Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

Summer Course: Animal Movement Analysis

05July2015 10July2015


SCGE-2015 (Summer Course Computational Geo-Ecology) this year targets Animal Movement Analysis and aims to provide students with skills to assist them in working with animal movement data including data management and organization, working with large tracking datasets, data exploration, visualization and analysis of movement data.

Summer course description

The course content is relevant for students studying movement in a broad range of taxa and environments, however there is an emphasis on birds in the guest lectures and the course exercises (based on an existing set of bird tracking data).  Students will learn about the strengths and weaknesses of different tracking technologies for diverse taxa in terrestrial and marine environments. The course will combine several guest lectures by international experts in different fields of animal movement research, field experiments, student presentations and predominantly hands-on computer work. During the course different software packages will be used with most of the work conducted in R, and students will learn some basic programming skills and database skills.  Course participants are expected to familiarize themselves with R before the beginning of the course, and materials for self-tuition will be provided in advance.  Participants will be provided with course data sets for analysis. 

Target group*

The target group of this course is scientists at the PhD level, with a background in ecology, however MSc students and Postdocs or other researchers interested in attending are welcome to contact us. The course is limited to a maximum of 35 participants. In case of too many applications, candidates will be selected according to the following criteria (a.) scientific motivation and research topic(s), (b.) time of application, and (c.) geographic distribution. Application must be sent before 1 May 2015. Participation in the course will be confirmed by 15 May 2015. 

Additional details on the programme:

Guest speakers and instructors: 

  • Giacomo Dell’Omo, Animal Tracking, TECHNOSMART, Italy
  • Silke Bauer, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO)
  • Peter Desmet, Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO), Belgium
  • Felix Liechti, Swiss Ornithological Institute, Switzerland
  • Brendan Godley, University of Exeter, United Kingdom

Course coordinators:

  • Judy Shamoun-Baranes, Computational Geo-Ecology, University of Amsterdam
  • Willem Bouten, Computational Geo-Ecology, University of Amsterdam

Course instructors:

Course registration:

Complete the online course registration form. If, for any reason, you have trouble submitting your registration online please contact Wouter Vansteelant ( The deadline for registration is 1 May 2015.



Course fee:

400 Euro (incl. registration, course material, lunch, 3 group dinners, coffee & tea breaks, evening drinks)


Students must arrange their own lodging upon being selected for the course but we will help you to find appropriate housing where we can. Please indicate your preferred lodging option on the registration form. Several double rooms are being reserved tentatively for course participants until May 22nd at Students who need our help to arrange cheaper accommodation in a hostel (e.g. can indicate this on the registration form. 


During the course participants will be using different software packages. To be able to follow the exercises, participants will be expected to be familiar with R (beginner level) and SQL (structured query language).  Short tutorials will be provided for SQL as well as R which participants must review before the course if they are not familiar with these scripting languages.

Published by  IBED