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Advanced Courses in Life Sciences

3rd Edition

Studying Evolution with Geometric Morphometrics

September 10th-14th, 2018, Crete (Greece)

Geometric Morphometrics

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Studying Evolution with Geometric MorphometricsCourse overview

Morphometric approaches are used increasingly to study a wide range of questions concerning the evolution of organismal shape and its developmental and genetic basis. The standard techniques of the “morphometric synthesis” of the mid-1990s have been supplemented by a set of new methods that address specific biological questions in specific contexts such as morphological integration, modularity, phylogenetic comparative analyses, and studies of symmetry and asymmetry. This course will introduce these recent approaches to an audience of researchers who are familiar with the fundamentals of geometric morphometrics. Lectures will present the theoretical basis of the methods, and software demonstrations and practical exercises will provide participants with the opportunity to try out the methods themselves. Practical work, as far as possible with the participants’ own data or with data provided as examples, and discussions of the participants’ research questions are intended to help them to apply the new methods to their own projects.

Software that will be used in the course: MorphoJ.



Servili Tilissos
715 00 Heraklion, Crete (Greece)


September 10th-14th, 2018




37.5 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 25 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


Haris Saslis coordinator for Transmitting Science

Dr. Haris Saslis
Transmitting Science

Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno instructor at Transmitting Science

Dr. Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno
Transmitting Science


Graduate or postgraduate degree in Life or Earth Sciences, basic knowledge of multivariate 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.


Monday, September 10th, 2018. Review of some fundamental methods, introduction to MorphoJ.

  • Size and shape, Procrustes fit, visualization of shape changes.
  • Principal component analysis.
  • Distinguishing groups: Canonical variates and discriminant analysis.

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018. A closer look at some properties of morphometric data.

  • Measurement error and outliers.
  • Symmetry and asymmetry.
  • Regression: Allometry and size correction.

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018. Morphological integration and modularity.

  • Partial least squares.
  • Modularity.
  • Inferring developmental integration from fluctuating asymmetry.

Thursday, September 13th, 2018. Phylogeny and comparative methods.

  • Mapping shape data onto phylogenies.
  • Comparative methods.
  • Advanced topics: Analyses across levels, evolutionary size correction.

Friday, September 14th, 2018. Special topics and combined analyses.

  • Complex symmetries.
  • Comparing covariance matrices (matrix correlation, ordination methods, etc.).
  • Putting things together: Multi-level analyses.

Morning sessions will be used for lectures and demonstrations of analyses (participants will conduct their own analyses with software and data provided to them).

Afternoon sessions will be devoted to work in small groups. The first four afternoons will be used for analysis of the participants’ data as small group projects. During the last afternoon, participants will give informal presentations of the group work. There would be an evaluation at the end of the course, based on the group work presentations.


  • Course Fee
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  • Early bird (until July 31st, 2018):
  • 550
  • Regular (after July 31st, 2018):
  • 685
  • This includes course material, coffee breaks and lunches (VAT included).
  • Course Fee + Accommodation Package
  • {{content-1}}
  • Early bird (until July 31st, 2018):
  • 550 + 350 = 900
  • Regular (after July 31st, 2018):
  • 685 + 350 = 1035
  • This includes course material, coffee breaks, transportation from and to Heraklion, accommodation from Sunday to Friday, breakfasts, lunches and dinners (VAT included).

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

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 Rethymnon.

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 18:30 Lessons.
Accommodation Package Schedule
  • Sunday:
    • 17:00 on Registration in the Hotel in Heraklion.
    • 20:30 Dinner.
  • Monday:
    • 7:30 to 8:30 Breakfast and check-out.
    • 8:30 Meeting point outside the hotel to take a bus to go to Arolithos, where the group will stay the rest of the week.
    • 20:30 Dinner.
  • Tuesday to Thursday:
    • 8:30 to 9:00 Breakfast.
    • 20:30 Dinner.
  • Friday:
    • 8:30 to 9:00 Breakfast.
    • 19:00 Meeting point in the Hotel to take the bus to The Archaeological Museum.
    • 19:45 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 for this discount please indicate it in the Registration form (proof will be asked later).

Greek unemployed scientists, as well as Greek 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 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

2nd Edition, April 4th-8th, 2016

Course Studying Evolution with Geometric Morphometrics - 2nd Edition, April 4th-8th, 2016

Eighteen people belonging to the following countries and institutions participated in this edition:

  • Argentina: University of Buenos Aires, Museo de La Plata – Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo de la Universidad Nacional de La Plata, National University of La Plata, Universidad Nacional de Avellaneda, Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biología Vegetal – Universidad Nacional de Córdoba-CONICET, Centro de Estudios Parasitológicos y de Vectores – Universidad Nacional de La Plata-CONICET, National University of Central Buenos Aires, .
  • Brazil: Universidade de São Paulo, Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo.
  • Chile: Universidad de Valparaíso, Universidad de Chile.
  • United States of America: New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology.

1st Edition, March 10th-14th, 2014

Course Studying Evolution with Geometric Morphometrics - 1st Edition, March 10th-14th, 2014Thirty-four people belonging to the following countries and institutions participated in this edition:

  • Argentina: Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia” – CONICET, Museo de La Plata – Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo de la Universidad Nacional de La Plata, National University of La Plata, Universidad Nacional de Río Negro, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Fundación Miguel Lillo – CONICET, University of Buenos Aires, National University of San Luis, Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas y Tecnológicas – Universidad Nacional de Córdoba-CONICET, Museum of Paleontology Egidio Feruglio, Instituto Nacional de Limnología – Universidad Nacional del Litoral-CONICET.
  • Brazil: Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana, Universidade Reginal Integrada do Alto Uruguai e das Missões, Museum of Zoology – University of São Paulo, Universidade de São Paulo, School of Public Health – University of São Paulo, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul.
  • Colombia: Universidad Industrial de Santander, Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
  • Ecuador: Universidad Internacional SEK.


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