Ecology courses

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Below, upcoming courses in the field of ecology are shown. Besides the courses that are directly related to ecology, methodological courses as well as skills and competence courses relevant for ecologists are shown. Please note that the courses listed are planned and, except for those with a fixed date, the time frame in which the course may be given can change. The courses are organised by various parties:

Note: If you would want more information or if you know of a course that is not yet listed, please contact Lennart Suselbeek ( or Claudius van de Vijver (

Upcoming ecology courses

Course Practical Modelling for Biologists

Monday 26 February - Friday 16 March 2018
The course Practical Modelling for Biologists gives hands-on experience in modelling, focussing on simulation techniques, slightly rooted in marine systems but for a large part just general modelling topic (with a slight bias to ecology). It is open to MSc and PhD students who want to take their first steps into modelling.

Polar Ecosystems

26 February - 17 March 2018
The course is based on a series of lectures (22) and a reading assignment. Lectures will be given by internal (ESRIG, Arctic Centre) as well as external (NIOZ) polar experts. Topics covered are polar climatology, marine and terrestrial polar habitats, key species, effects of climate change from species to ecosystem level, and other human impacts. The second part of the course consists of a reading assignment, followed by presentations. A set of key scientific papers will be handed out to small groups of students (max 3 per group), covering as much scientific disciplines as possible. The students will need to understand, reproduce, summarize, evaluate and discuss the result and implications of the papers during a symposium, where the reading assignments will be presented. The course will be evaluated by a written examination.

Life History Theory

Sunday 11 - Friday 16 March 2018
Life History Theory deals with species-specific adaptive schemes of the distribution of the reproductive effort over the life of an organism. The general theoretical problem is to predict which combination of traits will evolve under specific conditions. The concepts used are also relevant to study within species variation in life history traits. The one week course aims at giving an overview of the field and will discuss methodology and recent developments. This course is organised by the Research School for Ecology and Evolution (RSEE) and PE&RC, but coordinated by RSEE.

Grasping Sustainability

Monday 12 - Friday 16 March 2018
This on-site course will enable you to think about the ‘bigger picture’, grasp sustainability and to apply concepts and approaches to your own research, in a collaborative learning environment, away from ‘office’. To ensure that the content of the course is aligned to your own research, the content of the course will also be determined by the research topics of the participants.

Aquatic Ecology | Robustness of aquatic ecosystems in the face of global change

Sunday 18 - Friday 23 March 2018
Aquatic ecosystems play a crucial role in human health and well-being as a source of drinking water and food (irrigation, fisheries, and aquaculture), recreation, and tourism. Aquatic systems also provide diverse habitats, support high levels of biodiversity and vital ecosystems services and play a vital role in the global carbon cycle and in various nutrient cycles. In this 5-day course we will provide a multifaceted overview of the science on aquatic ecosystems in the Anthropocene.

Mathematical Models in Ecology and Evolution

19 March - 30 June 2018
The aims of the course are to teach why mathematics is so useful in ecology and evolution, to acquire the ability to read and interpret equations, and to master the art of constructing and analyzing new models.

Frontiers in Microbial Ecology

Sunday 8 - Friday 13 April 2018
This course will examine our current understanding of the eco-evolutionary dynamics controlling host-microbiome interactions, by focusing on questions such as how and why microbial-host associations are formed, how they are maintained, and what the relevance is of these associations for host survival and adaptation to a changing world.

Modelling population dynamics with Physiologically Structured Population Models (PSPM) | Concepts, formulation and analysis

Sunday 29 April - Friday 4 May 2018
Physiologically structured population models (PSPMs) constitute a subset of structured models in which both the life histories of individuals and the emerging population dynamics unfold in continuous time, and individual states may be continuous or discrete. PSPMs have been very successful in describing and explaining the mechanisms that drive dynamics of natural populations and communities. Moreover, PSPMs form a powerful tool for understanding how population and community dynamics emerge from individual life histories, and equally important, how population and community processes feed back to shape the life histories of individuals.

Resilience of living systems: From fundamental concepts to interdisciplinary applications

Sunday 29 April – Friday 4 May 2018
During the course, the participants will learn about the basic concepts of resilience and their application, from an interdisciplinary perspective (micro-biome to socio-ecological systems). Accordingly, we will address how resilience theory can be used to tackle fundamental and societal issues from a socio-economic and bio-physical perspective and will provide a critical reflection on the relevance, use, and applicability of the concept of resilience. The course is organised by the Graduate Schools WIAS and PE&RC.

Summer school: Exploring climate change challenges and solutions in the real world: from research to practice

21-25 May 2018
The aim of this summer school is to introduce IMPRESSIONS methods and tools so as to demonstrate their applications through studying the impacts of climate change and socio-economic changes in Bulgarian mountains and rural communities. Deadline applications is 30 NOVEMBER 2017 instead of 30 September 2017.

Hands on Digital Soil Mapping

Monday 28 May - Friday 1 June 2018
This course introduces methods and software for management, analysis and mapping of soil variables within the R environment for statistical computing. The course alternates between lectures and computer practicals and covers a variety of subjects, such as geostatistics, linear regression and machine learning for soil mapping, quantification of uncertainty and soil map validation.

World Soils and their Assessment

Monday 28 May - Friday 1 June 2018 (coordinated by ISRIC)
This is a course on international standards for soils classification and assessment. It will provide an introduction to the soils of the world and their diversity, their main forming factors, classification (according to the World Reference Base for Soil Resources 2014), and management. The course will include lectures and hands-on exercises. PE&RC PhD candidates are entitled to the reduced fee.

Conflicting demands in European Forests: a wicked problem?

Sunday 24 June - Monday 2 July 2018
More and more, we are confronted with conflicting demands when trying to develop sustainable land-use strategies, resulting in so-called wicked problems. Scientists working on such wicked problems need to be trained to work in trans-, multi- and interdisciplinary teams of experts with various scientific backgrounds, such as ecologists, economists, political, and social scientists. This course aims to teach them the skills they need for working in such diverse teams, by means of a real-life case. The course is focused around Gällivare, a small town in the north of Sweden, where one can find the “last wilderness of Boreal Europe”, part of an UNESCO World Heritage Site with large nature reserves and national parks. At the same time, it has an active mining industry, forestry, reindeer herding and tourism. It is a perfect place for land use and land use change discussions. A travel subsidy is available for PE&RC PhD candidates.