Pre-conference Training Courses

Training courses will provide opportunities for registered delegates to receive expert training on a topic relevant for conservation. Courses will take place before the start of the congress: on day 0 (22nd August 2022, Monday) for 1 day long courses, and on day -1 and 0 (Sunday and Monday) for two day long courses. All training session organisers, tutors and participants must be registered for the meeting (as early bird registrants). There will be an additional fee for attending a training session in addition to the conference registration fee.

The fee includes course participation, printed course materials (if any), 2 coffee breaks and the lunch in employee dining hall (CZU canteen).

The organizers reserve the right to cancel any course which, one month before the conference, will not have enough participants to cover the costs.

An introduction to paperless data collection using ODK and KoBoToolbox

(Organized by: Leejiah Dorward, Bangor University)


The course aims to introduce participants to paperless data collection using the free to use ODK and KoBoToolbox systems. The course will outline the benefits of paperless, over traditional paper, data collection and provide participants with practical experience in the design and implementation of ODK forms using KoBoToolbox. By the end of the course participants will have the required skills and experience to conduct their own basic surveys using ODK and KoBoToolbox.

Conservation research and practice often entails the collection of complex data sets across a wide array of environments. ODK and KoBoToolbox offer a suite of free open-source applications designed for fast, efficient and secure paperless data collection in a range of environments. These tools allow for collection of an array of different types of data (text, multiple choice, GPS, audio, photos etc) using mobile phones or computers in online and offline environments. While primarily used for collecting questionnaire data, these tools are equally well suited to the recording of ecological data.
The course will cater for participants from a range of disciplines and is aimed at those with no prior experience of ODK or KoBoToolbox. Over one day, we will provide all the information required for attendees to start using these tools on their own. The course will cover: 1. How to write complex forms using KoboToolbox form builder and XLSForms; 2. Deploying forms to collect data online or offline with mobile devices, or via internet browsers; 3. Managing, accessing and downloading data from servers. There will also be time set aside to offer bespoke support and advice to participants with existing projects that they wish to use with KoBoToolbox or ODK.



A short course in writing scientific papers

(Organized by: Gábor Lövei and Marco Ferrante)



Biodiversity data use for conservation: Becoming a confident GBIF user

(Organized by: Andrew Rodrigues – Programme Officer for Participation and Engagement – GBIF)

The goal of the course is to highlight how primary biodiversity data, as provided by GBIF, can be effectively used in conservation science, with a focus on demonstrating use cases and running data processing workflows to ensure data quality within analyses.

The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) is a research infrastructure and data platform providing free and open access to nearly 2 billion records on the presence of a species at a specific locality and time1. The platform brings in data in a standardised format from over 1,700 publishing institutions across the world, and in this data has fuelled the production of over 1,989 scientific publications focussed on conservation since GBIF has been tracking literature citations2. This number is likely to increase in the future, enforcing the role of GBIF of one of the principle data resources for biodiversity and conservation research. 

The learning threshold from being a novice user to a competent GBIF-mediated data user remains high, with users often lacking sufficient understanding of the data standards and data publishing workflow to be able to correctly assess the quality and address heterogeneity of the data they are using within their analyses.  In this course, we aim to ensure that participants are fully aware of the Darwin Core Standard and data publishing workflows so that users can effectively assess data fitness for purpose and introduce participants to basic data processing workflows in R, that can feed directly into the analyses that they will be realising.  

1. GBIF: The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (2021) What is GBIF?. Available from https://www.gbif.org/what-is-gbif [14 October 2021].

2. GBIF.org (2021) Resource Search. Available from https://www.gbif.org/resource/search?contentType=literature&topics=CONSERVATION  [14 October 2021].



Data management on OpenBioMaps platform

(Organized by: Miklós Bán, MTA-DE Behavioural Ecology Research Group, Debrecen)

Our goal is to provide insight into the use of an efficient and increasingly widespread biological database management system that provides an opportunity to develop your own data collection projects and connect to a number of widely used "biologist-IT" tools.

This is a training course about using data from molecular markers in simulations to study the parameters for conservation of natural forest resources. Genetic approach for conservation of natural populations will be discussed using the softwares Easypop v2.0.1 (Balloux, 2001) and Fstat v2.9.3.2 (Goudet, 2002). EasyPop allows simulating genetic, ecological and reproductive patterns from a given population based on data obtained through the use of molecular markers. The output from these simulations can be analyzed by Fstat to obtain detailed information about the population’s genetic structure such as gene flow, inbreeding and genetic drift effects. The following topics will be discussed: (1) Genetic characterization of natural populations; (2) Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium; (3) Habitat destruction and fragmentation; (4) Molecular markers; (5) Genetic structure; (6) Genetic parameters for populations’ conservation; (7) Computer simulation of genetic parameters; and (8) Practical exercises.


References:

Balloux, F. 2001. EASYPOP (version 1.7). A computer program for the simulation of population genetics. Journal of Heredit.92: 301-302.
Goudet, J. 1995. “FSTAT (Version 1.2): A Computer Program to Calculate F-Statistics.” The Journal of Heredity 86 (6): 485-486.


Measuring and/or assessing biodiversity using R

(Organized by: Béla Tóthmérész, Debrecen)

Fully booked


Learn measuring and/or assessing (bio)diversity by doing using R programming.

It is a challenging task in ecology to understand the determinants and/or drivers of biodiversity. Diversity measuring is one of the most frequently used technique in ecology, and elsewhere in the sciences. There is a wide range of techniques to measure diversity; many of them recently developed. After a brief review of the background of these methods, the most useful R packages to measure diversity are introduced. Their usage is demonstrated by elementary and field examples.

Structure of the course is as follows: 

(i) Classical diversity measuring paradigm [1, 2, 3]. i.1 Classical diversity statistics, i.2 scale-dependent diversity characterization (diversity ordering), i.3 rarefaction (species intrapolation), i.4 estimating the number of unseen species (species extrapolation).

(ii) Beyond the classical paradigm [1, 2, 4]. ii.1 beta and gamma diversities, diversity partitioning, ii.2 density and/or pattern-dependent diversity representations.

(iii) Model-based diversity [5, 6]. iii.1 Species-area relationships (SAR models), iii.2  Dark diversity, iii.3 Universal neutral theory of biodiversity and biogeography (UNTB). 

References

[1]. Tóthmérész, B. 1995. Comparison of different methods for diversity ordering. Journal of Vegetation Science 6: 283-290.
[2] Tóthmérész, B. 1998: On the characterization of scale-dependent diversity. Abstracta Botanica, 149-156.
[3]. Efron, B., Thisted, R. 1976: Estimating the Number of Unseen Species: How Many Words Did Shakespeare Know? Biometrika. 63 (3): 435–447.
[4] Tuomisto H 2010. A diversity of beta diversities: straightening up a concept gone awry. Part 1 & 2. Ecography. 33: 2–22, 23–45.
[5]. Pärtel, M., Szava-Kovats, R., Zobel, M. 2010: Dark diversity: shedding light on absent species. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 26(3): 124-128.
[6]. Hubbell, S.P. 2001: The Unified Neutral Theory of Biodiversity and Biogeography. Princeton University Press.


Training for effective conservation translocations

(Organized by: Stefano Canessa, University of Bern; John Ewen, Zoological Society London)


By the end of the course, participants should be able to apply the IUCN Guidelines for Reintroductions and Other Conservation Translocations to their own reintroduction planning or to assess/advise others.

Conservation translocations are increasingly used as a response to extinction crisis. In Europe, transnational (e.g. LIFE), national and regional regulations recommend following the IUCN Guidelines for Conservation Translocations, but provide little guidance for managers and advising scientists on how to fully implement those recommendations.
We aim to support conservation biologists and managers in designing and managing the complexities surrounding conservation translocations in terms of multi-stakeholder interests, biological uncertainties, and risk. We thereby hope to ultimately increase knowledge to plan, courage to act, capacity to secure resources, skills to respond to challenges, and success in conservation outcomes.


Course participants will be provided an overview of the theory and practice of how best to apply the IUCN Guidelines for Reintroductions and Other Conservation Translocations.