, since it is typically not a part of its curriculum. To fill this education gap and thus expand the scope of future marine research, we will introduce marine biologists to quantitative PCR (QPCR), which is a golden standard of gene expression quantification.
 
Workshop description
During a 6-day workshop at the Mote Tropical Research Laboratory we will introduce students to the theory and practice of QPCR, and apply it to study reef-building corals. We will demonstrate the complete list of procedures, including QPCR assay development, sampling in the field, laboratory procedures, statistical analysis, and presentation of the results. We aim to generate new data fit for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, with all workshop participants as co-authors. See the results of our 2009 workshop presented at the 2010 meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB).
 
Prerequisites
The workshop aims at graduate-level researchers actively working in the field of marine biology. Practical molecular biology experience, however limited, will be helpful, but is not required. SCUBA certification is required for diving, and applicants will need to meet Mote's standards for "temporary diver" status. Click here to view Mote's policies and requirements for obtaining clearance to dive. Snorkeling is also an option for the 2 scheduled dive trips.
 
Costs
To ensure participation, be prepared to pay US $1,480 for the workshop. The cost includes accommodation, supplies, boat trips, tanks and weights, air fills, and facility fees, but does not cover travel and meals. You will need to bring your own laptop and dive gear (except tanks and weights).
 
To enroll
By April 30, 2011, send an email with “QPCR 2011” in the subject line to the instructor (Mikhail “Misha” Matz, matz[at]mail.utexas.edu), indicating your interest, and a short description of your research focus (or simply references to your relevant publications). Please specify how likely you are to participate, assuming that you will have to pay $1,480 by the end of June.  The workshop is limited to 12 participants.
 
 
 
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