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Modelling species distributions under climate change
Provider: Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Activity no.: 3173-21-00-00There are no available seats 
Enrollment deadline: 30/07/2021
Date and time30.08.2021, at: 09:00 - 03.09.2021, at: 18:00
Regular seats15
Course fee9,720.00 kr.
LecturersDavid Bravo Nogues
ECTS credits4.50
Contact personKirsten Wivel-Snejbjerg    E-mail address: kws@adm.ku.dk
Enrolment Handling/Course OrganiserPhD administration     E-mail address: phdkursus@sund.ku.dk

Aim and content
This course is free of charge for PhD students at Danish universities (except Copenhagen Business School), and for PhD students at graduate schools in the other Nordic countries. All other participants must pay the course fee.

Anyone can apply for the course, but if you are not a PhD student at a Danish university, you will be placed on the waiting list until enrollment deadline. This also applies to PhD students from Nordic countries. After the enrollment deadline, available seats will be allocated to applicants on the waiting list.

Learning objectives
A student who has met the objectives of the course will be able to:
1) Understand theories and hypotheses that relate climate and distribution of species and how these relationships change under climate change;
2) Apprehend formal knowledge about the main approaches relating climate and the distribution of species, including mechanistic, process-based and correlative models.
3) Manage, curate and model data on species distributions and climate change scenarios;
4) Reach medium user level of the software Biomod2;
5) Acquire a critical reading of the scientific literature as a result of the paper discussions and seminars.

Understanding species distributions is a core topic in ecology, evolutionary biology, conservation, global change biology and have key implications for epidemiology or One Health. Species Distribution Models, SDMs, are a key tool for predicting species distributions, biodiversity decline and extinctions due to climate change and they are one of the most influential tools in ecological sciences in the last 20 years.

Climate change is changing the distribution of species and affecting human welfare (Pecl Science 2017). Is therefore urgent to train young scientists in approaches allowing to model and predict the past, current and future distributions of species under climate change, including species that are key to maintain biodiversity (i.e., plants, megafauna), that are a threat to food security (i.e., pest species) or for human health (i.e., mosquitos transmitting malaria). This PhD course will cover ecological and evolutionary theory on species distributions and species niches, methodological issues, training in SDM software, and applications of SDMs to a broad range of questions from disciplines varying from global change biology, population biology, phylogeography, population genomics or epidemiology. We will use examples and biological systems relevant for students at SUND.

PhD students interested on biodiversity, climate change and their cascade effects, including how climate change control the decline of biodiversity and their effects on relevant human welfare aspects. Scientific backgrounds of previous students of the course ranged from biology to socio-economics and health disciplines. Students are requested to have a basic level of R software.

Relevance to graduate programmes
The course is relevant to PhD students from the following graduate programmes at the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences, UCPH:
Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Public Health and Epidemiology


The course will encompass lectures, computer practical and seminars based on paper discussions during a week from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The course relies on world-leading experts teaching on different aspects related to the distributions of species and how to model them, including lectures, hands-on-data exercises and research-based seminars. The course will promote both the individual and group work across students during the teaching. The students will read, before attending, a compendium with original research papers representing landmark studies. Each student will be required to prepare for the course by reading a specified background literature (~30 papers). The last five hours of the course will be devoted to report the results of the modeling exercises and to put them in the context of the theories and methods learnt during the course. This session will be organized as a scientific workshop in which students (after a formal presentation of their results using Powerpoint and projector) will discuss about their findings with the other students and with the panel of teachers. During the course all students are expected to participate in paper discussions and practical, and to attend to the lectures. Full attendance of the entire PhD course, preparation through background reading, and pro-active participation in seminars and practical are required to obtain the 4.5 ECTS.

Course director
David Nogués-Bravo, Full Professor, University of Copenhagen, dnogues@sund.ku.dk

Damien Fordham, Associate Professor, University of Adelaide
Diederik Strubbe, Assistant Professor, University of Gent
Thiago Rangel, Full Professor, University of Goias (to be confirmed)
Hannah Owens, Marie Curie Fellow, University of Copenhagen
David Nogués-Bravo, Full Professor, University of Copenhagen

30 August to 3 September 2021, all days 09:00-18:00

Course location
Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate. Univeritetsparken 15, Copenhagen

Please register before 30 July 2021
Seats to PhD students from other Danish universities will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and according to the applicable rules.
Applications from other participants will be considered after the last day of enrolment.

Note: All applicants are asked to submit invoice details in case of no-show, late cancellation or obligation to pay the course fee (typically non-PhD students). If you are a PhD student, your participation in the course must be in agreement with your principal supervisor.

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