Taming the BEAST in the South Pacific Event as iCalendar

05 February 2017 - 10 February 2017

Venue: The Venue

Location: 21 The Strand, Onetangi Beach, Waiheke Island

Host: Centre for Computational Evolution, the University of Auckland

Cost: NZD $1,300 (5 nights accommodation and most meals included) 5 scholarships of $750 are available

Contact email: compevol@auckland.ac.nz


Bayesian Evolutionary Analysis by Sampling Trees (BEAST)

Phylogenetics and phylodynamics are central topics in modern biology. Phylogenetic inferences reconstruct the evolutionary relationships between organisms, whereas phylodynamic inferences reveal the dynamics that lead to the observed relationships. These two fields have many practical applications in disciplines such as epidemiology, developmental biology, paleontology, ecology and even linguistics. However phylogenetics and phylodynamics are complex and fast-evolving fields. As such, inference tools are not easily accessible to researchers who are not from a computational background.

Taming the BEAST in the South Pacific is a week-long summer school to be held on scenic Waiheke Island, Auckland, New Zealand and organised by the Centre for Computational Evolution at the University of Auckland. This is the first Taming the BEAST comprehensive short course to be held in the Southern Hemisphere, and is modelled after Taming the BEAST summer school in the Swiss Alps organised by the Computational Evolution group at ETH Zurich. 


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This intensive summer school will focus on the BEAST2 software, and consists of a mix of talks by leading experts in the field (including several of the key architects of BEAST2), lectures and hands-on tutorial sessions. The aim of the summer school is to equip participants with the skills necessary to confidently perform their own inferences, while providing them with a firm grasp of the theory behind those inferences. Participants are also highly encouraged to bring along their own datasets and to engage with the speakers and teaching assistants to explore advanced analyses options.

The summer school is primarily designed for postgraduate students and early-career researchers in the life sciences, but will be open for all researchers. Participation is limited and if oversubscribed, preference will be given to applicants who have already collected/assembled a dataset that they need to analyse.





Taming the BEAST in the South Pacific is made possible through the generous sponsorship by the University of Auckland and Geneious. 


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Venue Waiheke collage

The Venue
21 The Strand
Onetangi Beach
Waiheke Island
Auckland, North Island
New Zealand



See the programme page for the latest information. 

Please also note the list of required software which will need to be installed prior to the summer school. 



Speakers and teaching assistants are listed on the speakers page


Registration & Scholarships

Numbers at the summer school are limited to 30. Please register your interest by 7 November 2016 by sending an expression of interest to compevol@auckland.ac.nz with a bio and your area of research interest. We will notify participants in mid November for payment. 

There are FIVE scholarships of NZD $750 towards the cost of the workshop available for postgraduate students. If you would like to be considered for one of these scholarships, please send your CV and a letter to the organiser stating your areas of research and why you should be selected, by 25 October 2016. Decision by the organisers is final, and successful applicants will be informed by the beginning of November. 


Getting there

The Venue map

Please see the links below for the directions to the conference venue:


Auckland International Airport to Auckland Ferry Terminal

The 24-hour SkyBus runs every 10 minutes peak time and will take you from Auckland Airport International and Domestic terminals to the Auckland Ferry Terminal. 


Auckland Ferry Terminal to Waiheke Island Matiatia Wharf Ferry Terminal

Waiheke Island

Fullers run a half hourly ferry service from the Ferry Terminal, 99 Quay Street, Auckland CBD. The trip takes 40 minutes each way and costs $36 for a return ticket or $22 one way.

If you want to take your car, Sealink car ferry leaves from Wynyard Quarter and Halfmoon Bay. 


Waiheke Island Matiatia Wharf Ferry Terminal to Onetangi

Bus services to Onetangi meet every ferry landing. Bus Routes 1, 3 and 4 will take you to Onetangi. Bus Route 4 takes the most direct route but only runs on weekdays. Check Waiheke Bus Company website for the latest timetable. 



Summer school accommodation (arrival 5 February, departure 10 February) is at Onetangi Beach Apartments (5-7 Fourth Avenue, Onetangi) in twin share rooms within short walking distance of the workshop location. These apartments have a full kitchen and laundry. 

Please note that there is no wifi at the apartments (wifi is available at the summer school venue), and breakfast is NOT provided. Provisions for breakfast can be purchased from a supermarket at Ostend, or there is limited selection at the service station a couple of hundred metres away on Onetangi Road (take Fourth Avenue).