by Karola Szemán, co-organiser
We had a very informative workshop on demography, “Modelling population dynamics: Estimating demographic parameters for wildlife conservation” during 13-19 January 2020, in Debrecen, Hungary. The workshop was held by Prof. Brett K. Sandercock (NINA) and organized in association with the Department of Evolutionary Zoology and Human Biology – University of Debrecen and Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
During that week Prof Sandercock gave theoretical and practical lectures. The classes were structured according the main fields of demography. Every day we allocated some time for the participants could have private consultations with Prof Sandercock.
In the end of the week all participants presented their own project and described how they can use the studied methods in their work. After each presentation Prof Sandercock gave useful advices for each project.
It was a fruitful and stimulating week and we hope every participant will utilize the new knowledge with luck to improve their projects.
Here we would like to say a special thanks for Prof. Sandercock for his work. We also thankful for 30 participants for coming along.
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” The workshop provided a very good overview on the approaches to estimate survival rate and to model population size changes in wild animal and plant populations. The theoretical parts were concise but provided the necessary background, and all the topics and methods were illustrated with several examples from a wide range of organism. The course also helped the participants to make the first steps in using some implementations of the models, like MARK and its corresponding R packages. Brett is a fantastic lecturer, he was able to present both the math and biology behind the models in a very enjoyable way, and with a good sense of humour and unfailing knowledge on grasses, birds and other creatures whose demography can be modelled. “
Prof. András Liker – University of Pannonia, Hungary
” As a first year PhD student and thus not yet familiar with details of statistical analyses, I found this workshop very useful to get an overview of different demographic techniques that can be applied in ecology. As my PhD focuses on one shorebird population for which we have long-term data available, I will without a doubt apply the techniques learnt at this workshop in the near future. Finally, I wanted to thank Prof Sandercock for being very patient and helpful and creating a good atmosphere throughout the week. “
Noémie Engel – PhD student, University of Bath
” As a first-year PhD student, this course was a great opportunity for me, because demographic modeling is a major part of my topic. In spite of the difficult topic, Brett Sandercock’s lectures were absolutely comprehensible. He showed us many real-life examples, therefore we could see how we would use the different methods that we learned there. Brett was a well-prepared teacher with much experience in this field, and most importantly he was candid and considerate with the students. The last two days we had an opportunity to present our study to each other and consult about it with Brett. I think that I am not the only one who was given useful advice and comments. The language of the workshop was English, so I could improve and practice my English language skills too. Last but not least, the other participants and organizers were amazing. I am so happy that I met a lot of awesome people and spend time with each other. The organizers were friendly and flexible, and arranged great social activities such as bowling. I am glad that I took part in this course, I gained much statistical knowledge and got to know many new people too. “
Boglárka Bukor – PhD student, University of Pannonia, Hungary