This course provides an introduction to the rapidly growing field of ecological and environmental modelling. Students will become familiar with most of the basic equations used to represent ecological processes. The course will also provide a comprehensive overview of the population and dynamic biogeochemical models; prey-predator, resource competition and eutrophication models will be used as illustrations. Emphasis will be placed on the rational model development, objective model evaluation and validation, extraction of the optimal complexity from complicated/intertwined ecological processes, explicit acknowledgment of the uncertainty in ecological forecasting and its implications for environmental management.
Quantitative Environmental Analysis (ENV1119)
This course provides an introduction to the field of ecological statistics. Students will become familiar with several methods of statistical analysis of categorical and multivariate environmental data. The course will provide a comprehensive presentation of the methods: analysis of variance, regression analysis, structural equation modeling, ordination (principal component & factor analysis) and classification (cluster & discriminant analysis) methods, and basic concepts of Bayesian analysis. Emphasis will be placed on how these methods can be used to identify significant cause-effect relationships, detect spatiotemporal trends, and assist environment management by elucidating ecological patterns (e.g., classification of aquatic ecosystems based on their trophic status, assessment of climate variability signature on ecological time series, landscape analysis). The course will consist of 2 hr-lectures/tutorials where the students will be introduced to the basic concepts of the statistical methods and 2-hr lab exercises where the students will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience in statistical analysis of environmental data.