Penn State Evolutionary Genomics Discussion Group

Discussion Group Information


Fridays at 11am


Dr. Marcella Baiz, NSF Postdoc, and Dr. David Toews, Assistant Professor


This journal discussion group will focus on the burgeoning literature on evolutionary genomics. More specifically, our discussions will focus on the applications of high-throughput sequencing to address ecological and evolutionary questions. There will not be a strict boundary on topics, but these fields will be the main foci for discussion. Our focus will be on empirical examples and the application of genomic data, but we will also explore different analytical methods, as they are under such intense development right now.

Email Dr. Toews ( or Dr. Baiz ( to be added to the email list, and receive the Zoom login information.


Each participant is expected to choose a relevant paper and lead the group in discussion of that paper at least once. Papers should meet the following requirements:

  • address questions related to ecology and/or evolution

  • research methods use high-throughput sequencing tools

  • the topic should be of interest to a broad audience (i.e. folks from various biological disciplines)

  • publication date is within the last ~3 years

  • can be a methods development paper

A good presentation will consist of:

  • a thorough explanation of the main question/goal of the paper, methods used to address the question/goal, main results and figures, and the important conclusions drawn from the data

  • guiding the group through a stimulating discussion

  • identifying any weak points of the paper and ideas for further research

Although you are expected to have thoroughly read the paper, you are not expected to be an expert in the methods the researchers used. It is okay if you don’t understand the exact ways in which the data were produced and analyzed. In fact, this may be a fruitful area of discussion. You may find it helpful to prepare visuals to guide your presentation (e.g., a few slides). However, it is important to remember that this should be a group discussion and not a lecture. Therefore, you may also want to prepare and a list of possible discussion topics and questions for your colleagues that you may use to stimulate discussion.