mARS Hands-on Training Workshop @ POLAR 2018


polar2018logoSunday, 17 June 2018
Monday, 18 June 2018
9am – 5pm

WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF
Flüelastrasse 11
Davos Dorf
room C157

If you are a polar (Antarctic or Arctic) microbial scientist who generates molecular sequence information from polar habitats, you might want to consider joining us for this training workshop. We have developed mARS which is an information system currently under development that is dedicated to facilitate the discovery, access and analysis of polar environmental context (physiochemical) and molecular microbial diversity (meta)data. Projects can be registered through a Global Biodiversity Information (GBIF) portal and then environmental data sets and accompanying sequence sets, if available in public repositories, can be uploaded into a searchable mARS database. As of later in 2017, mARS will expand the coverage of data sets to include the Arctic.

A hands-on workshop with invited instructors with expertise in genome standards, biological diversity databases, microbial diversity and (meta)genome sequence analyses will include information on preparing internationally accepted environmental context data and submissions of data sets to sequence repositories (e.g. EMBL, NCBI) will be the focus of Day 1.

Data processing pipelines for next generation sequencing analysis of microbial diversity data (focused on 16S and 18S rRNA) as well as discussions of meta ‘omic data analysis, statistics and modeling tools for both amplicon and ‘omic data will be demonstrated and discussed on Day 2. Time will be allocated to practical hands on learning to facilitate an interactive learning environment.

Participants are encouraged to bring a computer, projects to register and any associated data if they wish to work on their own data. Example data sets will be available. A small workshop participation fee of $100 per person will be required. Participants will also have to have registered and paid for the Open Science Conference and the satellite meetings (30 CHF) (more details see

Confirmed speakers / instructors:

  • Alison Murray, Professor, Division of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV, U.S.A.
  • Thomas Pommier, Ecological Microbiology, Université Claude Bernard Lyon, France
  • Craig Herbold, Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science, Division of Microbial Ecology, University of Vienna, Austria
  • Damien Eveillard, Computational Biology, Université of Nantes, France
  • Ivaylo Kostadinov, Department of Life Sciences & Chemistry Jacobs Unversity, Bremen
  • Pier Buttigieg, Biosciences – Deep-sea Ecology and Technology, Alfred Wegner Institute

Space is limited. Registrations will be confirmed with payment. Interested participants need to contact Alison Murray (



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