• Advanced Courses in Life Sciences

    Header of Evolution at Transmitting Science

Online Course – 1st Edition

Model-Based Statistical Inference in Evolutionary Biogeography

December 7th-11th, 2020



This course will be delivered ONLINE: 20 hours of online live lessons,  plus 10 hours of assignments. A good internet connection is required to follow the course.

Course Model-Based Statistical Inference in Ecological and Evolutionary BiogeographyRequirements

Training in the biological sciences, preferably evolutionary biology. Participants are expected to have a working knowledge of R and must have a personal computer (Windows, Mac, Linux). The use of a webcam and headphones is strongly recommended, as well as a good internet connection.




This course will be delivered online.

Please check the schedule for the live online part, and be aware that it is GMT+1.


December 7th-11th, 2020




30 hours on-site.

This course is equivalent to 2 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) at the Life Science Zurich Graduate School.

The recognition of ECTS by other institutions depends on each university or school.


Places are limited to 16 participants and will be occupied by strict registration order.

Participants who have completed the course will receive a certificate at the end of it.

Nick Matzke instructor for Transmitting Science

Dr. Nick Matzke
University of Auckland
New Zealand

Haris Saslis coordinator for Transmitting Science

Dr. Haris Saslis
Transmitting Science

Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno Transmitting Science coordinator

Dr. Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno
Transmitting Science



  • Intro to R and phylogenies
  • How to read and use phylogenies
  • A short history of historical biogeography methods and assumptions
  • Likelihood-based statistical model choice
  • Phylogenetic biogeography
  • New probabilistic models for historical biogeography in BioGeoBEARS.
  • Using BioGeoBEARS and interpreting results.


  • Biogeographical stochastic mapping.
  • Including geographical and environmental distance in models.
  • Integrating biogeography with traits — trait-dependent dispersal
  • Running analyses over multiPhylo objects (posterior distribution) and interpreting results.
  • State-dependent Speciation/Extinction models (SSE) basics in R
  • State-dependent Speciation/Extinction models (SSE) for large biogeography problems in Julia
  • Integrating GIS & paleogeography data (e.g. GPlates)

 Help session for student projects.



  • Course Fee
  • Early bird (until October 31st, 2020):
  • 520 € *
    (468 € for Ambassador Institutions)
  • Regular (after October 31st, 2020):
  • 620 € *
    (496 € for Ambassador Institutions)
  • The prices are VAT included.
    * Participants from companies/industry will have an extra charge of 100 €.

You can check the list of Ambassador Institutions. If you want your institution to become a Transmitting Science Ambassador please contact us at communication@transmittingscience.com


  • Monday to Friday (GMT+1):
    • 08:00 to 12:00 am (online live lessons).

The rest of the time will be taught with assignments, to be done between the live sessions.


Discounts are not cumulative and apply only on the Course Fee. We offer the possibility of paying in two instalments (contact courses@transmittingscience.com).

Former participants will have a 5 % discount on the Course Fee.

20 % discount on the Course Fee is offered for members of some organizations (Ambassador Institutions). If you want to apply to this discount please indicate it in the Registration form (proof will be asked later).

Unemployed scientists living in the country were the course will be held, as well as PhD students based in that country without any grant or scholarship to develop their PhD, could benefit from a 40 % discount on the Course Fee. If you want to ask for this discount, please contact the course coordinator. That would apply for a maximum of 2 places and they will be covered by strict inscription order.


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