October 26 to November 6, 2015 

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: BIOL645

Credits: 3

Responsible instructors

Course Description

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 outline

BIOL 645 – schedule 2015

Course Material

Course booklet and recommended reading in pdf format.


Assignments & Evaluation

  • Class participation: 25%
  • Problem questions (to be completed after the end of the course): 10%
  • Oral presentation(s): 15%
  • Final project: 50%
    • Project presentation: 10%
    • Write-up: 40%

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

Application information 

Application deadline: July 31, 2015