NERC-MDIBL Environmental Genomics and Metabolomics 2018

A NERC funded short course to guide genomics and metabolomics research applied to environmental science

Next Course date: 4 - 9 March 2018

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Bursary Information

NERC bursaries are available for this course, covering attendees' registration, travel and accomodations cost.

  • Sixteen (16) bursaries are available for the metabolomics track
  • Eighteen (18) for the genomics track

Please see the 'Cost' section below for further information.

Course information:

This 5 day course highlights a multi-omics approach (systems biology) approach to research in the environmental scientists, investigating how gene function and metabolism are influenced by environmental conditions while accounting for natural variation within and among natural populations. The course is built on the paradigm that this multidisciplinary research field encompassing ecology, evolution, toxicology, biostatistics and informatics will most effectively grow by training early career scientists to
    (a) design large-scale Next Generation Sequencing and Metabolomics experiments and
    (b) address the challenges of manipulating and analysing population-level omics data

Daphnia is used for training because of its growing use as a model system in the environmental sciences and for improving environmental health protection, yet the skills learned during the course will be applicable to all study systems with mature genomics and metabolomics resources.

The course will provide a significant introduction, considerable hands-on experience and networking opportunities so that participants can initiate their own environmental omics studies and launch Environmental Scientists careers in academic and industry.

Level: The course is designed to train PhD students and early-career post-doctoral scientists.


  • Nicholson Building
    The University of Birmingham
    B15 2TT
  • Campus maps and directions can be found here

Number of places:

  • up to 50


  • Open to all 
  • Priority is given to NERC-funded PhD students and early-career scientists

Course leaders:

SETAC Europe
Endorsed by SETAC Europe

Research organisations involved

  • University of Birmingham (UK)
  • BGI China National GeneBank (Shenzhen, China)
  • Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (USA)

Evening Lecture Series:

Distinguished visiting academics will provide keynote lectures on each day of the course to highlight environmental omic applications that draw on the expertise of our guest faculty.

Course Details:

The course will include ~1.5 days of generic environmental omics training and ~3.5 days of specialised genomics or metabolomics training (parallel tracks).

The combined sessions will include:

  • Overviews of environmental genomics and metabolomics
  • Practical experience of analysing and integrating multi-omics data
  • Synthesis sessions to obtaining grant funding
  • Question and answer sessions with a panel of experts

The genomics track includes:

  • Library construction methods and QC
  • Introduction to automation systems and sequence data workflow
  • Software solutions for sequence workflows and their application in environmental research
  • RNA-seq alignment
  • Statistical considerations for analysing genome-scale data
  • Practical experience in applying open-source analysis tools to visualise complex sequence data and explore genome sequence variation, analyse Tuxedo output and perform gene set enrichment analysis
  • Synthesis sessions to explore using the most appropriate model organism and maximising outputs from your sequence data

The metabolomics track includes:

  • Experimental design
  • Quality assurance and quality control in metabolomics
  • Hands-on sample preparation
  • Analytical technologies including mass spectrometry and NMR spectroscopy
  • Data processing, including LC-MS and SIMS stitching procedures
  • Univariate and multivariate data analysis approaches
  • Metabolite identification


  • Early bird Registration - £2105
  • Standard Registration - £2340
  • NERC Bursary Registration - £0 (please see below)

NERC bursaries are available for this course, covering attendees' registration, travel and accomodations cost.

  • Sixteen (16) bursaries are available for the metabolomics track
  • Eighteen (18) for the genomics track

Registration for NERC funded scientists:

While this course is open to all researchers with an interest in the environmental scientists, it is a NERC-funded Advanced Training Short Course and hence priority is given to NERC-funded PhD students and early-career scientists.

Please note those participants from NERC funded positions are eligible for registration, travel and accommodation bursaries (maximum award £600). Participants will be informed if they have been awarded a bursary.

Registration for non-NERC funded scientists:

For non-NERC supported environmental scientists as well as scientists from outside of the UK you will be required to pay the course fee (detailed above) as well as your accommodation and travel. We are limited to a maximum of 50 places in total and a maximum of 16 places on the metabolomics course.

Preview the example 2017 programme here (2018 programme coming soon)

For further information about this course please contact David Epps.

Please read the Birmingham Metabolomics Training Centre’s Conditions and Cancellation Policy prior to registering.