Irsae Summer course ecology

Da Lunedì, 18 Giugno 2018 ore 09:00 a Venerdì, 22 Giugno 2018 ore 18:00

Dealing with spatio-temporal data in Movement and Population Ecology

The International Research School of Applied Ecology invites all IRSAE students with an interest in Movement and Population Ecology to attend our workshop on 17-22 June 2018, at Fondazione Edmund Mach , Trento, Italy.

Registration: Please send an Email (email subject: Spatio-temporal data School 2018), containing a brief description of your PhD project and/or description of the relevance of the workshop to your research, along with a CV to Francesca Cagnacci (, cced Henriette Gelink (

Deadline: April 30, 2018.

Notification of acceptance:  May 15, 2015

About the course

An intense one-week course with a mix of technical lectures and hands-on exercises to handle and manipulate spatial data typically used in Movement and Population Ecology.  Proficiently following the course will provide participants with solid skills in spatial database (PostgreSQL/PostGIS) and R for processing ecological spatio-temporal data. Basic knowledge of SQL and R is essential. The course will be completed by guest lectures on special topics.

This summer course targets PhD students, but participation of post-docs, researchers, managers and motivated MSc is also fostered. There will be room for a maximum of 25 participant, with priority given to students from the IRSAE network.

The course is supported by the International Research School in Applied Ecology (IRSAE) and co-organized by Fondazione Edmund Mach, NINA and USN.

Fees and costs:
IRSAE participants- Fees, board and lodging are covered for participants from IRSAE partners, who may also obtain reimbursement for travel costs through IRSAE and their institution.
Non-IRSAE participants- Students: 100€. Researchers/Managers: 150€. Food and lodging in the campus can be booked at 80 €/day. Alternative lodging possibilities are available in the area.
Evaluation and Credits: 1-2 ECTS (TBD) credits will be assigned, after positive grades in a final exam.

Organizers: Francesca Cagnacci, Research and Innovation Centre-Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM), Italy; Erlend Nielsen- Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), Norway;Oyvind Steifetten- University College of Southeast Norway (USN), Norway.

Teachers: Ferdinando Urbano (environmental analyst, Euroungulates), Johannes De Groeve (geo-matics and data curatorship, Eurodeer), Francesca Cagnacci (movement ecologist, FEM-Italy), Erlend Nielsen (Population ecologist, NINA- Norway), Luca Delucchi (GIS specialist, FEM-Italy).

Special guests: Mathieu Basille (University of Florida, USA), Anne Berger (IZW, Germany), Sarah Davidson (Movebank)


Scientific content

The advancement of a movement and population ecology theoretical framework has been paralleled by the increasing spatial and temporal resolution and size of datasets available from tagging or genomics techniques. Movement and population data come with complex associated information related to the environmental context, such as population density, weather, habitat types and vegetation indexes based on remote sensing. This wprkshop has two main objectives: to learn how to store, handle and process in a robust and efficient way the spatio-temporal information linked with movement and population data; and to learn how to integrate and analyse movement and population data with their environmental context. These objectives will be pursued through a hands-on, step by step approach. Some introductory general lectures and exercises will be followed by two typical examples of ecological problem-solving, based on PostgreSQL/PostGIS, R and QGIS software environments.  Last but not least, special topic lectures held by international experts will take real research examples and issues into the workshop flow.

Preliminary course schedule

Mon, 18th June am Arrivals

Introduction to spatial objects in animal ecology (F. Cagnacci)

Special topic:

The ecological context built from satellites, including Sentinel (L. Delucchi, J. De Groeve).


Introduction to database and spatial database (F.Urbano, J. De Groeve)

Ice-breaker: introductions from participants.

Tue, 19th June  

Study case 1: Dealing with Spatio-temporal data in Movement and Population Ecology. An example from biologging sensors. Step 1 to 3: 1. Data acquisition and screening 2. From files to DB 3. From DB to Spatial DB, to QGIS. (F. Urbano, J. De Groeve).

Special Topic:

Dealing with acceleration data (A. Berger)

Wed 20th June  

Study case 1: Dealing with Spatio-temporal data in Movement and Population Ecology. An example from biologging sensors. Step 4 to 5: 4. Connecting DB to R 5. Spatial analysis in R. (F. Urbano, J. De Groeve).

Special topic: Integration of SpatialDB with R: how to harmonize software environments (M. Basille)

Advanced topic:

Adding the spatial context to movement and population data: examples in PostGIS, QGIS, and R (J. De Groeve).

Thu 21st  

Working Example 2: Dealing with Spatio-temporal data in Movement and Population Ecology. An example from population data (F. Urbano, J. De Groeve). Step 1 to 5.

Special Topic:

From population data to spatial modelling (E. Nielsen)

Fri 22nd am

Recap and questions

Special Topic:

Data sharing and Data standards for a better Science (S. Davidson, F. Cagnacci)

pm An extended lab-meeting: student presentations and debate, in presence of experts.