Modeling and computational analysis of biological systems

This June 11 and 13, BIOS2 will host a new training on mathematical models in Ecology, hosted by our fellow Maxime Clenet!

This course is designed to deepen your understanding of theoretical models in ecology, such as population dynamics (Lotka-Volterra), spatial dynamics (metapopulation), or epidemiological models (SIR). The training is divided into two main parts.
First, we will look at the key steps in modelling and formalizing a biological problem in terms of equations and try to answer the questions: Why is it useful? And what are the main current theoretical approaches in population dynamics?
A rigorous mathematical analysis of the model will be carried out by presenting the main methodological tools useful for its analysis, such as equilibrium, Jacobian matrices and stability. This analysis will be integrated in the form of practical exercises and exchanges between the students.

The theoretical part will be followed by a numerical and data-oriented interpretation. You’ll learn how to develop a numerical method to find a solution to dynamical systems with some examples. At the end, the participants will have the opportunity to develop their own numerical simulations for their favourite dynamical model using an adapted and easily accessible programming tool (Python or R depending on programming preferences).

This training is an interdisciplinary project that aims to enhance technical skills, theoretical ecology understanding, and numerical and computational abilities. Trainees from diverse backgrounds are welcome, and the proposed formula will benefit everyone. The training will provide an opportunity for everyone to work on a simple model in three stages: understanding the basic mathematical ideas behind the model, the questions involved and the final numerical implementation of the model.

What: Short course on mathematical models in Ecology (8h)
When: June 11 and 13, 10am-4pm EST (includes lunch break)

Structural Equation Modelling – training

We are pleased to announce our forthcoming workshop on Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), scheduled to take place from April 8th to 10th, 2024, from 10 am – 1 pm PT / 1 pm – 4 pm ET. This course offers a comprehensive exploration of SEM, delving into its theoretical underpinnings and practical applications. Participants will gain a profound understanding of causal modelling, latent variables, and the nuances of covariance-based and Partial Least Squares (PLS) SEM methodologies. Through in-depth instruction, attendees will learn to leverage prominent software tools to conduct sophisticated analyses of complex datasets. Covering conventions, terminology, model specification, and evaluation, this course equips professionals and researchers with the essential skills to navigate SEM effectively.

The training will be conducted by our fellow Varina Crisfield, an awarded PhD candidate in Key Biodiversity Areas at the Université de Sherbrooke. The workshop will be hosted virtually, and access information will be sent out to registered participants one day before the event.

To apply, please fill out this form by April 4th, 2024:

Two workshops to get started with your data project

New Year, new project! In February, BIOS2 will offer two workshops to help you get started with your data projects: Project Set-Up and Data Wrangling. In a mix of best practices tips, tutorials and hand-holding activities, these very basic workshops are designed to make you think about your project and data organization before you start anything, but also to help you reshape your current ongoing projects to something more organized and reproducible. Registrations are open until two days before of the first day of each workshop, and seats are limited (max. 40 people each).

These workshops should be accessible to any graduate student, though prior experience in R is helpful. The workshop will be in English, with support in French, and it will be presented online. The link to access it will be communicated shortly before the workshop.

To register, fill out this form:

Project Set-Up

Learn and practice project organization, reproducibility tips, project maintenance, and more!
Instructors: Andrew MacDonald and Gracielle Higino
When: February 5, 6 and 7 @ 11 am PT / 2 pm ET
Where: online

Data Wrangling

Learn the best practices on data tidying and follow along a tutorial on OpenRefine.
Instructors: Simran Bains, Lukas Van Riel and Timothée Poisot
When: February 13 and 15 @ 10 am PT / 1 pm ET
Where: online

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at

Introduction to Programming for Research Workshop

As a great start to 2023, BIOS² will present an Introduction to Programming workshop on January 17 and 19, 2023 to introduce new BIOS2 Fellows and everyone else interested to the basics of computer programming, working with data and the skills needed to be productive in collaborative research projects.

SOFTWARE CARPENTRY WORKSHOP – an introduction to programming for research

This Fall (November 22-26, 2021), BIOS² will host a Software Carpentry workshop to introduce new BIOS2 Fellows, Québec-Océan members and and everyone else interested to the basics of computer programming, working with data and the skills needed to be productive in collaborative research projects.