July 02-06, 2018 | CIBIO-InBIO, Vairão, Portugal



The diversity of life on Earth (biodiversity) exhibits temporal and spatial patterns calling for theoretical interpretations. This five-day course reviews several theoretical approaches describing patterns of species richness and relative abundance. The objective of this course is to make participants familiar with these theories’ rationales, assumptions and limitations.


A major goal of this course is to demystify the use of mathematics in ecology. To this end, the course emphasizes the development and interpretation of mathematical formulae and their relationship with the biological phenomena they describe. The course has a hands-on approach, and participants will be engaged in computer exercises using R that aim to illustrate and implement the mathematical methods discussed.


After the course the attendants should have a newfound appreciation for the role of theoretical models, with a view to being able to follow (and contribute to) advancements in theoretical ecology.




Topics to discuss:

  • Biogeography: A brief historical account
  • Distribution of species: Spatial and temporal patterns
  • Measures of Biodiversity
  • Source-sink dynamics
  • Metapopulations
  • The theory of Island biogeography
  • The neutral theory of biodiversity and biogeography

First day
9:45-13:00 – Spatial and temporal patterns of species diversity
14:00-17:45 – An introduction to programming using R


Second day
9:45-13:00 – Measures of biodiversity
14:00-17:45 – Practical exercises using R


Third day
9:45-13:00 – Source-sink dynamics and Metapopulations
14:00-17:45 – Practical exercises using R


Fourth day
9:45-13:00 – The theory of Island biogeography
14:00-17:45 – Practical exercises using R


Fifth day
9:45-13:00 – The neutral theory of biodiversity and biogeography
14:00-17:45 – Practical exercises using R


Luís Borda-de-Água - CIBIO-InBIO | THEOECO
Saeid Alirezazadeh - CIBIO-InBIO | THEOECO


Minimum: 6

Maximum: 25


Priority will be given to:

• 1st year and other PhD students attending the BIODIV Doctoral Program;
• PhD students attending other courses;
• Other post-graduate students and researchers.


Registration deadline: May 09, 2018.


Participation is free of charge for BIODIV students | 95 € (students) / 200 € (other participants). CIBIO-InBIO members will have an additional discount of 20%. Does not include lunch nor coffee breaks.
To apply, please send an e-mail accompanied by your short CV (max. two A4 pages) to post.graduation@cibio.up.pt. Please refer your academic status (PhD student, MSc Student, Other) and the institution to which you are affiliated. BIODIV students should also mention which year of their PhD they are in. If you are interested in more than one course, you need to send a separate application for each of them.


Please note that new rules apply for all BIODIV students.