Landscape Genetics Distributed Graduate Seminar

Landscape Genetics - Distributed Graduate Seminar

The Landscape Genetics Distributed Graduate Seminar (DGS) is an international collaboration that provides a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary graduate training. The course draws on experts from around the world to deliver an in-depth introduction and overview of the field of landscape genetics. The course caters to students in both basic and applied ecology, conservation/population genetics, landscape ecology and conservation biology. Every other year, several hundred students, post-docs and faculty from around the world participate in this course. This article provides more information about this innovative graduate education initiative.


How and when does the course take place?

    • Once a week, participants observe a live online lecture and participate in both local and online discussions. For those who cannot participate online, the lectures and group discussions are recorded and made available for viewing at any time.

    • Weekly exercises and computer labs provide opportunities to test understanding of key concepts, and get hands-on experience with landscape genetic data analysis and simulation.

    • The course is offered every other year, in even years, and runs from January to May. Class will run Wednesdays from 8:30 - 10:30 am Pacific time, with an optional lab review at 10:30 - 10:50.


The course will be offered next in 2022 (January 12 - May 4).

Details about the 2022 offering, including the lecture schedule and registration information, can be found here.


The course will have a dedicated website, restricted to course participants, on which on content will be posted and archived. Because the website is a Google site, you will need a Google account to access it. If you do not already have a Google account (either personal or professional), you will need to create one. You can, if you prefer, associate your new Google account with an existing email address (e.g., your institution email) and you do not necessarily have to create a new gmail address.

Participants are from all over the world (e.g., from 2020):

Why a distributed graduate seminar?

A key objective of landscape genetics is to study how landscape modification and habitat fragmentation affect organism dispersal and gene flow across the landscape. Landscape genetics requires highly interdisciplinary specialized skills making intensive use of technical population genetic skills and spatial analysis tools (spatial statistics, GIS tools and remote sensing). Even when students receive disciplinary training in these areas, educational programs often lack the necessary linkage and synthesis among disciplines. This linkage can only be accomplished after experts from each discipline work together to develop guiding principles for this growing research area.

Group projects

Group projects provide the opportunity for students from different institutions to work as a group, under the guidance of one or more faculty leaders, on addressing a significant research question in landscape genetics. The ultimate aim is to produce a manuscript that can be published in a peer-reviewed journal. Here is a list of publications from previous group projects.