Deadline for applications for our sequencing meta-analysis workshop is extended till 17 April!

We have extended the deadline for our workshop below with one week, until April the 17th! Also, we are now also welcoming applications from people who don’t have relevant sequencing data but can contribute in another meaningful way, or from people who do have sequencing data and would like to be involved but can’t attend in person. We are looking into possibilities of streaming the talks and videoconferencing remote contributors.


Sequencing meta-analysis workshop, Manchester, 18-20 May 2015

The BES special interest group Plants, Soils, Ecosystems is organizing a workshop to bring together ecologists and bioinformaticians to work on a meta-analysis of sequencing data with the aim of exploring patterns in belowground biodiversity.

The description and biogeography of belowground biodiversity is severely lagging behind that of aboveground diversity. This is despite increasing recognition of the importance of soil organisms for ecosystem functioning, including carbon and nitrogen cycling, and feedbacks to plant community composition, which underlie ecosystem services such as food production and climate mitigation. Moreover, recent evidence suggests that patterns of belowground biodiversity might not follow those of aboveground biodiversity. Thus, belowground biodiversity offers a unique opportunity to test and develop ecological theory. However, bringing together soil biodiversity data is challenging, especially when it comes to sequencing data, because pipelines and metadata are not standardized.


Confirmed speakers/leaders of the workshop are:

-Dr Kelly Ramirez, Netherlands Institute of Ecology, the Netherlands and GSBI

-Dr Rob Griffiths, CEH Wallingford, UK

-Dr Jennifer Talbot, Boston University, USA

-Dr Hyun Soon Gweon, CEH Wallingford, UK

-Dr John Davison, University of Tartu, Estonia

-Mattias de Hollander, Netherlands Institute of Ecology, the Netherlands


The aim of this workshop is to bring together ecologists and bioinformaticians to do a meta-analysis of sequencing data of soil microbial communities. Both publicly available data and participants’ data will be used, and the anticipated outcome is a publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The workshop will consist of lectures by our invited speakers to highlight recent advances, and participants will be expected to give a short presentation about their background and expertise. The majority of time will be spent identifying ecological questions to address with the data, analyzing the data in novel ways, and drafting a manuscript.

Spaces for this workshop are limited, and we are seeking motivated ecologists and bioinformaticians of all career stages to participate in, and contribute to, the workshop. Participants are expected to bring their own dataset of soil microbial (principally bacterial) community sequencing data (including metadata), and to have some experience in analyzing sequencing data.

The call for participants is now open. Applications should consist of a one-page CV, description of the dataset(s) that the applicant will bring to the workshop, and a statement (500 words maximum) of what the applicant will contribute to, and hopes to get out of, the workshop, including proposed hypotheses to be explored during the workshop.

Send your application to before April the 17th 5pm. Applicants will be notified whether they have been selected for the workshop by April the 24th. For questions email Franciska de Vries:

Registration fee: £75 (students)/£100 (BES members)/£125 (others)



We are also for data contributions and distance involvement in this project! If you think you have relevant data and would like to be involved, please email


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