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Friday 28 February 2014
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The fourth metabarcoding spring school in South Africa

3-7 November 2014 (arrival on 2 November, departure on 8 November)


The fourth metabarcoding spring school is dedicated to DNA-based diet analysis.

Organizer: Jointly organized by Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine, Grenoble, France and the Centre for African Conservation Ecology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa (within a PROTEA project: collaboration between South Africa and France)

Place: Samara Private Game Reserve (http://www.samara.co.za)

Course fee: There is no course fee, but participants are required to pay their own transport and accommodation.

Maximum number of participants:
For practical reasons, the number of participants is limited to 20.
If more than 20 students, post-docs, or scientists apply to the school, we will prioritize the candidates according to their research project and their country of origin (we will promote
candidates from Africa).

Course application:
To apply to this school, please send an e-mail to diet2014 at metabarcoding.org including a one-page CV and a one-page application letter describing how DNA metabarcoding fits in your research plans and the stage you are currently at when you inquire about the course registration. The application deadline is 4 May 2014.

Confirmed course presenters:

  • Aurélie BONIN, Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine, Grenoble, France
  • Frédéric BOYER, Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine, Grenoble, France
  • Eric COISSAC, Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine, Grenoble, France
  • Graham KERLEY, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  • Marietjie LANDMAN, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  • Delphine RIOUX, Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine, Grenoble, France
  • Pierre TABERLET, Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine, Grenoble, France

Prerequisites: You will need a laptop throughout the course. Make sure you have administrator privileges and that you have preinstalled VirtualBox (a free software available on the following web site: https://www.virtualbox.org) on the computer. No programming experience is required but basic knowledge of R and Unix will be helpful.

The DNA metabarcoding spring school is now in its fourth edition. DNA metabarcoding is a rapidly evolving technique for assessing biodiversity from environmental DNA. Its range of applications is wide and covers, as examples, biodiversity monitoring, animal diet assessment and paleo-ecology. DNA metabarcoding relies on up-to-date molecular techniques such as PCR and next generation sequencing, and requires bioinformatic and biostatistic competencies to be able to analyse the results. This is intrinsically a technique at the interface of several disciplines that requires a broad range of skills in addition to the classical ecology knowledge related to the specific research topic.
Each participant will have to present a 12 minute talk on their work and the relevance of DNA metabarcoding to their work to other participants in order to stimulate discussions with other participants and with the presenters.

Travel and accommodation:
Travel and accommodation is for the participants’ account. The travel between Port Elizabeth airport and the Samara reserve will be organized on Sunday 2 November 2014 in the afternoon (departure from Port Elizabeth at 15.30). Return will be on Saturday 8 November (arrival in Port Elizabeth airport at 11.00).
The cost of the accommodation (including all meals) at Samara is 6000 ZAR, corresponding to about 410 EUR or 560 USD.
The transfer from Port Elizabeth to Samara is estimated to be about 700 ZAR corresponding to about 50 EUR or 65 USD.
Payments must be paid directly to the service providers by the successful applicants within 2 weeks of notification of acceptance for the school (more information will be given to successful applicants after 4 May 2014).

We are looking for funds to partially support accommodation costs for participants from Africa, but there is as yet no such supporting funds available.

The school will comprise of a series of lectures and practicals introducing different aspects of DNA metabarcoding, with a focus on diet analysis. Participants will be trained in sample identification and collection in the field, followed by extraction techniques. The Bioinformatics practicals, will be an opportunity to initiate participants in the data analysis process from the raw sequences produced by the sequencer to some basic ecological conclusions.


  • Welcome - Agenda (Graham Kerley and Pierre Taberlet)
  • Diet and ecology (Graham Kerley)
  • Introduction to DNA metabarcoding (Pierre Taberlet)
  • DNA-based diet analysis (Pierre Taberlet)
  • Introduction to the practicals on sequence analysis (Eric Coissac)
  • The Addo experiment on 12 herbivore species: diet results (Graham Kerley, Marietjie Landman)
  • The Addo experiment on 12 herbivore species: gut bacteria results (Aurélie Bonin)
  • Potential and limits of the DNA metabarcoding approach (Eric Coissac, Frédéric Boyer, Pierre Taberlet)
  • Data analysis for dietary data: samples, patterns and comparisons (Marietjie Landman)

Course schedule: download the attached document.

Attached documents

Twitter : @Metabarcoding
Editorial board
  • BRANDNER Melissa
    • University of Nordland
    • Bodø (Norway)
  • BROCHMANN Christian
    • National Centre for Biosystematics
    • Oslo (Norway)
  • CHARITON Anthony
    • CSIRO Land and Water
    • Lucas Heights NA (Australia)
  • DEAGLE Bruce
    • University of Victoria
    • Victoria (Canada)
  • Eric Coissac
    • LECA
    • Grenoble (France)
  • KASAPIDIS Panagiotis
    • Hellenic Center for Marine Research
    • Irakleion, Crete (Greece)
    • Université de Genève
    • Genève 4 (Switzerland)
  • TABERLET Pierre
    • LECA,
    • Grenoble (France)
    • Centre for GeoGenetics
    • Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • ZINGER Lucie
    • IBENS
    • Paris (France)
  • Vodka, Bison and Metabarcoding

    31 July 2015, by BRANDNER Melissa

    The start of last month saw the occurrence of the Fifth Metabarcoding Spring School held in Białowieża National Park , Poland. A variety of scientists attended from all over the globe to learn, share and inspire with unique stories of metabarcoding.
    The scientists at the Mammal Research Institute PAS in Białowieża National Park hosted this year’s workshop. And our hats go off to them for the organizational skills, warmth and hospitality. During the week, experienced metabarcoders gave lectures on their trials and tribulations in the field of metabarcoding, sparking conversations between the attendees. The end of the first day saw flash talks from all participants of the event, creating an icebreaker and showing the wide variety of applications for metabarcoding, including, dietary studies, environmental health, fundamental ecology and exploration of rare and ancient habitats.
    Pierre Taberlet (who is rumoured to run 8000 PCR a day!) taught technical aspects such as DNA extraction in (...)

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