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Advanced Courses in Life Sciences

4th Edition

Introduction to Ecological Niche Modelling (Spain)

March 11th-15th, 2020, Valencia (Spain)


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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.


Campus of Gandía
Universidad Politécnica de Valencia

Street Paranimf, 1
46730 Grao de Gandia, Gandia
Valencia (Spain)


March 11th-15th, 2020




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 20 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

Marcia Barbosa instructor for Transmitting Science

Dr. A. Márcia Barbosa
CIBIO-InBIO, University of Évora


Ana Rosa Gómez-Cano coordinator at Transmitting Science

Dr. Ana Rosa Gómez-Cano
Transmitting Science

Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno instructor at Transmitting Science

Dr. Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno
Transmitting Science


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



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


  • Preparing variables.
  • Dismo practice.


  • Biomod practice.
  • Maxent practice.


  • SDM practice.
  • Students’ talks.


  • Final practice.


  • Course Fee
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  • Early bird (until January 31st, 2020):
  • 545 *

    (436 for Ambassador Institutions)

  • Regular (after January 31st, 2020):
  • 634 *

    (507.20 for Ambassador Institutions)

  • This includes course material, coffee breaks and lunches (VAT included).
    * Participants from companies/industry will have an extra charge of 100 €.
  • Course Fee + Accommodation Package
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  • Early bird (until January 31st, 2020):
  • 895

    (786 for Ambassador Institutions)

  • Regular (after January 31st, 2020):
  • 984

    (857.20 for Ambassador Institutions)

  • This includes course material, coffee breaks, transportation from and to Valencia city, accommodation from Sunday to Friday, breakfasts, lunches and dinners (VAT included).
    * Participants from companies/industry will have an extra charge of 100 €.

You can check the list of Ambassador Institutions HERE. If you want your institution to become a Transmitting Science Ambassador please contact us at communication@transmittingscience.org.

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).


Accommodation Package

If you take the Accommodation Package you will be hosted in the Cibeles Hotel, in single-sex shared dormitories (2 – 3 people) with bathroom en-suite.

A supplemental charge will be added if you prefer to stay in a single room.

Accommodation is included from Sunday (check-in) to Friday (check-out). Breakfast, lunch and dinner are also provided during the week, starting from the dinner of Sunday to lunch of Friday (included).

Hotel Cibeles is located at 3 blocks from the Venue and 3 blocks from the beach.


Hotel Cibeles

Hotel Cibeles


Course Schedule
  • Wednesday to Sunday:
    • 9:30 to 13:30 Lessons.
    • 13:30 to 15:00 Lunch (included).
    • 15:00 to 18:00 Lessons.
Accommodation Package Schedule
  • Tuesday:
    • 19:00 Meeting point in Estación del Norte (Valencia train station) to take the bus to Grao de Gandía.
    • 20:00 Registration in the Hotel.
  • Wednesday to Saturday:
    • 8:00 to 9:00 Breakfast.
    • 20:30 Dinner.
  • Sunday:
    • 8:00 to 9:00 Breakfast.
    • 20:30 Dinner.
    • 18:00 Meeting point in the Venue to take the bus to Valencia city.
    • 19:00 Arrival at Estación del Norte (Valencia train station).

    Valencia train station is connected with Valencia Airport by subway. There will be more information about how to get there soon.

    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).

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.

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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