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17 Feb 2016 - April 18-20, 2016 | CIBIO-InBIO, Vairão, Portugal


Functional morphology is the scientific discipline that aims to link up variation in phenotype to variation in musculo-skeletal function. It is tightly linked to ecomorphology which tries to understand the link between variation in ecology and the phenotype of an organism. To understand the relationships between form and function it is essential to understand the structure of the basic elements that make up the vertebrate body: bone and muscle. Based on the understanding of how these tissues work one can then apply the principles of biomechanics (statics and/or dynamics) to provide 1) a priori testable predictions about the relationship between phenotype and function, and 2) build simple biomechanical models that allow one to vary the input parameters to evaluate how these impact the output of the system. Often these types of analyses go hand-in-hand with analyses of movements and the forces that allow these movements. This is tightly linked to measurements of performance used in an ecomorphological context.

The objectives of this short course are to provide students the basic principles of functional morphology, biomechanics and movement analyses that may allow them to use these to study whole-animal performance in an ecological and evolutionary context.



All the sessions will take place in Room 2, in Vairão Campus.


DAY 1. April 18, 2016

9:30 - 12.30
Lecture: Bone, structure and function, by Anthony Herrel

14.30 - 17.30
Lecture: Muscle, structure and function, by Anthony Herrel


DAY 2. April 19, 2016

9:30 - 12.30
Lecture: Principles of mechanics and its applications in biology, by Arie van der Meijden

14.30 - 17.30
Lecture: Biomechanical models: opportunities and limitations, by Anthony Herrel


DAY 3. April 20, 2016

9:30 - 12.30
Lecture: Kinematics analyses: displacement, velocity and acceleration, by Anthony Herrel

14.30 - 17.30
Lecture: Ecomorphology and the comparative method, by Antigoni Kaliontzopoulou



Anthony Herrel, C.N.R.S/M.N.H.N. Paris, Département d'Ecologie et de Gestion de la Biodiversité, Paris, France
Arie van der Meijden, CIBIO-InBIO, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
Antigoni Kaliontzopoulou, CIBIO-InBIO, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal



The course will be open to a maximum number of 20 participants.


Priority will be given to:
• 1st year PhD students attending the BIODIV Doctoral Programme;
• Other BIODIV PhD students;
• PhD students attending other courses;
• Other post-graduate students and researchers.



Registration deadline: March 31, 2016.

Participation is free of charge for BIODIV students | Registration fee for other participants: € 100,00.

To register, please send an e-mail accompanied by your short CV to Maria Sant’Ana at Please refer your status (PhD student, MSc Student, Other) and the University to which you are affiliated.



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