Ecological niche models in R


15-19 June 2020


Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, this course will be held online

Course Overview

In this hands-on workshop we are going to teach you how to use R to program ENMs, models that aim to map the distribution of species based on their climatic requirements. Day by day, we will cover all the different steps of making an ENM. At the end of the course, you will understand the concept behind ENMs, and you will be equipped with the knowledge and tools to fit ENMs for different applications.

Ecological niche models (ENMs) are a fundamental tool for working in global change biology. Predicting species distributions is a key step for understanding large scale biodiversity patterns and designing conservation and management plans that remain effective in the long run. In this course, we will showcase and discuss different applications of ENMs, for example, how combining population genetics with maps of the species potential ranges in the past (e.g. during the last glacial maximum) allows researchers to unveil the role of cyclic global climatic changes on population dynamics.

Targeted audience & ASSUMED BACKGROUND

This course is aimed at postgraduate students and researchers who are interested in using ENMs in their research. Experience in using R is not mandatory, but desirable. We will use R and RStudio in the research. Experience in using R is not mandatory, but desirable. We will use R and RStudio in the lessons.



The course is delivered over ten half-day sessions (see the detailed curriculum below). Each session consists of a combination of lectures and practical exercises, including breaks. There will also be time for participants to discuss their own ENM projects and data.



Learning outcomes

Students will learn how to download species occurrences from online biodiversity databases using R (e.g. GBIF database).

Students will learn how to plot raster files and shapefiles, and work with GIS R-packages.

Students will learn about different ENMs (climatic envelopes, distance models, regression and classification trees and maxent), and how to evaluate model predictions.

At the end of the lessons, students will be able to develop their own ENMs and map the distribution of their target species.


Monday - Classes from 9:30 to 17:30

Ecological Niche Models: introduction to ENMs and main modelling work steps. We will discuss the main steps in ENMs (conceptualisation, data preparation, model fitting, model assessment, prediction)

Occurrence data: how to load your own data and how to import data from open access databases (such as GBIF). We will discuss here the different potential biases on the input data and how to address them.


Dr. Sara Varela



COst overview

Package 1





Registration deadline: 15th May 2020



Please click HERE to get all the information about our packages.

Cancellation Policy:




> 30  days before the start date = 30% cancellation fee


< 30 days before the start date= No Refund.




Physalia-courses cannot be held responsible for any travel fees, accommodation or other expenses incurred to you as a result of the cancellation.