3rd Conference of the Norwegian Ecological Society

Photographer: Julia M. I. Barth.

We are happy to invite you all to the third biennial conference of the Norwegian Ecological Society (NØF). The 2017 meeting will be hosted and organized by The Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES) at the University of Oslo.

The conference will take place in Oslo on January 12th-13th 2017, at Blindern Campus in Vilhelm Bjerknes' hus/Realfagsbiblioteket. Directions.

We have invited five keynote speakers: Hanna Kokko, Bernt-Erik Sæther, Vigdis Vandvik, Tim Coulsen and Nils Chr. Stenseth. The keynote lectures will focus on evolutionary ecology, while the conference in general invites talks and posters covering all aspects of ecological research.


If you would like to join contact us on: nof-2017@ibv.uio.no


Conference fee:  

NØF member: 1200 NOK

Non NØF member: 1400 NOK

Student NØF member: 400 NOK

Student non NØF member: 500 NOK

Conference dinner:

NØF members/non members: 500 NOK

Students: 300 NOK

You can apply for NØF membership here: http://okologer.nina.no/


Workshop 1: Genomics for ecologists

Time: January 11th 2017

Place: Science Library

Price: 200 NOK incl. lunch and coffee.


The workshop “Genomics for ecologists” will cover the theoretical framework related to genomics relevant for ecology, that is which methods are available, what the cost is, when to use the different approaches, and how to plan a project based on the question at hand. The course requires no prior experience and will start with a simple and easy-to-understand practical exercise explaining the concepts “Genome assembly” and “SNP (Variant) calling”. The focus of the course will be on genomic data (so not transcriptomics or epigenetics) and will offer specific examples from the organizer's projects, highlighting different approaches. There will also be an open session where the attendees can discuss specific questions regarding all types of data analysis. Towards the end of the workshop the attendees will be grouped together based on similar interests and they will set up a plan for the full pipeline of a hypothetical project of their choice.


Responsible for workshop:

Martin Malmstrøm

Lex Nederbragt



Workshop 2: Practical distribution modeling by Maxent, using the MIAmaxent R pagckage.

Time: January 11th 2017

Place: Science Library

Price: 200 NOK incl. lunch and coffee.


This workshop will focus on a recently released R-package (MIAmaxent) for practical distribution modeling (Vollering et al. 2016). The package is developed by the organizers of the workshop and is based on their earlier, theoretical work on distribution modeling (Halvorsen 2012;13). There will be a strong focus on how to implement the theoretical framework into practical distribution modeling (Mazzoni et al. 2015).


The workshop will include lectures on the statistical and ecological background, a tutorial on the MIAmaxent package and a hands-on session where the participants can explore the functionality of MIAmaxent by use of their own datasets.


Halvorsen, R. 2012. A gradient analytic perspective on distribution modelling. – Sommerfeltia 35: 1-165

Halvorsen, R. 2013. A strict maximum likelihood explanation of MaxEnt, and some implications for distribution modelling. – Sommerfeltia 36: 1-132

Mazzoni, S., Halvorsen, R. & Bakkestuen, V. 2015. MIAT: Modular R-wrappers for flexible implementation of MaxEnt Distribution Modelling. – Ecol. Informatics 30: 215-221.

Vollering, J., Mazzoni, S. & Halvorsen, R. 2016. Package 'MIAmaxent' Version 0.3.7. – The R foundation for statistical computing, http://cran.r-project.org.


Responsible for workshop:

Rune Halvorsen




Julien Vollering



Workshop 3: The theatre of opinions: How to raise the voice of ecologists in media and public debate

Time: January 11th 2017

Place: Science Library

Price: 1500 NOK incl. lunch and coffee.


Today's society craves knowledge about ecology. However, the classical way of sharing science to the general public is through strictly objective popularisation – with little to no edge. If we are to combat climate crises, mass extinction and invasive slugs in our gardens, we need to raise the voices of ecologists in the media. We want families to discuss colony collapse disorder for breakfast, coworkers to get into heated disputes about ocean acidification and evolutionary adaptations over lunch, and politicians to embrace the role of forests with passion. And the way to get people engaged in these issues is through the opinions article. The opinions article is a theatre. You are putting yourself on a public stage with the person you are challenging. The goal of your opinion piece is to gain the public audiences trust, understanding and to get them just as fired up about the subject as you are. At the workshop you will improve your writing skills and learn how to build strong convincing arguments. We will improve our understanding of how ecology is communicated in media, discuss what we can learn from other fields, and last but not least: how communication skills can improve ecological research as well.

The workshop addresses the following issues:

  • Where can you find the opinion article in the landscape of
    genres and what are its characteristics?
  • How to plan, write and publish an opinion article?
  • How to popularise the complex and communicate the relevant?
  • What are the roles of an ecologist in the media and in public debates?
  • Where to draw the line between an objective researcher and an activist?
  • How can popularisation and rhetorics improve your skills as an
    ecologist, researcher and citizen?

All participants must submit a draft of an opinion article prior to the workshop. These drafts will serve as the working material for the workshop. The workshop will include both lectures and discussion groups. The workshop will also include follow-up of the article until publication. The teachers are researchers and science writers with a broad experience from both ecology and science communication. The workshop will be held in English or Norwegian, depending on the preferred written language of participants.

Responsible for workshop:

Norith Eckbo



Norith is a biologist and freelance science writer. Norith teaches science communication and journalism at the University of Oslo. Up to recently, she worked in national and international environmental management covering several ecological issues, from research to policy making. Now she is doing her PhD on contaminants in Antarctic and Arctic seabirds at the University of Oslo.


Andrea Othilie Rognan


Andrea is a teacher in science writing and rhetorics at the University of Oslo. She is the former editor of Argument magazine and has a broad experience with editing text from a range of different research fields. Now she is doing her masters degree on rhetorics in science communication at the University of Oslo.


Workshop 4: Numerical competence and quantitative skills in biology education

Time: January 11th 2017

Place: Science Library

Price: 200 NOK incl. lunch and coffee.

Biology is becoming increasingly quantitative in approach, description and methodology and numerical procedures and mathematical models are extensively used in biological research. At the same time, it is a general concern that biology students lack the necessary quantitative skills to understand and manage biological data. Few universities have a comprehensive plan for how to help students acquire the skills and critical awareness of the relevant mathematical tools used in their discipline.

As a joint project organized by bioCEED, Centre of Excellence in Biology Education, we are developing a learning platform for statistics and numerical analysis of biological data, bioST@TS. Central to the project is the interaction between biological questions, research methods, biological data collection and statistical analysis. The goal is to develop tools that train students in thinking quantitatively about biological questions and problems, and design experiments and collect data to answer these.

In the workshop we will illustrate how the online resources in bioST@TS can be used in the biology education and invite the participants to use and contribute to the development of the platform. On a more general level, we want a discussion of how we can integrate numerical and quantitative aspects in the biology curriculum.

bioST@TS: http://biostats.b.uib.no/


Responsible for workshop:

Sigrunn Eliassen, Associate professor, Department of Biology, UIB (http://bio.uib.no/te/se/)


Jonathan Soulè, Chief Engineer, Centre of Excellence in Biology Education – bioCEED UIB www.uib.no/en/persons/Jonathan.Soule