Molecular Biology
Genetic Mapping
Stickleback Molecular Genetics Course:

A practical lab course, July 12th to 22nd, 2010 at Stanford University. Optional stickleback fossil trip with Mike Bell, July 22nd and 23rd, 2010.

Sticklebacks Zebrafish
Threespine stickleback fish offer a unique opportunity to combine developmental, ecological, and paleontological studies of vertebrate evolution. This summer course will offer hands-on training in many new molecular techniques now being applied to this system, as well as background in the biology, natural history, development, and evolution of Gasterosteus aculeatus, zebrafish, and other vertebrates. Resident and special guest faculty will interact extensively with students in lecture, discussion, and lab sessions to introduce a variety of field, experimental and computational methods that can be used to study vertebrate evolution and development. Registration, room, board and course materials will be provided by the Stanford Center for Vertebrate Evolution (
Lab experiments covering:
  • Field collecting and crossing sticklebacks by artificial fertilization
  • DNA microinjection of both zebrafish and stickleback eggs
  • Morpholino analysis to eliminate gene functions and test effects on early embryonic development
  • In situ hybridization analysis of gene expression in developing fish
  • Making DNA from fish, genotyping with microsatellite markers
  • Mapping genes and traits using genome-wide linkage approaches
  • Comparative genomics and bioinformatics
Lectures and discussions:
  • David Kingsley (Stanford): Genetics of form and morphology in vertebrate systems. Genomic approaches to identifying the genes and mutations responsible for evolutionary divergence.
  • Will Talbot (Stanford): Zebrafish developmental genetics, gene duplication in vertebrate evolution.
  • Katie Peichel (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle): Sex determination, genetics of display and courtship behavior in sticklebacks.
  • Dolph Schluter (University of British Columbia. Vancouver): Adaptive evolution in sticklebacks, formation and divergence of benthic-limnetic species pairs
  • Mike Bell (Stony Brook): Tempo of evolutionary change in contemporary and fossil sticklebacks. Unique morphological, behavioral, and life history traits in Alaskan fish populations.
Optional Paleontology Field Trip after the course
Fossil history of stickleback evolution, with sample collecting at a Miocene Lake quarry site located outside Reno, Nevada (led by Mike Bell). After the course on July 22nd and 23rd.
Interested graduate students, postdocs, or faculty members should send a CV and brief letter describing their background, research interests, and how the course would fit into their future career goals to: David Kingsley, Beckman Center B300, 279 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305-5329, or send email to: