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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.



Servili Tilissos
715 00 Heraklion, 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
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  • Early bird (until August 31st, 2019):
  • 545
  • Regular (after August 31st, 2019):
  • 680
  • This includes course material, coffee breaks and lunches (VAT included).
  • Course Fee + Accommodation Package
  • {{content-1}}
  • Early bird (until August 31st, 2019):
  • 545 + 350 = 895
  • Regular (after August 31st, 2019):
  • 680 + 350 = 1,030
  • This includes course material, coffee breaks, transportation from and to Heraklion city, accommodation from Sunday to Friday, breakfasts, lunches and dinners (VAT included).

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 take the Accommodation Package option you will be hosted in Arolithos (take a look at the venue), in shared en-suite twin or triple rooms, although you will only share rooms with other classmates. The possibility exists that rooms will be mixed. Therefore, if this is an inconvenience for you, and you require staying in a room 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 single rooms is limited and if you prefer to have one please let us know as soon as possible. If you require more information on accommodation issues please contact the course coordinator.

If you do not want the Accommodation Package, there are several accommodation options in Heraklion. However please be aware that it takes about 25 minutes by car from Heraklion to Arolithos and there is no public transport between both. Therefore course participants will find that staying in Arolithos is more convenient.

How to get to Arolithos from Heraklion, Chania or Rethimnon.

Arolithos street

Arolithos street (Heraklion, Crete, Greece)

Arolithos twin room

Arolithos twin room (Heraklion, Crete, Greece)

Arolithos twin room

Arolithos twin room (Heraklion, Crete, Greece)


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:
    • 17:00 Registration at hotel in central Heraklion.
    • 20:30 Dinner in Heraklion.
  • Monday:
    • 7:30 to 8:30 Breakfast and check-out.
    • 8:30 Transfer from central Heraklion to Arolithos, where the group will stay the rest of the week, and check-in.
    • 20:30 Dinner.
  • Tuesday to Thursday:
    • 8:30 to 9:00 Breakfast.
    • 20:30 Dinner.
  • Friday:
    • 8:30 to 9:00 Breakfast.
    • 18:00 Meeting at the Venue to take the bus to Heraklion Archaeological Museum (Heraklion).
    • 18:45 Arrival at Heraklion.

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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