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Header of the course 3D to Geometric Morphometrics - 6th Edition


Course coordinator



Date and Site


Course length and ECTS



Number of places








Registration Form




Course Poster


3D Geometric Morphometrics
This course is entitled to teach the main concepts of shape analysis based on three-dimensional landmark coordinates. In this course we you will learn to manipulate 3D models and use them to collect landmark data, take measurements, and to quantify and visualize the main differences in shape.


Dr. Melissa Tallman instructor at Transmitting Science
Dr. Melissa Tallman

(Grand Valley State University, United States of America).

Course coordinator:

Dr. Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno course director at Transmitting Science
Dr. Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno

(Transmitting Science, Spain).


Graduate or postgraduate degree in Biomedical, Life or Earth Sciences, basic knowledge of statistics and personal computers. All participants must bring their own personal laptop (Windows).



Date and Site:

Torre del Senyor Enric (Els Hostalets de Pierola, Barcelona, Spain)

Monday 23rd to Friday 27th May 2016.

Premises of the Centre de Restauració i Interpretació Paleontològic (CRIP), Av. dels Hostalets de Pierola, s/ nº, 08781 Els Hostalets de Pierola, Barcelona (Spain). GPS Coordinates: Latitude 41.533525 (41° 32’ 0.6891’’N), Longitude 1.770949 (1° 46’ 15.415’’E). How to arrive.


Types of data acquisition.

Using a microscribe.

Collecting CT scans & Surface Scans.
- Demonstration of Stratovan Checkpoint.

Brief Review of Fundamentals of Morphometrics.

- How to choose landmarks.
- Generalized Procrustes Analysis.
- Other types of alignment.
- Thin plate spline warping.

Processing Microscribe data.

- Using DVLR to merge two views.
- Using resample to resample a line.

Using Landmark Editor to collect data on surfaces.

- Sliding semi-landmarks (using R geomorph package).

How to do a precision test on 3D data.

Data exploration: PCA analyses.

- Using Morphologika.
- Using MorphoJ.
- Between-group PCAs.
- PCAs in Procrustes form space.

Visualizing shape change.

- Using MorphoJ in conjunction with Landmark Editor.
- Making calculations and visualizing shape changes in PCA morphospace.
- Calculating PCA scores post hoc.

Data exploration: Regressions.

- Visualizing change that is associated with size (MorphoJ).
- Removing change associated from size from your data (MorphoJ).

- Common allometric trajectories.
- Comparing vector directions.
- Extracting linear dimensions from 3D data and using them as covariates.

Data exploration: PLS analyses.
- Using MorphoJ to mean center (or not).
- Visualizing shape change in Landmark editor.

Data exploration: Phylogeny.

- Visualizing shape changes in MorphoJ along a tree.
- Importing covariates and visualizing shape change associated with taxonomy (using MorphoJ).
- Creating a phyomorphospace.
- Correcting for phylogeny in PCA.

Data interpretations: Using mean configurations (PAST) and Procrustes distances.

- Minimum spanning trees.
- Variability within a sample (comparing fossil distributions to extant distributions).


Programs that we will use:

- Stratovan Checkpoint (temporal licences will be provided during the course).
- DVLR (free).
- Resample (free).
- Landmark Editor (free).
- Morphologika (free).
- MorphoJ (free).
- PAST (free).
- R (free, only for sliding semilandmarks, no previous knowledge is required).
- Microsoft Excel.

Course length and ECTS:

35 hours on-site. This course is equivalent to 3.5 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System). Participants who have completed the course will receive a certificate at the end of it.


Sunday 22nd May 2016:

19:00 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 arrive.
20:00 Registration in the Youth Hostel.
20:30 Dinner.

Monday 23rd to Friday 27th May 2016:

8:30 to 9:00 Breakfast.
9:30 to 13:30 Lessons.
13:30 to 15:00 Lunch.
15:00 to 18:00 Lessons.
20:30 Dinner.

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

Saturday 28th May 2016:

8:30 to 9:00 Breakfast.
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.


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

Jamie MacLaren former participant at Transmitting Science“Throughout the course, we dabbled in Landmark editor, Morphologika, MorphoJ, PAST, Meshlab, Checkpoint, …the list goes on. It can safely be said that much knowledge was gleaned from our excellent instructor, Dr. Melissa Tallman, and that no matter what organisms we are planning to study, we will now know how to apply the programs to answer our question…well, for the most part! All in all, the course was a roaring success in my eyes, and I hope for the rest of the participants also. Both Zebo and I would like to thank Sole, Lissa and Juanvi for their organisation, their patience, their culinary expertise respectively…and, of course, their coffee. It has been a memorable trip, I have made many good contacts and hopefully some good friends, all of whom I hope to see on the academic circuit in the near future.”
You can read more in his blog here.
Jamie MacLaren, University of Antwerp, Belgium (4th Edition).

Transmitting Science Avatar“The course was well run by the organisers, the meals were fantastic, the hostel was spotless, and Lisa was very helpful in the practical sessions. I am very pleased with this course.”
Participants’ comment in the course evaluation (3rd Edition)



More Testimonials.

Number of places:

Places are limited to 20 participants and will be occupied by strict registration order.


Reduced registration fee until November 30, 2015: 440 €. Full registration fee after November 30, 2015: 615 €. This includes course material, coffee breaks and lunches.

Participants in this course are entitled to a 20 % discount** on the course fee of the incoming course Studying Ontogeny at Different Levels Using Geometric Morphometrics.

Former participants will have a 5 % discount** on the current course fee. Discounts are applied only on the fee, not to lodging or other options (see All Inclusive option below in Accommodation section).

We offer the possibility of paying in two instalments (contact us at courses@transmittingscience.org).

Please complete and submit your Registration Form (see below); we will confirm your acceptance by e-mail. If you do not receive any confirmation by e-mail after registration, please contact us at courses@transmittingscience.org.

Cancellation policy:

If you wish to cancel your participation in this course, cancellations up to 20 days before the course start date will incur a 30 % cancellation fee. For later cancellations, or non-attendance, 75 % of the fee will be charged.

If Transmitting Science must cancel this course due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of Transmitting Science, you will either be entitled to a full refund of the course fee, or your fee can be credited toward a future course / workshop. Transmitting Science is not responsible for travel fees, or any expenses incurred by you as a result of such cancellation. Every effort will be made to avoid the cancellation of any planned course / workshop.


The course will take place in the town of Els Hostalets de Pierola, Barcelona (Spain).

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

- All Inclusive option:
We offer this option that covers all of the expenses for the week; it includes transport to and from Barcelona city, lodging, breakfasts, dinners and a visit to a wine cellar. This costs 300 €.
Participants 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 us at courses@transmittingscience.org.
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 attendees will find that staying in Els Hostalets de Pierola is more convenient.

- Other Options:
If you do not want the All Inclusive option, 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. Both Martorell and Igualada are located about 45 minutes by train from Els Hostalets de Pierola, while it takes about one hour and a half by public transport to arrive to Els Hostalets de Pierola from the centre of Barcelona city.
How to arrive to Els Hostalets de Pierola from Barcelona city, Martorell and Igualada.


Unfortunately there are no internal grants available for this course. However some discounts are offered to people belonging to some of the Associations, Institutions or Universities listed here. If you want to apply to this discount please state the name of your Association, Institution or University in the “Comments” field of the Registration Form (proof will be asked later).

Spanish unemployed scientists, as well as Spanish PhD students without any grant to develop their PhD, could benefit from a 40 % discount** on the course fee. If you want to ask for this discount, please contact us at courses@transmittingscience.org. That would apply for a maximum of 2 places and they will be covered by strict inscription order.


For further information contact: courses@transmittingscience.org.


Transmitting Science Logo Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP) Logo
Ajuntament dels Hostalets de Pierola Logo Centre de Restauració i Interpretació Paleontològic (CRIP) Logo


Colegio Oficial de Biólogos de Castilla y León Logo Colegio Oficial de Biólogos de Euskadi Logo Colexio Oficial de Biólogos de Galicia Logo
Col·legi Oficial de Biòlegs de la Comunitat Valenciana Logo Distributed European School of Taxonomy (DEST) Logo European Association of Vertebrate Palaeontologists (EAVP) Logo


Stratovan Logo

Registration Form

  • Are you going to participate in the course "Studying Ontogeny at Different Levels Using Geometric Morphometrics" that will be held after this course? (in case yes, please do not forget to register here).
  • Do you need an invitation letter for processing a visa?
    (list of countries in which visa is required to visit Spain).
  • Are you going to validate the course in any research PhD School or doctorate?
  • At which University / Postgraduate School / PhD School?


** Discounts are not cumulative.