Measuring and comparing biodiversity facets



Course Dates

Students admitted / Credit Points

Please register here

Symbiosis, Interim II at iDiv Leipzig

November 21-24, 2016

16 students /

2 ECTS credits


This course will give you an overview of how biodiversity is measured at the taxonomic scale, as well as directions for a new approach towards dissecting biodiversity patterns into its fundamental components (abundances, relative abundances and spatial distributions). We will also discuss other ‘facets’ of biodiversity, including phylogenetic, functional and genetic diversity, and how all of these facets are fundamentally influenced by scale-dependence. We will introduce new statistical methods for disentangling and understanding this scale-dependence, which is universal in biodiversity measures. A significant proportion of the course will involve ‘hands on’ data analyses of the students own data, or data gleaned from the literature or public  databases, and students will utilize a new R package developed by the group to handle these problems

The course will include:

-An overview of the concepts of biodiversity facets and its measurement

-Extensions of traditional ‘taxonomic’ measures to include functional and phylogenetic diversity, as well as interaction network diversity

-An intensive ‘workshop’ using a new R package for biodiversity measurement and dissection, including analyses of data and discussion of interpretation of results

-This is an intensive 4-day course consisting of lectures, reading, discussion and practical hands-on course work. A basic working knowledge of R is essential for completing the course work, but students needing a basic tutorial should indicate this and we will accommodate.

-Students with data or interests on how biodiversity (of any group of organisms) responds to natural or experimental gradients are especially encouraged to attend, as this will help us to ‘beta test’ the R package, and enhance publications that may arise.


Lecturer in charge
Prof. Jonathan Chase


Further lecturers

Dr Shane Blowes

Further lecturers

Dr Felix May


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