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Advanced Courses in Life Sciences

8th Edition

Geometric Morphometrics and Phylogeny

September 11th-15th, 2017, Barcelona (Spain)

Geometric Morphometrics and Phylogeny

This course provides an overview of the interface between geometric morphometrics and phylogenetics. It aims to give an overview of the different approaches and methods that link the two fields and to enable participants to apply them to their own research problems.

Lectures that introduce concepts and methods are integrated with demonstrations of software that put them into practice right away.

The main emphasis is on mapping shape data on existing phylogenies to reconstruct the evolutionary history of shape diversification, as well as comparative methods that take phylogeny into account.

To enhance the practical approach of the course, participants are encouraged to bring their own data to conduct analyses and discuss results.


Centre de Restauració i Interpretació Paleontològica

C/ Mestre J. Lladós, 1
08781 Els Hostalets de Pierola, Barcelona.

How to get there




40 hours on-site.

This course is equivalent to 3.5 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) at the Life Science Zurich Graduate School.

The recognition of ECTS by other institutions depends on each university or school.


Places are limited to 16 participants and will be occupied by strict registration order.

Participants who have completed the course will receive a certificate at the end of it.


Chris Klingenberg Instructor for Transmitting Science

Dr. Chris Klingenberg
University of Manchester
United Kingdom


Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno instructor at Transmitting Science

Dr. Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno
Transmitting Science

Ana Rosa Gómez-Cano coordinator at Transmitting Science

Dr. Ana Rosa Gómez-Cano
Transmitting Science


Graduate or postgraduate degree in Life or Earth Sciences. Basic knowledge of Statistics and Geometric Morphometrics. All participants must bring their own personal laptop.

We would like to encourage participants to bring along their own morphometrics data, as well as phylogenetic information related to this in case you have it.


1. Phylogeny, trees and phylogenetic reasoning.

2. Brief review of geometric morphometrics (Procrustes fit, PCA, etc.).

3. Mapping traits onto phylogenies: squared-change parsimony.

4. Practice: making/editing Nexus files, mapping morphometric data onto the tree (Mesquite, MorphoJ).

5. Phylogenetic signal, morphometric traits and estimating phylogeny.

6. Comparative methods: independent contrasts.

7. Application in morphometrics: evolutionary allometry and size correction.

8. Practice: comparative methods (MorphoJ).

9. Application of comparative methods: morphological integration.

10. Multi-level analyses of integration: inferring evolutionary mechanisms.

11. Application of comparative methods: partial least squares (ecomorphology, etc.).

12. Practice: comparative methods (cont.).

13. Morphometrics, phylogenies and qualitative characters.

14. Disparity and diversification.

15. Presentations of group work.


You will find below some testimonials from former participants to previous editions of this course:

Dr. Mairead Lesley Bermingham

“The best aspect of this course is that we applied what we learned to our own datasets during the practical sessions. I very much appreciated Prof. Klingenberg teaching style; he always made time to answer our questions. I especially thank Dr. Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno, the course coordinator, she really looked after us; we had nothing to do but learn. I really enjoyed my time in the Els Hostalets de Pierola and believe that the training provided by this course has provided me with a solid footing from which to expand my knowledge and practice of geometric morphometrics.” (6th Edition)

Dr. Mairead Lesley BerminghamInstitute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Ioannis Maniakas

“I think is amazing to meet Prof. Klingenberg, one of the pioneers in this field, the maker of the software I have already use. The interaction with him was once time in a life experience.” (6th Edition)

Ioannis ManiakasAristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
David Katz

“The week I just spent under the tutelage of Prof. Klingenberg has crystallized and expanded my understanding of phylogenetic methods for morphometric data. Our group was diverse in terms of our specialties (plants, snakes, early mammals, primates, microscopic organisms) and levels of experience, and it seems like the course managed to be well-suited to all of us. That is quite a feat. Equally important, we were well taken care of and fantastically well fed. It was a great week. Intense, fun, worth the hard work. I will do another one in the future. Thank you!” (6th Edition)

David KatzUniversity of California Davis, USA
Dr. Kazuo H. Takahashi

“I think that the course setting (lectures in the morning and demonstrations in the afternoon) was very effective to understand how to apply what we learned to our own data-sets. I also appreciate that the instructor took enough time for question and answer sessions for each section of his lecture. I could ask all the questions that I wanted to ask and I also learned a lot from questions from other participants. In addition to the course itself, exchange between the participants and the location of the course were very nice. I really enjoyed the whole experience there.” (4th Edition)

Dr. Kazuo H. TakahashiLaboratory of Insect Ecology, Graduate School of Environmental and Life Science, Okayama University, Japan
Benjamin Ramassamy

“A great thing about the course was that Professor Klingenberg pushed us to the edge of the discipline; we had a good overview of what was possible and where the discipline tends to go. The other participants were really nice and I learned as much from them than from the course. I think we all enjoyed the experience and the place. The food was really (really) good and everyone was happy to be here. I especially thank Soledad, the manager of the courses in Transmitting Science, who does a very good job.” (4th Edition)

Benjamin RamassamyNatural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Previous editions of this course

6th Edition, September 7th-11th, 2015

Course Geometric Morphometrics and Phylogeny - 6th Edition, September 7th-11th, 2015Fifteen people belonging to the following countries and institutions participated in this edition:

  • Greece: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
  • Spain: Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Croatia: Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries.
  • United Kingdom: Medical Research Council Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine – University of Edinburgh, University of Birmingham, The University of Manchester.
  • Germany: Museum für Naturkunde – Berlin, Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment – Universität Tuebingen, Centrum für Naturkunde – Hamburg University.
  • United States of America: University of Washington, University of California Davis.
  • Poland: Władysław Szafer Institute of Botany – Polish Academy of Sciences.
  • Canada: York University.

5th Edition, September 8th-12th, 2014

Course Geometric Morphometrics and Phylogeny - 5th Edition, September 8th-12th, 2014Nine people belonging to the following countries and institutions participated in this edition:

  • Poland: Muzeum i Instytut Zoologii Polskiej Akademii Nauk.
  • South Africa: Stellenbosch University.
  • United States of America: Stony Brook University.
  • United Kingdom: The University of Manchester.
  • Brazil: Universidade de São Paulo.
  • Belgium: University of Antwerp.
  • Finland: University of Helsinki.

4th Edition, September 3rd-6th, 2013

Course Geometric Morphometrics and Phylogeny - 4th Edition, September 3rd-6th, 2013Sixteen people belonging to the following countries and institutions participated in this edition:

  • Finland: University of Jyväskylä.
  • Czech Republic: Institute of Physiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Institute of Physiology.
  • Belgium: University of Antwerp.
  • Brazil: Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Universidade de São Paulo, Universidade Federal do Pampa.
  • Denmark: Copenhagen University.
  • Ireland: University College Cork.
  • Italy: University of Milan.
  • Japan: Okayama University.
  • Spain: University of Pablo de Olavide.
  • United States of America: Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Stony Brook University, Harvard University.

3rd Edition, September 4th-7th, 2012

Course Geometric Morphometrics and Phylogeny - 3rd Edition, September 4th-7th, 2012Seventeen people belonging to the following countries and institutions participated in this edition:

  • Germany: Staatssammlung für Paläontologie und Geologie.
  • Greece: University of Athens.
  • United States of America: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Austria: University of Innsbruck.
  • Colombia: University of Antioquia.
  • France: Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle.
  • Spain: University of Oviedo, Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont, University of Alicante.
  • The Netherlands: Netherlands Center for Biodiversity Naturalis.
  • Brazil: Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Universidade Federal de Lavras.
  • Romania: Alexandru Ioan Cuza University.


  • Course Fee
  • Early bird (until March 31st, 2017):
  • 480
  • Regular (after March 31st, 2017):
  • 670
  • This includes course material, coffee breaks and lunches.
  • Accommodation Package
  • Early bird (until March 31st, 2017):
  • 360
  • Regular (after March 31st, 2017):
  • 360
  • This includes local transportation, lodging, breakfasts, dinners and social (tourist) activities.
  • Course Fee + Accommodation Package
  • Early bird (until March 31st, 2017):
  • 840
  • Regular (after March 31st, 2017):
  • 1,030
  • This includes course material, coffee breaks, local transportation, lodging, breakfasts, lunches, dinners and social (tourist) activities.

This course will be held if at least 50 % of the places are filled.

We offer the possibility of paying in two instalments (contact the course coordinators). Discounts (see Funding below) are not cumulative and apply only on the fee, not to Accommodation Package or other options.


If you take the Accommodation Package you will be hosted in the Youth Hostel Can Roviralta, in shared dormitories (common bathrooms), although you will only share rooms with other classmates. The possibility exists that the dormitories will be mixed. Therefore, if this is an inconvenience for you, and you require staying in a dormitory with only women, or only men, please indicate so in the “Comments” field of the Registration form (see below).

A supplemental charge will be added if you prefer to stay in a single room with private bathroom. The number of rooms is limited and if you prefer to have a single room, let us know it as soon as possible. If you want more information on this please contact the course coordinators.

Please be aware that from the centre of Barcelona city it takes about one hour by car and one hour and a half by public transport to arrive to Els Hostalets de Pierola. Course participants will find that staying in Els Hostalets de Pierola is more convenient.

If you do not want the Accommodation Package, accommodation is available in places other than Els Hostalets de Pierola. You may stay in Barcelona city, Martorell or Igualada. You will find information about Hotels in Martorell here, and information about Hotels in Igualada here.

How to get to Els Hostalets de Pierola from Barcelona city, Martorell and Igualada.

Youth Hostel Can Roviralta (Els Hostalets de Pierola, Barcelona, Spain)


Former participants will have a 5 % discount on the Course Fee.

Unfortunately there are no scholarships available for this course. However a 20 % discount on the Course Fee is offered for members of some organizations (Organizations with discount). If you want to apply to this discount please indicate it in the Registration form (proof will be asked later).

Spanish unemployed scientists, as well as Spanish PhD students without any grant or scholarship to develop their PhD, could benefit from a 40 % discount on the Course Fee. If you want to ask for this discount, please contact the course coordinators. That would apply for a maximum of 2 places and they will be covered by strict inscription order.

Discounts are not cumulative and apply only on the fee, not to Accommodation Package or other options.


Course ScheduleCourse + Accommodation Package Schedule
Sunday, September 10th, 201719:00 Meeting point in Plaza Catalunya (Barcelona) to take the bus to Els Hostalets de Pierola. If you are planning to arrive later, you can find more information in How to get there.
20:00 Registration in the Youth Hostel.
20:30 Dinner.
Monday, September 11th through Friday, September 15th, 20179:30 to 13:30 Lessons.
13:30 to 15:00 Lunch.
15:00 to 19:00 Lessons.

There will be two coffee breaks each day, halfway through each lesson session.

8:30 to 9:00 Breakfast.
9:30 to 13:30 Lessons.
13:30 to 15:00 Lunch.
15:00 to 19:00 Lessons.
20:30 Dinner.

There will be two coffee breaks each day, halfway through each lesson session.

Saturday, September 16th, 20178:30 to 9:00 Breakfast.
9:15 Meeting point in the Youth Hostel to take the bus to visit a wine cellar.
10:00 Arrival at the wine cellar.
11:30 Bus to Barcelona city.
13:00 Arrival at Plaza Catalunya (Barcelona).

The schedule is approximate; it is possible that the content of one day may run into the next and a working day may be longer than advertised.


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