AET16 Applied Evolutionary Theory

   IMPORTANT DATES for this Course

   Deadline for applications: Oct 25th 2016

   Course dates: Nov 7th - Nov 11th 2016

Candidates with adequate profile will be accepted in the next 72 hours after the application until we reach 20 participants.

Course Description

For much of its history, our knowledge of evolution has been based heavily on theoretical models and hypotheses. In the age of novel
experimental and technological approaches, we are now increasingly able to evaluate this theory; however, the basics of how and why to
develop and analyze a simple model are often forgotten in the process of NGS analysis. This course aims at training evolutionary biologists
in classical modeling and teach them ways to approach their own research questions through evolutionary theory.

Primarily through interactive hands-on sessions, complemented by an introduction to the cornerstones of modeling and its application to data
analysis, this course will familiarize the participants with ways of approaching a research question with a simple model, and different
strategies at gaining insight from the model. In groups of two, course participants will develop and analyze their own toy model in the course
and present their findings to the group on the last day.

Topics that will be covered in the course include the following:

  • Why and how are models useful?
  • How to write down/develop a model
  • How simple/complicated should a model be?
  • Which modeling approach/programming language should I use for my question?
  • How to nail down a question with a model
  • Extracting results from an equation/simulation
  • How to evaluate a model using empirical data

Participants can use their preferred programming language during the hands-on sessions, and free access to Wolfram Mathematica will be provided.
The instructors have modeling experience using Mathematica, R, Python, and C++.

Target audience

This course is targeted at evolutionary biologists with little or no explicit training in evolutionary modeling, who are interested in adding
modeling approaches to their repertoire.


Programming experience with R, Python, C++, or Mathematica is helpful but not necessary. Participants with little or no programming experience are strongly advised
to attend the optional free sessions providing an introduction to Mathematica and to reproducible modeling in the afternoon of the first day (Monday, Nov 6th at 2:30PM).

Start date: 
End date: 
Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência
Apartado 14
2781-901 Oeiras
Event type: 
Workshops and courses