• Advanced Courses in Life Sciences

    Header of Systems Biology at Transmitting Science


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Course -1st Edition

Network Analysis in Ecology and Evolution

August 24th-September 2nd (Part online and part onsite)

Systems Biology

Systems Biology

This course will be delivered part online and part onsite

This course will be taught using a combination of two days of live online (synchronous) sessions on Zoom, and afterward 3 days onsite.

Course Network Analysis in Ecology and EvolutionCourse Overview

Most biological systems can be defined by their particular elements and the connection among them. Network Analysis represents a powerful tool to study the structure of these systems. In recent years, we witnessed the emergence of the usage of network analysis in evolutionary ecology, allowing us to track the dynamics of the ecological structure of living and extinct communities.

In this course you will begin learning the foundations of network analysis, the different types of networks, how to code and plot them and measure their properties. During the sessions, we will deepen into sensitivity analysis and the combinations of networks with evolutionary and ecological data. At the end of the course, participants will be able to work in a range of approaches from basic Network Analysis and the combinations with biogeographic, phylogenetic or functional data to multilayer and higher-order Networks.

The course is directed to researchers in all fields of natural sciences, especially the ones directly related with ecology and evolution.

The course will start with a two days online introductory module  to network analysis, optional for the participants, followed by a three days of live module in more advanced network analysis measures, multilayer and higher-order networks.


Basic knowledge of R language. You can check for the latest version here: https://www.r-project.org

Headphones with/or microphone, webcam and a good internet connection is strongly recommended for the online sessions. All the participants must bring their own laptops to live sessions.

We would like to encourage the participants to bring their own dataset to use it during the course.




August 24th and 25th online, and August 31st-September 2nd onsite (Sabadell, Barcelona, Spain)

Schedule and Course length

Online live sessions on August 24th and 25th from 15:00 to 19:00 (Madrid time zone).

Onsite sessions on August 31st, and September 1st and 2nd from 9:30 to 13:30, and from 15:00 to 19:00. Lunch and coffee breaks are included.

The class schedule is approximate; it is possible that the content of one day may run into the next and a working day may be longer than advertised.

This course is equivalent to 1 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.


Institut Catala de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont - MuseumThe onsite part of the course will be held at the Museum of the Institut Català de Paleontologia M.C. (Sabadell, Barcelona, Spain).

More about the Venue HERE.




Places are limited to 18 participants and will be occupied by strict registration order.

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

Fernando Blanco instructor dor Transmitting Science

Dr. Fernando Blanco

Museum für Naturkunde – Leibniz Institute for Research on Evolution and Biodiversity

Joaquín Calatayud instructor for Transmitting Science

Dr. Joaquín Calatayud

Universidad Rey Juan Carlos

Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno Transmitting Science coordinator

Dr. Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno

Transmitting Science

Haris Saslis coordinator for Transmitting Science

Dr. Haris Saslis

Transmitting Science


Day 1: Online

  • What is a network? [nodes and links] examples
  • Network types [unipartite, multipartite, directed, weighted, higher order]
  • How to code a network [edge list and adjacency matrix]
  • Node properties [centrality measures]
  • How to measure network node properties [uniparite: igraph, bipartite: bipartite]
  • How to plot a network, basics.

Day 2: Online

  • Network properties:
    • Nestedness [Bipartite]
    • Assortativity
    • Connectivity
    • Community detection [Modularity, flow based, stochastic block models]
  • Null models
  • How to measure and plot network properties [igraph, bipartite, Infomap]

Day 3: Onsite

  • Network analysis in ecology and evolution
  • Sensitivity analysis to network and node properties:
    • Link uncertainties
    • Community detection degeneracy
    • Bootstrap
  • Null models in practice

Day 4: Onsite

  • Combining biogeography, traits, phylogenetic data… and network analysis.
  • Higher order networks in practice [Community detection in Multilayer]

Day 5: Onsite

  • Work in your own projects (or we facilitate some data)
  • Present the results of your work and discussion
  • Final remarks and overview


  • Course Fee
  • Early bird (until July 31st, 2022):
  • 620 €

    (496 € for Ambassador Institutions)

  • Regular (after July 31st, 2022):
  • 690 €

    (552 € for Ambassador Institutions)

  • This includes course material, coffee breaks and lunches (VAT included). After registration you will receive confirmation of your acceptance in the course. Payment is not required during registration.

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


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.