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University of Manchester Online Morphometrics Course

by Ed Hagen last modified Aug 20, 2012 10:06 PM
5 November to 14 December 2012. Morphometrics is a rapidly growing field. Quantitative analyses of the size and shape of organisms or their parts are more and more widely used in biological and medical research. Applications of morphometrics address diverse questions in many areas such as evolutionary and developmental biology, ecology, palaeontology, and systematics. Morphometric studies have been conducted in animals, including humans, plants and protists.

The course information can be found on the following we site:

Course content:
*  Data acquisition: the kinds of data and the equipment used to collect them.
*  Definitions of size and shape
*  Geometric methods to characterise shape from a configuration of landmark points (Procrustes superimposition)
*  Statistics of variation, scatter plots, basic multivariate statistics
*  Principal component analysis
*  Measurement error and outliers
*  Shape transformations and 'warping' -- the thin plate spline
*  Analysis of outline shapes
*  Distinguishing between groups (taxonomy, clinical diagnosis, etc.)
*  Allometry and size correction
*  Influence of external factors on shape (ecomorphology, dose-response studies)
*  Symmetric forms and measurement of asymmetry.
*  Morphometric inferences on developmental processes
*  Morphological integration and modularity
*  Genetics of shape: analyses of resemblance between relatives, QTL analyses.
*  Phylogeny: reconstructing the evolution of shape

Practice examples:
As far as possible, practical exercises are provided to accompany the course content. These practice exercises consist of data sets and explanations on how to run the respective analyses using the MorphoJ software (
Participants who already have their own data are encouraged to use those and to discuss them as part of the course. I hope there will be a bit of a 'workshop' feel to the course unit.

Group work:
Participants will work in small groups to prepare web presentations of possible morphometric studies (blogs or wikis prepared by the groups). This activity stimulates discussion and provides a broad overview of the broad range of questions that can be addressed with morphometric methods.

The fee for the course is GBP 300.00 (I'm afraid it's gone up again from last year -- this is out of my control).

All prospective participants need to pre-register for the course. The deadline for this is the *14 September 2012*.

For further details and the pre-registration form, see the course web page:

Best wishes,
Chris Klingenberg

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