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Trends in Biodiversity in Time and Space


Admission requirements

BSc-course Biodiversity, theory and practice of systematics or equivalent

Contact information

Coordinator: Dr. P. Hovenkamp
Email: hovenkamp@nhn.leidenuniv.nl


The main aim of this course is to introduce a number of approaches and methods that are currently used in both actual and historical analyses of biodiversity and evolution. The following topics will be introduced and practiced:

  • Phylogenetic analysis: application of state of the art methods and algorithms.

  • Analysis of geographic structure and gene flow in and between populations.

  • Analysis of historic and stratigraphic patterns, paleobiogeography and –ecology.

  • Advanced spatial pattern analyses and historical biogeography: integrative approaches to map and analyze present distributions, reconstruct past distributions, and model possible future distributions; this includes advanced Island Biogeography in relation to conservation aspects.

Learning goals

Course objectives:
To provide a theoretical basis and some practical experience for the research applications showcased in “Wealth of the World”; good understanding of concepts of time and space; of collection data, data basing and data mining; of the practice of phylogeny reconstruction; of biogeographic methods and practice; of the integration of paleontological and actual data.

Final qualifications:
Theoretical understanding and hands on experience with current methods for phylogeny reconstruction, GIS, species distribution modeling, diversity analysis in both actual and stratigraphic contexts, phylogeographical analysis, dating techniques, etc.


Details will be provided in due time; general outline is 1 week phylogeny, 1 week biogeography, 1 week speciation and population level-analysis, 1 week geological time, all with focus on current methods and concepts.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, exercises, literature study, demonstrations.

Assessment method

Written reports, oral presentation, and examination.


All information of lectures and papers will be available on Blackboard.

Reading list

Relevant literature will be made available on Blackboard.


via USIS

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for more information on how to apply.