Course details


Title:ForBio course: Species Concepts and Species Delimitation
Start date:23/10/2016
End date:28/10/2016
Total hours:3 credits
Organization:Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Learning outcomes

  • Understanding the implications of the different species concepts
  • Pros and cons of different types of data for species assessments
  • Gain an overview of different methods for species delimitation using DNA sequence data, and their advantages and limitations.
  • Hands-on experience with distance and tree based approaches.

Course content

What is a species? Are they real entities we can define and diagnose? In this course you will learn about philosophical, conceptual, theoretical and practical issues around species concepts and the implication of their different definitions in ecological and conservation studies. Species boundaries in many organism groups are still in a state of flux, and for empirical species delimitation, finding appropriate character sets and analytical tools are among the greatest challenges. We will review the advantages and disadvantages of different types of data for species assessment and you will be introduced to the different methods for species delimitation based on DNA sequence data and interpretation of results. Students will gain hands-on-experience about distance and tree based methods for species delimitation, including the use of software such as CROP, ABGD, UCLUST, PTP, GMYC and BPP. We will generate stimulating discussion about the interpretation of results and the advantages and limitations of these methods.

Related staff

  • Joan Pons Pons