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209713 Models in Conservation Biology (V+Ü) (WiSe 2020/2021)

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This course will introduce students to theory and models used in conservation biology, focusing in particular on the processes of species extinction on the one hand and species (re)introduction and invasion on the other hand. We will consider both ecological processes (e.g. Allee effects, habitat change, species interactions, demographic and environmental stochasticity) and genetic processes (e.g. inbreeding, maintenance of genetic variation, genetic drift) that are important in small populations.

Modeling approaches and techniques will be introduced in R exercises. Students will then apply these techniques in individual research projects. Models will be contrasted with data, for example species abundance/community composition data from the Wadden Sea excursion or data on the abundance of invasive species in the Wadden Sea. In addition to self-generated data, we may use publicly available data, e.g. on intentional species introductions. Scientific communication (writing and presentation skills) and peer-to-peer feedback will be an important component of the class.
After completing the course, students will have an overview of key concepts and current topics in conservation biology and are familiar with key ecological and evolutionary processes acting in small populations. They know different modeling approaches (population-based models and individual-based models), know how to implement them in an appropiate programming language (e.g. R), and how to connect them to empirical data. Students know how to present their work orally and in writing, and have experimented with other forms of communicating science (e.g. as a knowledge map, computer game, info graphic etc.).


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20-EEC-3 Models in conservation biology Models in conservation biology Studienleistung
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Models in conservation biology Studieninformation

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