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EMBO Practical Course

Population genomics: Background and tools

13 – 19 March 2023 | Procida, Italy

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  • Registration Deadline
  • 3 January 2023
  • Abstract Submission Deadline
  • 3 January 2023
  • Chosen Participants Will Be Notified By
  • 12 January 2023
  • Payment Deadline
  • 25 January 2023

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 have 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 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.







  • Registration Deadline
  • 3 January 2023
  • Abstract Submission Deadline
  • 3 January 2023
  • Chosen Participants Will Be Notified By
  • 12 January 2023
  • Payment Deadline
  • 25 January 2023



Registration includes:

  • Accommodation in shared room for 7 nights (IN: 13/03/2023; OUT: 20/03/2023)
  • Catering (breakfasts at the hotel, lunches, coffee breaks, dinners)
  • Course materials


Successful participants will receive payment details by email.

Selection criteria

This course is aimed at evolutionary biologists with basic bioinformatics skills.

Selection of participants will be based on:

  • Solid background in evolutionary genetics, since the course is advanced;
  • Good knowledge of Linux operating system, R and basic shell commands, Python knowledge is a plus;
  • Lack of previous knowledge of the population genomics tools taught (we want you to learn new skills);
  • Opportunity to apply the learning outcomes to their work soon after the course;
  • Impact of the course for the participant and his/her research group (we discourage multiple applications from the same group);
  • Submission of an abstract (mandatory).

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

It is mandatory that students attend the whole length of the course. Participants are expected to bring their own laptop; if not possible, this should be declared during registration.

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

PDF format, vertical, maximum dimensions 70 cm width x 100 cm height (max 10 MB) and in JPEG 700x1000 pixels, 300 dpi.

Travel grants and registration fee waivers

Travel grants and registration fee waivers are available for participants.

Selection of awardees is handled directly by the organizers. EMBO travel grants and registration fee waivers are allocated on the basis of the quality of the submitted abstract.

Applicants do not need to apply separately for these but should indicate on the registration form if they wish to be considered.

Additional travel grants are available for EMBC Associate Member States Chile, India, Singapore and Taiwan.

Special travel grants and registration fee waivers

A limited number of travel grants and registration fee waivers are availablefor scientists working in Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovenia and Turkey. Grants are allocated on the basis of the quality of the submitted abstract.

A maximum of 700 Euros per participant are available to cover registration fees, travel, and accommodation (no additional subsistence costs can be covered). To apply, please indicate the itemized amount requested in the travel grants section of the registration form.

Child care grants

EMBO Courses and Workshops offers grants to offset additional childcare 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 childcare grant and specify the sum that you will need.

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

Grant funded by Associazione Genetica Italiana (AGI)

One grant of 500 EUR covering the registration fee of one student/post-doc who is an AGI member or works in a lab in which the PI is an AGI member, will be awarded by the AGI.

Grant funded by Italian Society of Agricultural Genetics (SIGA)

One grant of 500 EUR covering the registration fee of one student/post-doc who is a SIGA member or works in a lab in which the PI is a SIGA member, will be awarded by the SIGA.

Grant funded by Societa' Italiana Di Biologia Evoluzionistica (SIBE)

One grant of 500 EUR covering the registration fee of one student/post-doc who is a SIBE member or works in a lab in which the PI is a SIBE member, will be awarded by the SIBE.

Code of conduct

Anti-harassment and non-discrimination policy

This EMBO meeting shall maintain an environment free of harassment and discriminatory behaviour for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, ethnicity, beliefs (religious or otherwise) or manner of articulation.

Harassment and discrimination of attendees in any form, either in person or online is not tolerated.

Attendees are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and all communication and behavior should conform to a respectful environment for all.

Media and communications policy

Unpublished data may be presented at this meeting and presenters may not want their results to be communicated beyond the audience in attendance at the event. Participants must seek approval from the presenter before quoting or passing on any of the data presented.

Furthermore, the recording or communication of the scientific content presented (e.g. talks, discussion sessions or posters) by audio, video, photographs or any other means, or communication via social media needs to be agreed upon by all concerned.

Attendees violating this Code of Conduct may be asked to leave the workshop, practical course or lecture course without a refund at the sole discretion of the organisers.

Attendees are expected to respect the media and communications policy during this EMBO event.



For administrative and scientific issues, please contact:

Vincenza Colonna

For IT support:

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

Stefano Nicotri
(INFN - Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Bari)




Venue image by Matthias Süßen.

Albergo La Vigna

Via Principessa Margherita, 46
80079 Procida, Napoli


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.

We encourage speakers and participants to take trains within Europe for distances, for e.g. under 800km or under 6–8 hours of travel time to promote the reduction in CO2 emissions in order to lessen environmental impact.


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! For more detailed info: “visitprocida” page.


Buses (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 (€ 25): 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 Linea 1 from Piazza Garibaldi to Piazza 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 (€ 15): 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" (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


Elected 2022 Italian Capital of Culture, 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, 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 medieval 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 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 defense 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 harbor. 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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