Forest Genetic Monitoring Training School



Instructors: Prof. Filippos Aravanopoulos (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), Prof. Darius Danusevičius (Vytautas Magnus University), Dr. Darius Kavaliauskas (Bavarian Office for Forest Genetics), Prof. Om Rajora (University of New Brunswick)

Date: 5th of July – 8th of July 2022

Place: Kaunas, Lithuania

Local organiser: Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, Institute of Forestry, Kaunas, Lithuania

Local contact:

The training school will be organised in a hybrid mode! All persons interested to join and attend the lectures virtually please fill in this form

This training school is organized within the framework of ConservePlants COST Action (CA18201), with the support of International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) and aims at training Postdoctoral fellows, Ph. D. candidates, early career scientists (M.Sc. Level or above), and practitioners (M.Sc. level or above) involved in genetic conservation actions.

Rapid climate change has been recognised as an increasing threat to long-living forest trees, to forest ecosystems and all levels of biodiversity that they harbour, shelter or provide. Genetic diversity is the ultimate source of biological diversity, which is crucial for the vitality of forests and their adaptation to climate change. Moreover, genetic diversity provides resilience to other stress factors, such as pests and diseases. The objective of Forest Genetic Monitoring (FGM) is to assess the current status of genetic resources and quantify relevant changes at a temporal scale, in order to preserve long-term adaptive evolutionary potential. As a part of the ConservePlants COST action (CA18201), we aspire to improve the conservation of plant genetic resources in Europe. One of the first steps to achieve this is to start genetic monitoring and in particular Forest Genetic Monitoring programs (as a major part of terrestrial biodiversity is harboured within forests), and to quantify genetic diversity changes at a temporal scale.

The immediate objective of the Training School is to provide participants with knowledge about genetic and genomic aspects of Forest Genetic Monitoring and about how to start Forest Genetic Monitoring programs, including the selection, establishment and maintenance of plot; background information on indicators and verifiers; overview of fieldwork, laboratory and data analysis.

The mid-term objective is to foster collaborations, in research and training on FGM, and to establish a network of FGM Plots for different tree species.

Applicants should apply by 25 May using the form.

Selection of applicants will be based on merit while taking into account the COST policy rules (geographical diversity, gender balance and empowerment of Young Researchers and Innovators). Successful applicants will receive partial reimbursement of daily allowances (80 euros per day) and the long-distance travelling costs.


Training School Preliminary Agenda

Day 1: 5 July 2022

Session 1: Welcome and Introduction to the Workshop

Session 2: Concepts for Genetic Monitoring (Prof. Filippos Aravanopoulos)

Session 3 & 4: Basic population genetic principles, concepts, and applications in FGM (Prof. Filippos Aravanopoulos)

Session 5: Genetic indicators and verifiers for FGM (Prof. Filippos Aravanopoulos and Prof. Om Rajora)

Session 6: Students’ presentations (15 min each, 7 students)

Session 7: Wrap-up, Discussion and Reflections on the Day


Day 2: 6 July, 2022

Session 8: Ecosystem Management Emulating Natural Disturbance Project and Genetic effects of increasing harvesting intensities in white spruce (Prof. Om Rajora)

Session 9: Forest Genetic Monitoring an example from Germany (Dr. Darius Kavaliauskas)

Session 10: Spatial genetic structure within forest stands and its effects on monitoring strategy (Prof. Darius Danusevičius)

Session 11: Genotyping errors, alternative sampling strategies and genetic monitoring results from Lithuanian sites of the GENTREE project (Prof. Darius Danusevičius)

Session 12: FGM plot selection, establishment, and maintenance (Dr. Darius Kavaliauskas)

Session 13: Students’ presentations (15 min each, 7 students)

Session 14: Wrap-up, Discussion and Reflections on the Day


Day 3: 7 July, 2022

Field Trip and Training. Setting up the Genetic Monitoring Plot at Genetic Reserve for Quercus robur.

Day 4: 8 July, 2022

Session 15: Students’ presentations (15 min each, 6 students)

Session 16: Results from Lithuanian GM project (Prof. Darius Danusevičius)

Session 17: Effects of forest management practices and forest fires on genetic diversity and population structure (Prof. Om Rajora)

Session 18: Population Genomics for FGM (Prof. Om Rajora)

Session 19: Wrap-up, Discussion and Reflections on the Workshop


Venue of the meeting:

Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, Institute of Forestry, Liepu str. 1, Girionys, 53101, Kaunas r.

How to reach the venue:

There will be a bus from Kaunas city center to the venue place.

Useful links for accommodation:

The special price and room availability for all successful candidates is agreed for the attendees of the Training school at the Hotel Best Western Santaka. Please mention the name of the Training course when ordering.


At this link you can find some touristic information about Kaunas:

Kaunas is the European Capital of Culture for 2022. You can find the program at this link:


All applicants should be aware of COVID-19 measures and recommendations for entry and stay in Lithuania. Please consult the government website or contact