Universität Wien FIND

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300007 UE Species distribution modelling (2021S)

5.00 ECTS (3.00 SWS), SPL 30 - Biologie
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first serve).


max. 16 participants
Language: English



First meeting: 04/03/2021, 9 - 10.00, online

The course will be 19 - 23/04, 9 - 17.00. Ideally in our seminar room at Rennweg 14, but, given the current COVID situation most likely as an online-course. More on this during the first meeting.


Aims, contents and method of the course

The course will introduce to so-called species distribution modelling (habitat distribution modelling, niche-based modelling), i.e. the statistical derivation of species' niches from their geographical distribution and the use of the models to project real-word distribution of species in space and time.
The course will combine introductory lectures with pratical work. Practical work will include all main steps from data preparation, model parameterization & evaluation to projection, mapping and analysis of projection results. All practical work will be done in R.

Assessment and permitted materials

Participants will work in groups of two. Each group will have its own 'project' including the full sequence of modelling, projection and analysis work. Evaluation will be based on work during the course and on a final 15-min presentation of the groups' results.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The course requires at least basic familiarity with R. Having done at least one coarse of data analysis in R is a not formal requirement, but strongly recommended.
Positive evaluation requires regular presence, active work during the course and doing at least part of the final presentation.

Examination topics

Reading list

Guisan A. & Zimmermann N. E. 2000: Predictive habitat distribution models in ecology. Ecological Modelling 135: 147- 86.

Guisan, A. & Thuiller, W. 2005: Predicting species distributions: offering more than simple habitat models. Ecology Letters 8: 993-1009.

Thuiller, W. et al. 2009: BIOMOD - A platform for ensemble forecasting of species distributions. Ecography: 32, 369-373.

Franklin, J. 2010: Mapping species distributions. Cambridge University Press.

Guisan, A., Thuiller, W. & Zimmermann, N.E. 2017: Habitat suitability and distribution models. Cambridge University Press.

Association in the course directory

MEC-6, MBO 7

Last modified: Fr 14.05.2021 11:08