Trait-Based Ecology: from theory to R tools - in coll. with the WSL Biodiversity Center

26 - 29 October 2021




Course in collaboration with the WSL Biodiversity Center


Objectives & Content

The course will provide an introduction to key aspects and methods of trait-based ecology.

Lectures will particularly focus on analysis of traits at both species and community levels, including a guideline on how to choose indices of functional diversity and how to apply them to assess trait variations across environmental gradients, drivers of species coexistence and biodiversity effects on ecosystem services.

An overview of existing methods, including recent developments authored by the lecturers, will be provided during the course with the corresponding theoretical background. The lecturers will also present their book 'Handbook of Trait-Based Ecology', by Cambridge University Press, together will all published R material.

Participants will learn how to apply different methods directly using R. Specifically, time will be provided during the course for students to apply these tools either on their own data or using data provided by the lecturer. The aim of the course is for participants to develop a solid basis of existing concepts, tools and trends in functional ecology and guide them to apply this approach to their own field of interest.


=> Workshop Program (as of 10.06.2021)

Requirements for attending the workshop

1. Familiarity with R before attending the workshop or previous attendance of an introductory course to R.

For information: An Introduction to R, 7-10 June 2021, online

2. Bring your own laptop to the workshop with recent versions of R and R-Studio installed. Make sure that your laptop is properly connecting to the University of Neuchâtel's wifi or eduroam WLAN.

3. Motivation: upon registration, please write a 150-word motivation paragraph to describe why you would like to attend this workshop and in which way it will be useful for your project.

20% Discount for the Handbook of Trait-Based Ecology

The workshop's lecturers recently published the book:

Handbook of Trait-Based Ecology, From Theory to R Tools, March 2021


It is not required to buy the book to attend this workshop. However, you are very welcome to do so!

Thanks to the lecturer, you can get 20% off by using the voucher here. Go on the website here and toward the end of the online purchasing, before clicking "Proceed to Payment", at the bottom right side of the page you can enter the Promotional Code.


The references to chapters in the workshop program are those to the "R material chapters", which are freely available here.

General information

Dates: 26 - 29 October 2021 (4 days)

Schedule: 9.00-17.00

Venue:  online with Zoom!

ECTS: 2.0 (Research Tools)

Evaluation: Full attendance and active participation

Information: Please contact Dr. Marco Moretti or the doctoral program coordinator Dr. Pauline Fritsch.

Registration fees: free for PhD students enrolled in the Doctoral Program in Organismal Biology and free for PhD students from WSL.


  • This course is open to all PhD students, however, until 19 September priority is given to PhD students enrolled in the Doctoral Program in Organismal Biology and to PhD students from WSL.
  • Post-docs are welcome as long as places are available but fees may apply. Please contact the program coordinator.
  • Maximum number of participants: 20 (10 from DPOB and 10 from WSL)
  • We will keep a waiting list to make sure that no place remains free.


Registration through the web only: FULL!


Registration deadline: 19 September 2021

Cancellation deadline: cancellation policy (CHF 50) if you cancel your registration after 10 October 2021.