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08 May 2015 - with L. Scott Mills | May 25-27, 2015 | CIBIO-InBIO, Vairão, Portugal



During this 3 days course, the participants will be exposed to the scientific basis and practical applications of the study of wildlife population biology. The modern study of wildlife population ecology orchestrates a dance at the interface of reliable fieldwork and the use of mathematical tools and population genetic techniques. Participants will learn how to collect the data necessary to study wildlife populations, and how to assess the factors that affect population growth and interactions with other species. This will include descriptors of population dynamics (eg. Trends in abundance, cycles), projections of deterministic and stochastic population models with stage structure, mechanisms and modeling of density dependence (positive and negative), targeting specific conservation actions through sensitivity analysis, metapopulation and source-sink dynamics, viability analysis, and the interface between genetic variation and population performance. The focus will be on how to rigorously analyze population dynamics and apply the inferences to better conservation decision-making.


By the end of the course, participants should have the confidence to advance both management and research by effectively using data, models, and the ecological concepts to address pressing questions involving the harvest, monitoring, and conservation of wildlife populations.



L. Scott Mills, Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program in Global Environmental Change Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University





Monday, May 25, 2015 | Room 2

14h00 – 18h00 INTRODUCTIONS
                            1: Human population dynamics meet applied population biology
                            2: Designing studies and interpreting population biology data. (quick overview)
                            3: Genetic concepts and tools (quick overview)
                            4: Estimating population vital rates
                            5: Exponential Growth; including stochasticity


Tuesday, May 26, 2015 | Room 2
10h00 – 12h00 Practical exercises
14h00 – 18h00 6: All stages are not equal: Structured population-projection models
                             7: Density-dependent population change
                             8: Predation and wildlife populations
                             9: Genetic variation and fitness in wildlife populations (Quick Overview)
                             10: Dynamics of multiple populations


Wednesday, May 27, 2015 | Room A
10h00 – 12h00 Practical exercises
14h00 – 18h00 11: Human-caused deterministic stressors affecting wildlife populations (optional)
                             12: Small and declining populations, including approaches to assess viability.
                             13: Focal species to bridge from populations to ecosystems.
                             14: Harvest models (optional)
                             Epilogue (optional)



This 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.



Registration deadline: May 19, 2015
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 CV to Maria Sant’Ana at Please refer your status (PhD student, MSc Student, Other) and the University to which you are affiliated.



Click here for a list of reading materials recommended for the course.








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