From Uppsala

On a personal note, I had a great time at the Genetics of Adaptations symposium in Uppsala last Saturday. Pretty much everything was interesting, and I particularly enjoyed the following:

  • Bruce Walsh himself explaining G-matrices and how they can put constraints on evolution. The G-matrix is one of those things I’d very much like to understand, and listening to someone like Bruce Walsh certainly helps. (See e.g. this paper by Walsh & Blows)
  • Matt Rockman talked about some serious QTN work on awesomley weird phenotypes: worms depositing copulatory plugs on each other’s and their own heads. (See e.g. Palopoli et al.)
  • Saunak Sen spoke about mapping of function-valued traits, probably the most interesting talk to me. He concentrated on traits that are functions of one variable, namely time. (See Xiong et al.) However the most interesting to me (as a gene expression enthusiast) would be traits that are, as he put it, ”massively multivariate”, like eQTL data. In that case, there’s not really an obvious analogue of time, i.e. something that the values from one individual are a function of. I eagerly await what people might come up with in that regard.

It was a really fun time, and Uppsala is always nice. I’ll have to make sure to be there when the evolution museum is open some time. I always get the feeling that I should be better at, you know, networking at these things, but I had a couple of interesting conversations about making sense of gene expression results (incidentally, something that I’m very likely to blog about in the near future).