Minisymposium in Metagenomics - a joint workshop with CUSO

22-24 June 2011

A joint workshop with CUSO Doctoral Program StarOmics and CUSO Doctoral Program in Microbial Sciences

Organizers: Pilar Junier , University of Neuchâtel and Jan R. van der Meer , University of Lausanne

flyer (360Ko)


Despite de fact that microorganisms (prokaryotes and eukaryotes) constitute the vast majority of biological diversity on Earth, methodological limitations (e.g. low cultivability) have restricted our access to this diversity. The extraction, amplification and sequencing of genes (particularly the 16S rRNA gene) from environmental samples, initiated a new era of microbial ecology related to the description and study of uncultured microorganisms. This new era has advanced one step further with the direct sequencing of environmental DNA. This novel approach brings with it new challenges for both, biologist and bioinformaticians.

This 3-day symposium will bring together people with different expertise to discuss about new sequencing technologies, pitfalls of different sequencing approaches, challenges on sampling and selection of targets for sequencing (one gene versus whole genome shotgun sequencing), data analysis, statistics and data repositories. This symposium will be a unique platform for the Swiss scientific community working in metagenomics to exchange their experiences and problems with known international and national experts. This will be all framed within an ecological context.




The 3-day plan will be divided into:

  • 1-day seminar to familiarize students with current metagenomic approaches, scientific questions, techniques and strategies.
  • 1-day seminar and discussions on technological aspects and data analysis
  • 1-day seminar  (final day) dedicated to working with bioinformatic tools that allow the analysis of metagenomic datasets.

Participants are encouraged to present their research and its link to metagenomics (10 min talk + 5 min questions). If you would like to give a short oral presentation, please contact Pilar Junier before 15 June 2011.

Program resume (PDF) - Program detailed (PDF)

General information

Dates :  Wednesday 22, Thursday  23, and Friday 24 June 2011

Schedule : 8.55 - 17.00

Location : University of Neuchâtel, Faculté des sciences, UniMail, building F, Auditoire Louis-Guillaume

Credit points : 1.5 credit points (attendance) - 2.0 credit points (with presentation)  (Scientific activity, DP)

Evaluation : Full attendance, active participation during the 3 days

Information : Please contact the scientific organizers Pilar Junier or Jan R. van der Meer, or the doctoral program coordinator Christiane Bobillier (administration)

Registration fee :

  • Free for PhD students registered in the CUSO doctoral programs or PhD students who are not members of a CUSO University registered in the Interuniversity doctoral program in organismal biology.
  • For ALL other participants, the registration cost is CHF 80.00 (includes 6 coffee breaks and 3 lunches).

Travel expenses : participants in the CUSO doctoral programs and Interuniversity doctoral program in organismal biology are eligible for reimbursement of incurred travel expenses by train (half-fare card, and 2nd class).

  • For  CUSO doctoral programs participants: see information on the web site.
  • For Interuniversity doctoral program in organismal biology participants who are not member of a CUSO University. Please send the original tickets (no copies, except for the general abonnement) with the reimbursement form  to Christiane Bobillier. No reimbursement for bus, taxi or car travel expenses will be paid.



  • This workshop is free and opened to all PhD students. PhD students registration priority until mid of May 2011. Post-docs and master students are welcome as long as places are available.
  • Maximum number of participants: 30. 

Registration : Closed

Please note the cancellation policy (CHF 20) .

Deadline: 15 June 2011