One of the great perks of being President of the American Genetics Association is that you get to organize the President’s Symposium! An opportunity to gather the experts and best scientists that focus on a topic of your choice, and bring them together – I think of it as a two day scientific jam session!
The topic I chose this year is Conservation Genomics: Current Applications and Future Directions. As an organismal biologist interested in adaptation potential, genomics, and environmental change, I thought this would be an incredible opportunity to hear about the latest efforts by leaders in our field. The four sessions will focus on the genomics of adaptation to climate change, genomics of emergent infectious diseases, genomic rescue and monitoring, and application of conservation genomic work.
So much has changed in our field over that last decade. On the positive side, we now have genomic tools that give us unprecedented power to infer population processes and mechanisms leading to conservation concern. Alongside the genomic data we also have the development of analytical tools such as spatial genomics, gene-environment associations, techniques for analyzing temporal changes in population genomics, and functional responses of threatened species, that hopefully provide pathways for applying our science to real world challenges. On the more sobering side, we are also witnessing an ever-accelerating rate of environmental and climate change. The combination of those two changes underscores the importance and relevance of our science right now.
We have 20 symposium speakers, including our Key Distinguished Lecturer, working on a broad diversity of organisms that will highlight the latest developments in their labs. We also have over 40 in-person and virtual posters that will be available at the meeting venue and also as “lightening talks” posted to the AGA member website. We have built in plenty of time for Q&A and panel discussions, to encourage exchange of ideas, networking, and future collaborations.
Super excited to see you all at Snowbird for #AGA2021, whether in-person or in our ZOOM audience!