November 18-29, 2019


Please note that QCBS students are eligible to apply for a QCBS Intensive course Awards to cover additional tuition fees.

The intensive course

Offered by the Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science

Accessible to McGill students and non-McGill students as well as auditors

Course number: BIO860M

Credits: 3

Responsible instructors

Course Description

Course Booklet

This intensive two week course offers a high level overview of concepts, methods and questions related to different aspects of biodiversity science. The course covers a variety of current topics including:

  • Patterns and drivers of biological diversity in space and time
  • Genetic and genomic applications in biodiversity sciences
  • Phylogenetic and functional community ecology
  • Ecological networks
  • Numerical ecology
  • Evolutionary extinctions and rarity
  • Biological invasions
  • Ecosystem function and services
  • Biodiversity, conservation and economics
  • Participants

This course targets science professionals at a high level (particularly graduate students and post-docs) and focuses on scientific aspects of biodiversity science. We encourage applications from those with interests in systematics, ecology, environment and other aspects of biodiversity. The course is open to students from all Québec universities, and internationally; a maximum of 25 students will be selected. For the duration of the course, students will be expected to commit full time (approximately 90 hours, including theory and practicals) and participate in all aspects of the course.

Course location

The intensive course will be given at the Gault Nature Reserve of McGill University, a private reserve which protects 1000 hectares of natural primeval forests of the St. Lawrence Valley. Situated at Mont-Saint-Hilaire approximately 40 km from Montreal, this panoramic natural landscape is ideal for discovering nature, teaching and academic research.


Preliminary Schedule

Course Material


Assignments & Evaluation

Class participation (30%)

Oral presentations (15%)

Final project (55%) 

Typical Day

Lectures in the morning, course practical in the afternoon, time to work on the project that will serve to link the diverse aspects of biodiversity science presented during the entire course, and seminar or discussion animated by an invited speaker in the evening. Daily schedules may vary.


The course welcomes both French and English speaking participants, but most lectures will be given in English. Students can submit their work in French or English.

How to Apply

Because class size is limited to a maximum of 25 students, candidates must first send an application by email to

Please place the course number in the subject line and include:

  1. a short (1 page) C.V. detailing your academic background (in the body of the email, or in an attached document)
  2. a statement of interest including a description of your current research (approximately 150 words). This letter must specify the research axis closest to your research (1 – discovery of biodiversity; 2 – changes in biodiversity and ecosystem services; 3 – management and adaptation to biodiversity changes). The letter should also indicate your university, program of studies (M.Sc. or Ph.D.), research supervisor and year of study.
  3. dietary requirements (vegetarian, allergies etc.)

Application deadline: October 25, 2019

Official registration

Once your are accepted for the intensive course, please register using CREPUQ, unless you are a UQAM student (if so contact Cécile Poirier :

The info on the course can be found on the UQAM website under this name: BIO860M Séminaire thématique en écologie

Please register as soon as accepted.

Contact Cecile Poirier and if you have questions or if you are experiencing problems.