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EMBO Practical Course

Population genomics: Background, tools, and programming

01 – 08 April 2020 | Procida, Italy

This EMBO Practical Course has been postponed to 19–26 March, 2021 due to the Coronavirus outbreak. The organisers of the meeting will be in contact with the participants with further details.

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  • Registration Deadline
  • 28 January 2020
  • Abstract Submission Deadline
  • 28 January 2020
  • Chosen Participants Will Be Notified By
  • 11 February 2020
  • Payment Deadline
  • 24 February 2020

Apply now!

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About the Practical Course

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

Participants will learn fundamental concepts and advanced approaches to reconstruct the demographic history of populations and infer natural selection, using both classic and machine learning-based techniques. Participants will also learn the essential and advanced programming skills required to run the analyses related to the concept presented, with a special focus on machine learning. Keynote lectures focused on major achievements and future perspectives of population genomics will complement the training. Lectures and practicals are delivered by experienced, outstanding and inspiring speakers. We expect participants to become fully confident in running analyses on their own after attending the course.

This course aims at evolutionary biologists who already have basic bioinformatics skills. Good knowledge of R is a pre-requisite and knowledge of Python is a plus. Ph.D. students and Postdoc researchers will benefit the most from this course, but applications from all candidates will be evaluated in their context.







  • Registration Deadline
  • 28 January 2020
  • Abstract Submission Deadline
  • 28 January 2020
  • Chosen Participants Will Be Notified By
  • 11 February 2020
  • Payment Deadline
  • 24 February 2020



Registration includes:

  • Accommodation in shared double room for 7 nights (in: 1/4/20; out: 8/4/20)
  • Catering (lunches, coffee breaks, wine and cheese reception, dinners)
  • Course material


Successful applicants will be sent payment details by email.

Selection criteria

  • 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.
  • Stage of the research project: priority will be given to participants with data already available and ready to be analyzed. (Participants data will not be analyzed during the course)
  • 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 and incomplete applications will not be considered.

Abstract guidelines

To submit your abstract, please access your course account after registration. The abstract (max 200 words) should describe your research projects, to be presented with a poster during the course.

Poster specifications

Vertical, maximum dimensions 70 cm width x 100 cm height

Additional considerations

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 this is not possible, it should be declared during registration.

EMBO 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.

An additional travel grant is allocated exclusively for participants of any nationality working in laboratories in Chile, India, Singapore and Taiwan.

Grant funded by SIBE

One grant covering the registration fee up to 500 EUR will be awarded by the Italian Society of Evolutionary Biology (SIBE) to an applicant who is already a SIBE member.

Grant funded by SIGA

One grant covering the registration fee up to500 EUR for a student/post-doc will be awarded by the Italian Society of Agrarian Genetics (SIGA) to an applicant who is a SIGA member or who works in a lab in which the PI is a SIGA member.

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. For info on available child-care facilities in Procida contact

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



For administrative and logistics issues

Scientific Communication srl
+39 081 2296460

For scientific issues

Vincenza Colonna, Chiara Batini and Andrea Manica




Albergo La Vigna

Via Principessa Margherita, 46

80079 Procida, Napoli (IT)


Participants will be accommodated at the Albergo La Vigna. 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.

How to reach Procida from Naples Harbour

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 harbour 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!

How to reach Naples Harbour from Naples Airport

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. Information on the Alibus can be found here.

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.

How to reach Naples Harbour from the Naples train stations

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.

How to reach Naples by train

The central train station is "Napoli Centrale" also known as "Napoli Piazza Garibaldi". Fast and frequent trains connect Naples to Rome. To book a train there are two train companies: Trenitalia and Italo.

About the Area

The island of Procida

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 Phlegraean 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, and Sant’Antonio e Chiaiolella (a tourist port at the southern end of the island).

Terra Murata

The highest point on the island is Terra Murata (91 meters) overlooking 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 houses 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.

Local transport

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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