Post-symposium course in R for community assembly analyses 1–2 July, 2013
After the symposium there will be a two-day course teaching analyses of community assembly in R. We will primarily focus on methods that rely on the principal of null models, i.e. we will compare features of observed communities against features of “random” communities. The course will be aimed at graduate students (i.e. master and doctoral students) to offer theoretical introductions to the field, but a great part will also involve getting your hands dirty by analyzing real data.

The course will be held jointly by Lars Götzenberger and Francesco de Bello. If you have any additional questions about the course please send an email to

Preliminary list of topics

  • Environmental filtering and interspecific interactions (alpha- and beta niche)
  • Null models in community assembly analyses
  • Measures of functional and phylogenetic structure to assess community assembly
  • Intraspecific trait variability in community assembly assessments
  • Components of taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional diversity

Application and important dates
There will be a limited number of places for the course and we therefore ask interested persons to write a short (maximum one page) motivation letter to address why they want to participate in the course. In this motivation letter please state how you think you will be using what you learn in the course in your own research and also shortly describe your experience with R (Do you use it regularly? What do you use it for?). Please remember that the course is primarily aimed at master and doctoral students. Only if there are free places left we will consider post doctoral researchers and other scientific staff. The deadlines comply with the ones for the submission of abstracts to the conference, i.e.

  • 1 November, 2012 – Start for submission of applications
  • 15 March, 2013 – Deadline for submission of applications
  • 15 April, 2013 – Notification of acceptance

Please send your motivation letter with the subject “IAVS 2013 R course” to

There will be no fees for participating in the course. However, you will have to organize and pay for your own accommodation and catering. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer financial help with this for students.

To be able to participate in the course you should have a sound understanding of how to work in R. Two days do not provide enough time to introduce R in sufficient depth so that inexperienced participants could follow the course comfortably. Please do not apply if you have no practical experience in R, as this would negatively impact the overall success and experience of participating in the planned course.

We will not have the ability to work in a computer pool so every participant of the course is expected to be working on their own mobile computers on which the latest version of R is already installed. Once the list of participants is confirmed, we may send around information per email about libraries and additional data sets that should be installed before the course.