Training for EMODnet Biology Portal Partners


This workshop builds on the successful partnership between the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) and the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS-USA) in coordination with IOC’s OceanTeacher Global Academy, and OBIS international to develop a community of practice around the management and analysis of marine biological data. It will provide hands-on training in a computer lab setting and is intended to educate participants on the benefits, goals, technology and process to standardize biological data (and associated physical or chemical data) and make it accessible via OBIS and IOOS, including the MBON Portal. The workshop will also expose participants to OBIS, IOOS and MBON applications for using those data.


The training course Marine Species Distribution modeling covers the background knowledge on marine biogeography, and the technical aspects needed to develop Species Distribution Models. Students will be trained in the basics of statistical modeling and guided through the modeling phases: compile distribution data from open access databases (e.g. OBIS) and environmental information from publically available ecological data layers using Geographic Information Systems, make informed decisions on parameter settings and select the best methods for developing distribution models, forecast distributions under different Climate Change scenarios, validate models and incorporate results in scientific manuscripts and technical reports. The course includes theoretical lectures and hands-on exercises using predominantly case studies of marine macroalgae. Students are encouraged to bring their own datasets.

Learning Outcomes
Understand distributions of marine organism and predict shifts in response to Climate Change.
Develop skills for taking the best decisions and applying the correct statistical tools needed for Species Distribution Modeling (SDM).
Being able to discuss the results of SDM into scientific manuscripts and technical reports, and defend them to a wide audience.
Understand the strengths and limitations when applying SDM to real cases.
Recognize the importance of good practice in Species Distribution Modeling Course Topics Marine biogeographical distributions and niche modeling.
Niche concepts: what niche is being modeled? Basis of Statistical Distribution Modeling.
Definition of correlative and mechanistic SDMs.
Desired properties, modeling phases & decisions, the recipe.
Introduction to GIS and distribution data mining.
Modeling methods (e.g. Bioclim, GLM, Maxent, boosted tree regression)
Equilibrium assumption, transferability and forecasting.
How to write an article/oral presentation using SDMs.

Target Audience:
Marine researchers and postgraduate students (MSc and PhD students) with particular interest in macroalgae or benthic organisms;
NOTE: priority will be given to participants originating from Europe and / or involved in European marine research projects. UNESCO is committed to promote gender equality. Therefore, applications from women are strongly encouraged. Course Pre-requisites Basic knowledge on Ecology & Statistics Need to bring own laptop Working knowledge of English

Venue: Ostend, Belgium



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