• Advanced Courses in Life Sciences

    Header of Genetics and Genomics at Transmitting Science


From Phenotype to Genotype: The Genetic Basis of Shape

January 23rd-26th, 2018, Crete (Greece)

Genetics and Genomics

Genetics and Genomics


Due to the current situation and restrictions regarding traveling, this course has been postponed. The course will be rescheduled at a later stage when the outbreak has calmed down. If you want to receive information on the new date please SUBSCRIBE to our Newsletter.

Course From Phenotype to Genotype- The Genetic Basis of ShapeCourse overview

The aim of this course is to provide participants with an overview of quantitative genetics, with specific application to shape analysis and decomposition of phenotypic variation into components of genetic and environmental variation.

The basic theoretical concepts of resemblance between relatives, heritability, estimates of selection, and geometric morphometrics will be introduced. Practical lessons will enable participants to learn to use user-friendly (and not so user-friendly) software packages to estimate heritability, phenotypic and genetic variance covariance matrices, response to hypothetical selection, actual selection and QTL mapping.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own data for analysis and discussion in the course. Morphometric data involves any kind of quantitative shape data collected on individuals, such as linear measurements and/or 2D or 3D landmark coordinates. Pedigree files usually consist of text files with a list of three columns (individual ID, father ID, mother ID). Specific details about formatting these files will be provided during the practical lessons.


Graduate or postgraduate degree in Life Sciences, basic knowledge of Statistics, Genetics and Geometric Morphometrics.

All participants must bring their own personal laptop.

We would like to encourage participants to bring along their own morphometrics data and pedigree / quantitative genetic information.








30 hours on-site.

This course is equivalent to 2 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) at the Life Science Zurich Graduate School.

The recognition of ECTS by other institutions depends on each university or school.


Places are limited to 16 participants and will be occupied by strict registration order.

Participants who have completed the course will receive a certificate at the end of it.

Neus Martinez-Abadias instructor for Transmitting Science

Dr. Neus Martínez-Abadías
Centre for Genomic Regulation

Nicolas Navarro instructor for Transmitting Science

Dr. Nicolas Navarro
École Pratique des Hautes Études


Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018.

  • Overview of Quantitative Genetics.
    • Resemblance between relatives.
    • Fishers variance decomposition: Phenotypic, genetic and environmental variation.
    • Methods to estimate heritability: From correlation to REML.
  • Practical.
    • Heritability of simple univariate shape traits.
    • Programs: SOLAR, VCE, Wombat.

Wednesday, January 24th, 2018.

  • Quantitative genetics of shape on a multivariate framework.
    • Geometric Morphometrics analysis of shape.
    • Mixed Models for estimating heritability.
    • G and P: Genetic and phenotypic variance-covariance matrices.
  • Practical.
    • Estimation and comparison between G and P components of shape.
    • Programs: VCE, Wombat, MorphoJ.

Thursday, January 25th, 2018.

  • Shape and selection.
    • Response to selection.
    • Estimation of natural selection.
  • Practical.
    • Estimation of hypothetical response to selection: Breeder’s equation.
    • Multiple regression of fitness on shape.
    • Programs: MorphoJ.

Friday, January 26th, 2018.

  • QTL mapping of multivariate traits.
    • Crosses for QTL mapping.
    • Recombination model.
    • Interval mapping and Haley-Knott regression.
  • Practical.
    • Compute genotype probabilities.
    • Multivariate regression of shape on genotype probabilities.
    • Programs: MorphoJ, R / qtl.


  • Course Fee
  • Early bird (until November 30th, 2019):
  • 520 € *
    (416 € for Ambassador Institutions)
  • Regular (after November 30th, 2019):
  • 640 € *
    (512 € for Ambassador Institutions)
  • This includes course material, coffee breaks and lunches (VAT included).
    * Participants from companies/industry will have an extra charge of 100 €.
  • Course Fee + Accommodation Package
  • Early bird (until November 30th, 2019):
  • 870 €*

    (766 € for Ambassador Institutions)

  • Regular (after November 30th, 2019):
  • 990 €*
    (862 € for Ambassador Institutions)
  • This includes course material, coffee breaks, transportation between the Venue and Heraklion, accommodation from Sunday to Friday, breakfasts, lunches and dinners (VAT included).
    * Participants from companies/industry will have an extra charge of 100 €.

You can check the list of Ambassador Institutions. If you want your institution to become a Transmitting Science Ambassador please contact us at communication@transmittingscience.com


Course Schedule

Participants will make their own way

  • Monday to Thursday:
    • 9:30 to 13:30 Lessons.
    • 13:30 to 15:00 Lunch (included).
    • 15:00 to 18:00 Lessons.
  • Friday:
    • 9:30 to 13:30 Lessons.

The class schedule is approximate; it is possible that the content of one day may run into the next and a working day may be longer than advertised.

Course + Accommodation Package Schedule
  • Sunday:
    • 18:30 Meeting at Heraklion Archaeological Museum to take the bus to Gerakári.
    • 20:15 Check-in at Alexander Hotel.
    • 20:45 Dinner.
  • Monday to Thursday:
    • 08:00 to 09:00 Breakfast
    • 9:30 to 13:30 Lessons
    • 13:30 to 15:00 Lunch (included)
    • 15:00 to 18:00 Lessons
    • 20:30 Dinner
  • Friday:
    • 8:00 to 9:00 Breakfast.
    • 9:30 to 13:30 Lessons
    • 13:30 to 15:00 Lunch (included)
    • 15:00 Meeting at Alexander Hotel to take the bus to Heraklion.
    • 16:45 Arrival at Heraklion Archaeological Museum

The class schedule is approximate; it is possible that the content of one day may run into the next and a working day may be longer than advertised.


If you choose the Accommodation Package you will be hosted at Alexander Hotel  in Gerakári village, in shared en-suite rooms, although you will only share rooms with other course participants (male or female only).

If you prefer to stay in a single en-suite room, you can do so with a supplementary charge.

The Accommodation Package includes transportation from the centre of Heraklion to the venue and back, at the start and end of the course, respectively. The trip takes around 1 hour 50 minutes each way. If you require transportation from or to Chania (the other city of Crete with an airport), please contact the course coordinator who can arrange it at an additional cost.

If you do not wish to take the Accommodation Package, you can find a few other options in the surrounding area. However, please be aware that access to and travelling around the area requires a private vehicle as public transport is scarce. Therefore, course participants will find choosing the Accommodation Package more convenient.


Discounts are not cumulative and apply only on the Course Fee. We offer the possibility of paying in two instalments (contact courses@transmittingscience.com).

Former participants will have a 5 % discount on the Course Fee.

20 % discount on the Course Fee is offered for members of some organizations (Ambassador Institutions). If you want to apply to this discount please indicate it in the Registration form (proof will be asked later).

Unemployed scientists living in the country were the course will be held, as well as PhD students based in that country without any grant or scholarship to develop their PhD, could benefit from a 40 % discount on the Course Fee. If you want to ask for this discount, please contact the course coordinator. That would apply for a maximum of 2 places and they will be covered by strict inscription order.