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EMBO Practical Course

Population genomics: Background, tools and programming

30 March – 06 April 2019 | Procida, Italy

The current website for the meeting being held in 2020 can be found here.

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About the Practical Course

Study methods in population genomics have been profoundly reshaped in the last few years, fostered by a rapid growth of DNA sequence production and sharing. This unprecedented opportunity guided major steps forward in the field and calls for new approaches and computational skills to become routine in evolutionary genomics laboratories.

The objectives of this EMBO Practical Course are to give an overview of the state of the art methods in population genomics, including programming, and to enable participants to run their project’s analyses with high confidence. The course combines lectures from outstanding experienced population geneticists with practice, both at individual and group level. All conceptual innovation will be presented in lectures and applied in practice.

This EMBO Practical Course will cover coalescent, genetic diversity, natural selection, population demography in time and space, admixture, genetic clustering, and genome-wide association studies. Population genetics topics will be complemented by computational ones such as Python programming and machine learning techniques.

This course aims at evolutionary biologists who already have basic bioinformatics skills. Ph.D. students and Postdoc researchers will benefit the most out of this course, but applications from all candidates will be evaluated in their context.

About EMBO Courses and Workshops

EMBO Courses and Workshops are selected for their excellent scientific quality and timelines, provision of good networking activities for all participants and speaker gender diversity (at least 40% of speakers must be from the underrepresented gender).

Organisers are encouraged to implement measures to make the meeting environmentally more sustainable.







The current website for the meeting being held in 2020 can be found here.



Registration includes:

  • Accommodation in shared double room for 7 nights (Check-in: 30.03.19; Check-out: 06.04.19)
  • Catering (lunches, coffee breaks, wine and cheese reception, dinners)
  • Course material


Successful participants will be sent payment details by email.

Selection criteria

Selection of participants will be based on:

- Lack of previous knowledge on the population genomics tools presented in the course.

- Solid background in evolutionary genetics, since the course is advanced.

- Good knowledge of Linux operating system and basic shell commands. This will be a mandatory prerequisite.

- Availability of a collected dataset to analyze in their work.

- Impact of the course for the participant and his/her research group.

- Submission of an Abstract

Fulfillment of these conditions by participants will be assessed through the registration form.

Ph.D. students and Post-Docs will be favored, and applications from other researchers will be considered in their context. Applications from the same group will be discouraged. Applications without abstract will not be considered.

Abstract guidelines

Abstract guidelines: max 200 words.

To submit the abstract access your course account after registration.

Abstracts should describe participants’ research projects to be presented with a poster during the course.

Poster specifications

Poster specifications: vertical, maximum dimensions 70 cm width x 100 cm height

Travel grants

A limited number of travel grants are available for participants. Applicants do not need to apply separately for travel grants for this event but should indicate on the registration form if they wish to be considered for a travel grant. Selection of awardees is handled directly by the organizer who will notify all eligible participants. More information is available at EMBO Travel Grants' page.

Child care grant

EMBO Courses and Workshops offers grants to offset additional child care costs incurred by participants or speakers when participating at any EMBO Courses and Workshop funded meeting. Eligible costs include fees for a caregiver or child-care facility, travel costs for a caregiver, or travel costs for taking the child to the meeting etc. Please indicate on the registration form whether you would like to be considered for the grant. Please also describe how you intend to use the child care grant and specify the sum that you will need.

Additional Information

It is essential that students remain for the whole length of the course, partial attendance will not be considered.

Students will share rooms.

Participants are expected to bring their own laptop; if not possible, this should be declared during registration.


Giacinto Donvito (INFN - Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Bari)

Claudia Rallo (CNR - Istituto di genetica delle popolazioni, Napoli)

Mario Aversano (CNR - Istituto di genetica delle popolazioni, Napoli)

Pasquale Elefante (CNR - Istituto di genetica delle popolazioni, Napoli)



For administrative and logistics issues
Organizing Secretariat
Scientific Communication srl
+39 081 2296460

For scientific issues
Vincenza Colonna and Chiara Batini​




Image credits for photos 1–3: Matthias Süßen

Conservatorio delle Orfane
Terra Murata
80079 Procida (IT)


Participants will be accommodated at the Albergo La Vigna (, close to the venue. Students will be accommodated in shared rooms. Breakfast is included.


Procida is less than 4 km from the mainland and easily accessible by ferry or hydrofoil from Naples. Naples can be easily reached by fast train from Rome, as well as by direct international flights.


The main companies operating ferries and hydrofoils to Procida are Caremar and SNAV. Ferries (traghetto) reach Procida in about 1 hour, hydrofoils (aliscafo) in about 30 minutes. If you opt for the hydrofoil, you can buy your ticket and then access the passenger area from Molo Beverello. If you take the ferry, walk to Porta di Massa and enter the harbor area from the main entrance; then walk to your left (facing the sea) until you reach a large building on the right which gives access to ticket counters and the passenger area. Please note that ferries and hydrofoils stop at Procida harbor and then proceed to Ischia: please make sure you get off the boat at the right island!


Buses (called Alibus) run from the Airport to Piazza Municipio; the ride takes about 30-35 minutes, depending on traffic conditions, and it costs € 5. Tickets can be bought on board. Alibus can be found right outside the arrivals area

Taxis have flat rates from Capodichino to Molo Beverello (€ 21): in order to have the flat rate applied to your ride you should explicitly request it when boarding the cab.


If you have travelled to Naples by train, you can take Linea1 from Piazza Garibaldi to Municipio (for hyrdofoils leaving from Molo Beverello) or Università (for ferries leaving from Porta di Massa).

Taxis have flat rates from the train station to Molo Beverello (€ 13): in order to have the flat rate applied to your ride you should explicitly request it when boarding the cab.


The central train stations is "Napoli Centrale" or "Napoli Piazza Garibaldi" (the same location). Fast and frequent trains connect Naples to Rome. To book a train there are two train companies: Trenitalia and Italo.

About the Area


Procida is a small island in the Bay of Naples in southern Italy, situated between the mainland and the larger island of Ischia, of about 10,000 inhabitants. Procida includes the nearby island of Vivara covering 0.4 square km and both form part of the flegree islands.

The island is around 3.4 kilometers from the mainland across the Procida canal and is linked by a narrow bridge to the nearby island of Vivara.

From a geological point of view, the island is entirely of volcanic origin starting from the eruption of at least four different volcanos (dated between 55,000 and 17,000 years ago) which today are inactive and mostly underwater. Procida is very similar to the zone of Campi Flegrei as regards formation, morphology and from a geological perspective. The island is formed principally of yellow and grey tufa with traces of other volcanic materials such as basalt.

The centre of the town is traditionally divided into nine sections known as grancie: Terra Murata (the oldest part), Corricella (a typical fishermen’s village), Sent’Co, where the main port Marina Grande lies, San Leonardo, Santissima Annunziata (also known as Madonna della Libera), Sant’Antuono, Sant’Antonio e Chiaiolella (a tourist port at the southern end of the island).


The highest point on the island is Terra Murata (91 meters) overlooked by a fortified mediaeval town. Terra Murata is the historical centre of Procida. It goes back to the early middle ages and for safety reasons was the only inhabited nucleus of the island for a long time. It stands on the highest promontory of Procida, 90 meters above the sea level with its cliffs falling sheer into the sea. Its name comes from the old way of dividing the island into zones called Terre: there was the Terra for wheat, that for grazing, the Terra for vines, the Terra for cultivation and lastly the Terra Casata where all the hoses of the inhabitants were grouped together for defence purposes. In the sixteenth century the whole town was fortified and the adjective which described the Terra changed from Casata (house) to Murata (walled) and has kept this name to this day.


Procida is small enough that you could walk most of the distances on the island. However, you can get around using the little island buses, which run frequently from the harbour. You can buy tickets from the driver, although it's cheaper to buy them in advance in a bar or tabacchi.

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