Molecular diagnostics for species identification and evolutionary analysis


A one-week introductory course about molecular phylogenetic analyses.

Designed for taxonomists and ecologists at faculty, post-doc and post-graduate level, the course is taught by Museum scientists.

Taught by Museum scientists, the course will benefit taxonomists and ecologists wishing to gain expertise in molecular diagnostics and phylogenetic analysis for systematic, taxonomic and ecological studies. Please note that this course assumes no prior experience with DNA sequence analyses.

Course content

The course will teach participants the steps involved in producing molecular phylogenies from raw Sanger and mitogenomic next-generation sequence data (Illumina paired-end). Lectures will provide theoretical background prior to any practical applications. 

Each step, involving specific software, will be demonstrated and practiced in hands-on computer lab sessions. During computer lab sessions, we aim to have three tutors present to ensure a high level of assistance for the 14 participants. 

On the last day, participants will be able to analyse their own data or return to sections of the course of their own choice.


Participants who complete the course will have the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge to:

  • edit raw Sanger sequence data
  • carry out multiple sequence alignments
  • choose appropriate models of sequence evolution
  • carry out phylogenetic analyses (including Bayesian inference, maximum likelihood)
  • interpret tree topology and nodal support
  • upload sequences to GenBank/BOLD
  • assemble mitochondrial (mt) genomes from next-generation sequence data
  • annotate mt genomes.

For more details, please download the full course description (PDF 615KB).

Dates and times

A five day course:

20-24 Februrary 2017

Daily: 09.30-17.00

Closing date: 1 December 2016

How to apply

The course is available to taxonomists and ecologists at faculty, post-doc and post-graduate level. There are 14 spaces available, and priority will be given to those with NERC funding.

Download and complete the application form (PDF 92KB) and return it to the address on the form by the closing date 1 December 2016.

Contact us

For more information about course content please contact Suzanne Williams.

For administrative questions (e.g. travel, accommodation) please contact Zane Suikovska.

Funded by