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Advanced Courses in Life Sciences

3rd Edition

Introduction to Ecological Niche Modelling (Greece)

November 25th-29th, 2019, Crete (Greece)


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Introduction to Ecological Niche Modelling

Course overview

This course will teach you the base theory of ecological niche modelling and its main methodologies. By the end of this 5-day practical course, you will have the capacity to perform ecological niche models and understand their results. You will be able to choose and apply the correct methodology depending in the aim of your study and type of datasets.

Ecological niche, species distribution, habitat distribution, or climatic envelope models are different names for similar mechanistic or correlative models, empirical or mathematical approaches to the ecological niche of a species, where different types of ecogeographical variables (environmental, topographical, human) are related with species physiological data or geographical locations, in order to identify the factors limiting and defining the species’ niche. ENMs have become popular due to the need for efficiency in the design and implementation of conservation management.

The course will be mainly practical, with some theoretical lectures. All modelling processes and calculations will be performed with R, the free software environment for statistical computing and graphics (http://www.r-project.org/). Students will learn to use modelling algorithms like Maxent, Bioclim, Domain, and logistic regressions, and R packages for computing ENMs like Dismo and Biomod2. Also, students will learn to compare different ecological niche models with Ecospat package.

This course is orientated to PhD and MSc students, as well as other students and researchers working on biogeography, spatial ecology, or related disciplines.


Alexander Hotel

Gerakári, Municipality of Amari, 74 061
Crete, Greece


November 25th-29th, 2019




35 hours on-site.

This course is equivalent to 2 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 18 participants and will be occupied by strict registration order.

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


Neftalí Sillero instructor for Transmitting Science

Dr. Neftalí Sillero
Centro de Investigação em Ciências Geo-Espaciais


Haris Saslis coordinator for Transmitting Science

Dr. Haris Saslis
Transmitting Science


Basic knowledge in Geographical Information Systems and R statistical package is necessary. All participants must bring their own personal laptop.


Monday, November 25th, 2019.

  • Introduction to ENM theory.
  • Problems on ENM + ENM methods.
  • Conceptual and practice steps to calculate ENM.
  • Applications of ENMs.

Tuesday, November 26th, 2019.

  • Preparing variables.
  • Dismo practice.

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019.

  • Biomod practice.
  • Maxent practice.

Thursday, November 28th, 2019.

  • SDM practice.
  • Students’ talks.

Friday, November 29th, 2019.

  • Final practice.


  • Course Fee
  • {{content-1}}
  • Early bird (until October 31st, 2019):
  • 545
  • Regular (after October31st, 2019):
  • 680
  • This includes course material, coffee breaks and lunches (VAT included).
  • Course Fee + Accommodation Package
  • {{content-1}}
  • Early bird (until October 31st, 2019):
  • 545 + 350 = 895
  • Regular (after October 31st, 2019):
  • 680 + 350 = 1,030
  • This includes course material, coffee breaks, transportation between the Venue and Heraklion or Chania city, accommodation from Sunday to Friday, breakfasts, lunches and dinners (VAT included).
    * Participants from companies/industry will have an extra charge of 100 €.

20 % discount will be applied to your fee If you belong to any of the Institutions listed HERE. Discounts (see Funding below) are not cumulative and apply only on the fee.

We offer the possibility of paying in two instalments (contact the course coordinator).


If you choose the Accommodation Package you will be hosted at Alexander Hotel in Gerakári village (take a look at the venue), in shared en-suite twin rooms, although you will only share rooms with other course participants. There is a possibility that the rooms will be mixed. If this is an inconvenience for you, and you would prefer to stay in an all-female or all-male room, please indicate so in the “Comments” field of the Registration form (below).

If you prefer to stay in a single en-suite room, you can do so with a supplementary charge.

The Accommodation Package includes transportation from the centre of both Heraklion and Chania (the two main cities of Crete with airports) to the venue and back, at the start and end of the course, respectively. The trip takes around 1 hour 50 minutes each way. Once you have booked your flights, please let the course coordinator know which airport you are flying in and out of, in order to arrange your transportation.

If you do not wish to take the Accommodation Package, you can find a few other options in the surrounding area. However, please be aware that access to and travelling around the area requires a private vehicle as public transport is scarce. Therefore, course participants will find choosing the Accommodation Package more convenient.

Alexander Hotel, Gerakári

Alexander Hotel 1

Alexander Hotel twin room

Alexander Hotel, Gerakári

Alexander Hotel 2

Alexander Hotel, Gerakári

Alexander Hotel 3


Course Schedule
  • Monday to Friday:
    • 9:30 to 13:30 Lessons.
    • 13:30 to 15:00 Lunch (included).
    • 15:00 to 18:00 Lessons.
Accommodation Package Schedule
  • Sunday:
    • 18:30 Meeting in Heraklion (Archaeological Museum) or Chania (Coach Station) to take the bus to Gerakári.
    • 20:15 Check-in at Alexander Hotel.
    • 20:45 Dinner.
  • Tuesday to Thursday:
    • 8:30 to 9:00 Breakfast.
    • 20:30 Dinner.
  • Friday:
    • 8:30 to 9:00 Breakfast.
    • 18:30 Meeting at Alexander Hotel to take the bus to Heraklion or Chania.
    • 20:15 Arrival in Heraklion (Archaeological Museum) or Chania (Coach Station).

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.



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

Furthermore, 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).

Unemployed scientists living in Greece, as well as PhD students based in Greece 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 coordinator. 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.

Previous editions of this course


1st Edition, March 27th-31st, 2017

Course Introduction to Ecological Niche Modelling - 1st Edition, March 27th-31st, 2017Twenty people belonging to the following countries and institutions participated in this edition:

  • Australia: University of Queensland.
  • Chile: Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso.
  • Germany: Fisheries Research Station Baden-Württemberg – LAZBW.
  • Italy: University of Camerino.
  • The Netherlands: Wageningen Marine Research.
  • Portugal: Instituto de Ciências e Tecnologias Agroambiente da Universidade do Porto – CIBIO- InBIO.
  • Spain: Instituto de Ciencias del Mar – CSIC, Universitat de Barcelona, Universitat de València.
  • Sweden: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
  • Switzerland: University of Zurich.
  • United Kingdom: Imperial College London, Royal Botanic Gardens – Kew, University of Bristol, University of Leeds.
  • Norway: University of Tromsø.


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