Training Program in Quantitative Ecology

Training Program in Quantitative Ecology

The Training Program in Quantitative Ecology offers theoretical and practical training to future scientists from any field of knowledge to enable them to formulate and answer big questions in the various subfields of ecology. The focus is on those interested in entering an excellent doctoral program to continue their careers.

Students participate in a theoretical module during the summer holidays, lasting two months, and a practical module during the winter holidays, which takes place in different Brazilian biomes, lasting one month.

In the theoretical module, they undergo intensive training in quantitative tools used in ecology and develop a project with mathematical modelling. In addition, they immerse themselves in the different fields of ecology research through lectures, learning quantitative tools and discussion sessions with scientists working in excellent research centres worldwide.

In the practical module, students go into the field to use quantitative tools to test the models developed or create models based on the observed phenomena.

The objective is, therefore, to unite the two traditional expertise in ecology that are generally separated: the theoretical, which uses mathematical and computational tools to think about large-scale data, and the empirical, which has a trained eye to observe how the modelled phenomena manifest themselves in nature.

The scientific coordination of Training in Quantitative Ecology is carried out by ecologist Flavia Marquitti (Unicamp).

Who is the Training for?

The program is aimed at people with a master’s degree in progress or completed in any area of ​​knowledge at a Higher Education institution in Brazil. Those currently studying or who have already completed their degree are also eligible.

Research experience in biological sciences is desirable but optional, and knowledge of the English language is essential. It is also necessary that the candidate has some familiarity with differential and integral calculus and programming, as these tools will be used in classes.

We are looking for students with diverse academic trajectories but who have in common curiosity and interest in delving into a wide variety of topics and methodological approaches in ecology.

Why a Training in Quantitative Ecology?

The Training is based on the premise that it is fundamental for Brazil to develop tropical ecology as a strategic axis, taking advantage of its leadership potential in combating the climate crisis and the devastation of biomes and making the country a global hub for climate and biodiversity scientists.

Brazil has the largest natural laboratories on the planet: ecosystems. The Amazon, Cerrado, Atlantic Forest, Pantanal, Caatinga, Pampa and the ocean – each of them is extremely rich and diverse and, based on a green economy, has the potential to generate wealth that can be passed directly on to the population.

Developing the strategic axis of tropical ecology implies transdisciplinary training that is being increasingly required. To occupy a central position in scientific production in the area, it is necessary to invest in excellent transdisciplinary training, with the potential to insert future scientists into an international network.

Teachers of the 2024 edition

Meet the summer course edition’s teachers:

Roberto Kraenkel

Instituto de Física Teórica da UNESP (Brazil)

Jonathan Levine

Princeton University (USA)

Carla Staver

Yale University (USA)

Rampal Etienne

University of Groningen (Netherlands) 

Sara Magalhães

Universidade de Lisboa (Portugal)

Elisa Thébault

iEES Paris (France)

Michael Bode

Queensland University of Technology (Australia)

Janneke Hille Ris Lambers

Washington University (USA)

Mercedes Pascual

New York University (USA)

Jason Tylianakis

University of Canterbury (New Zeland)

Mark C. Urban

Connecticut University (USA)

Anne Magurran

St Andrews University (Scotland)

Aaron King

University of Michigan (USA)

Paulo Inácio Prado

Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil)

Vitor Vasconcelos

Connecticut University (USA)

Diogo Melo

Princeton University (USA)

Sara Mortara

Re.Green/ Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil)

Renato Coutinho

Universidade Federal do ABC (Brazil)

Previous editions

The first three editions partnered with the South American Institute for Fundamental Research (ICTP-SAIFR). Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the first edition took place in a workshop format, completely remote, in a shorter version, from July 5th to 30th, 2021.

The second and third editions occurred in person at the ICTP-SAIFR headquarters in São Paulo. The second edition lasted five months, between July and November 2022. After reformulation, the third edition had a format inspired by a summer course focused only on ecology, with a two-month theoretical module in January and February 2023, and a practical module with field trips to the Atlantic Forest and the Amazon during July.

Check out the selected teachers and students from the first, second and third program editions.

Also, check out some of the first edition of field course in the Atlantic Forest and the Amazon in July 2023.