Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research


Species Distribution Modelling Course

Date: 3-4 November 2014 

Venue: UCL, Gower St. London, WC1E 6BT (Rooms to be confirmed)

An agenda for the course can be downloaded from the below link.

Species Distribution Modelling (also termed Ecological Niche Modelling) has been widely applied to address a diverse range of research questions in the study of ecology, evolution, and conservation. Applications include guiding field surveys to accelerate species discovery, projecting potential impacts of climate change, predicting species invasions, supporting reserve planning, investigating ecological niche evolution, and estimating potential disease spread. The rapid take-up of these methods has led to the development of multiple modelling tools that are relatively easy to use (e.g., Maxent and packages in R). However, the underlying theory behind the approach, including full appreciation of misuses as well as uses, is often not properly appreciated.

This two-day course at UCL’s main Bloomsbury campus in London will use a combination of talks and group discussions to train PhD students and early career researchers in the theory and applications of Species distribution Modelling. The course will be taught by Dr. Richard Pearson. We envision the following training outcomes: (1) Knowledge of the theory behind SDMs, including understanding of uses and misuses; (2) Understanding of the difficulties and statistical approaches for evaluating SDMs; (3) Introduction to the diverse potential applications of SDMs and the potential pitfalls of each; (4) Networking.

The course is made possible by a NERC short course advanced training grant awarded to UCL. Up to 25 students who are currently funded by NERC can participate and all costs, including travel and accommodation, will be covered. Additional places for non-NERC students may also become available (depending on the number of NERC students who apply). Non-NERC students would be required to cover their own costs but would not be charged a course fee; please complete the application form and we will notify you if a place becomes available. Note also that we plan to film parts of the course and make them freely available online after the event via UCL’s public e-learning platform UCLeXtend.

  • Registration has now closed for this course.

Please include a short description (up to 150 words) of your research and why you would like to take the course. The deadline for applications is September 5th and all applicants will be notified the following week if they have been assigned a place on the course.