ONLINE COURSE – Functional ecology from organism to ecosystem: theory and computation (FEER02) This course will be delivered live
22 March 2021 - 26 March 2021£510.00
The course will describe different aspects and methods in the field of functional ecology, combining theoretical lessons with hands-on real data. Lectures will provide the theoretical and mathematical basis for different applications of functional traits at organismal, community and ecosystem levels, with examples across different trophic levels. This will serve as a basis for exploring the practical tools to connect the effect of land-use and climate change on biodiversity to the effect of biodiversity on to multiple ecosystem functions and ecological services. An overview of existing computational methods, including recent developments authored by the lecturers, will be provided during the course and the students will learn how to apply them using functions and scripts run in R. Students are welcome to apply these tools to their own data, or use the data provided, to be analysed during the course while benefiting from advise by the lecturers. As such, compared to other courses given by the lectures, this is a slightly a more advanced and data oriented course which concentrates on detailed and practical aspects in functional traits related applications, especially computational ones. The aim of the course is to provide participants with a handy synthesis of existing concepts, tools and trends in functional ecology and guide them to apply these tools to their own field of interest. As the field of functional ecology is rapidly expanding, participants will be ready to exploit the potential of the main trait approaches.
This is a ‘LIVE COURSE’ – the instructor will be delivering lectures and coaching attendees through the accompanying computer practical’s via video link, a good internet connection is essential.
TIME ZONE – Central European Time (CET) – however all sessions will be recorded and made available allowing attendees from different time zones to follow a day behind with an additional 1/2 days support after the official course finish date (please email email@example.com for full details or to discuss how we can accommodate you).
Research postgraduates, practicing academics and primary investigators in population and community ecology working on a variety or organism type (plants, invertebrates, vertebrates) interested in evaluating changes in functional traits with environmental changes and the consequences for ecosystem functioning. The skills learnt can also be applied by management and environmental professionals in government and industry.
Venue – Delivered remotely
Time zone – Central European Time (CET)
Availability – 30 places
Duration – 4.5 days
Contact hours – Approx. 30 hours
ECT’s – Equal to 3ECT’s
Language – English
Other payment options are available please email firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE READ – CANCELLATION POLICY: Cancellations are accepted up to 28 days before the course start date subject to a 25% cancellation fee. Cancellations later than this may be considered, contact email@example.com. Failure to attend will result in the full cost of the course being charged.
There will be morning lectures based on the modules outlined in the course timetable. In the afternoon there will be practical’s based on the topics covered that morning. Data sets for computer practical’s will be provided by the instructors, but participants are welcome to bring their own data.
Assumed quantitative knowledge
A basic understanding of statistical concepts including statistical significance and hypothesis testing, and a familiarity in working with species, community, or ecosystem level data.
Assumed computer background
Familiarity with R. Ability to import/export data, manipulate data frames, fit basic statistical models & generate simple exploratory and diagnostic plots.
Equipment and software requirements
A laptop/personal computer with a working version or R and RStudio installed. R and RStudio are supported by both PC and MAC and can be downloaded for free by following these links.
UNSURE ABOUT SUITABLILITY THEN PLEASE ASK firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday 22nd – Classes from 09:30 to 17:30
– Part 1 (interactive, all): Short intro to the course, Introduction of lecturers and
students; then trait game (splitting into zoom groups, providing data through
– Part 2 (lecture, Francesco): „Introduction to functional ecology and key
Block 2 (Lars)
– Part 1 (lecture): „Response of species and communities to the environment
– Part 2 (practical): R material Chapter 4
– Part 3 (practical): R material Chapter 5 CWM
Tuesday 23rd – Classes from 09:30 to 17:30
Block 1 (all)
– Part 1 (interactive): Grime vs. Westoby (1h: 20 min prep, 40 min discussion;
students are grouped and instructed to read the paper at end of day 1)
Block 2 (Francesco)
– Part 1 (lecture): „Ecology of differences and trait offs”
– Part 2 (practical): R material Chapter 3
Block 3 (Francesco)
– Part 1 (lecture): „Functional diversity indices (alpha, beta (?))”
– Part 2 (practical): R material Chapter 5 FD + results trait game
Wednesday 24th – Classes from 09:30 to 17:30
Block 1 (Carlos)
– Part 1 (lecture): „Intraspecific trait variability: biological relevance and
– Part 2 (practical): R material Chapter 6
Block 2 (Carlos or Francesco)
– Part 1 (lecture): “Response and effect trait framework” (probably including
– Part 2 (practical) R material Chapter 9
– Part 3 (practical) R material Chapter 10
Thursday 25th – Classes from 09:30 to 17:30
Block 1 (Carlos)
– Part 1 (lecture): „Community assembly rules and null models”
– Part 2 (practical): R material Chapter 7
Block 2 (Lars)
– Part 1 (lecture): „Trait standards, data bases, and missing data”
– Part 2 (practical): R material Chapter 2
– Part 3 (interactive): Trait sampling game
Friday 26th – Classes from 09:30 to 16:00
Block 1 (Lars)
– Part 1 (lecture): „Traits and phylogeny”
– Part 2 (practical): R material Chapter 8
Reserve time for 1 on 1 talks, if wanted by students?
The instructors were excellent and clearly were the reasons for my previous comments. They both combined a deep understanding of statistics and ecology at the same level.Any questions or queries I’ve had, were thus first answered with an ecological point of view and then translated into statistical consideration thereby making much more sense on both side.In addition the course was very well organised, the course director and the two instructors were very friendly as well as professional. On the top of learning many useful things, I’ve also had a very good time during the week there.” Clement Garcia,
Spatial ecologist, Centre For Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), England
(Attended ADVR course)