Training Courses

Important note:

For most training courses, participants will be asked to bring their own laptop computer. If this is not possible for you, please contact us at and we will try to find a solution.

1. Marine environmental data: principles of good data management and access to open data resources

Within this course an overview of the main principles of good data management (documenting, archiving, data formatting, integration, and standardization) will be presented. There will be a focus on European open marine environmental spatial data types from different disciplines (biology, chemistry, geology, and physics) and how the data can be used. Participants will be trained hands –onhow these marine European open data resources can be accessed and used for analysis in R.

Lecturers: Ms. Britt Lonneville; Mr. Lennert Schepers; Ms. Paula Oset, Flanders Marine Institute

Organiser: Flanders Marine Institute

2. Bioinformatics in Environmental Science

Genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics are becoming more and more popular in environmental science. This course will offer a first introduction into the computational tools and bioinformatics needed to analyse these complex datasets. It will include bioinformatics packages within R, using public molecular databases and basic quality control.

Lecturer: Dr. Jana Asselman, Ghent University

3. Ecological Modelling in Python

This workshop serves as a primer for anyone interested in Ecological Modelling, but not equipped with the necessary coding skills. You will learn how to implement a dynamic ecological model as well as manage and visualize the results in Python. This will prepare you to easily move on to more complex modelling tasks.


  • Please bring a laptop. It will be necessary to install Python and some additional modules beforehand. Information on this will be forwarded to the participants on time.
  • Basic knowledge in at least one programming language are an asset.

Lecturer: Mr. Simon Hansul, Ghent University

4. Simple dynamic modelling of toxic effects on growth and reproduction – an introduction (No specific knowledge of modelling, mathematics or coding required)

Chemical stress affects life-history traits of organisms such as body size and reproductive output. Even in the absence of stress, these traits change over time, and are also closely interlinked (reproduction starts at a more-or-less fixed size, and larger individuals produce more offspring). Toxicity is also a process that depends on time as chemicals need to be taken up into the body to exert an effect, and that uptake generally takes time. All in all, the relationship between toxic effects on life-history traits and time is rather complex, and to make matters worse: these relationships will be different under different environmental conditions (e.g., food availability, temperature, or other stressors). To make sense of this complex situation requires the use of dynamic models on a mechanistic basis. The simplest and most useful model approaches make use of the concept of an energy budget: traits like growth and reproduction require resources from food, so effects on these traits imply that less resources were acquired from the environment, or that resources are used in a different way. Following resources (or ‘energy’) is therefore an obvious way to structure our modelling efforts. Fortunately, such energy-budget models can be very simple, and DEBkiss is one of the simplest models of this type.

This course provides you with an introduction into the world of toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic (TKTD) modelling based on the energy budget. The course sports several short introductory lectures, but most of the time will be dedicated towards hands-on exercises/experimentation with the simple DEBkiss model. For this course, DEBkiss is forced into Excel; this software is not particularly suited for modelling, but we are aiming for a broad audience here (no specific knowledge of modelling, mathematics or coding is expected).


  • Please bring a laptop with Excel installed, and make sure you know how to work with Excel at a basic level.

Lecturers: Dr. Tjalling Jager, DEBtox Research; Mr. Josef Koch, Ghent University

5. The pacific garbage screening project – Tackling marine plastic waste in the oceans with innovative technologies

This training course will give the participants the opportunity to address one of the biggest environmental issues of our time: The pollution of the oceans. Convinced by the idea that everyone can be part of the solution, architect Marcella Hansch at RWTH Aachen University started the ‘Pacific Garbage Screening’ project (PGS). During this course, the participants will be introduced to the project itself but will also be stimulated to design and present creative solutions from their respective fields of expertise – true to PGS’s motto: “Be a part of the Solution”.

Lecturer: Ms. Tessa Böttcher, Pacific Garbage Screening

Organiser: Pacific Garbage Screening

6. Research in the modern age – Balancing research impact and research integrity.

Part 1: Maximize the impact of science through kick-ass social media skills

In this session Esther will test your impact superhero readiness level by going through the basics of setting up a strategy for your research communication and science outreach. Drawing upon her experiences as a knowledge broker at Ghent University and as proud curator of @ResearchUGent, she will show the good, the bad, and the ugly of engaging in online interaction. You will discover how the principles of digital presence, storytelling, stakeholder analysis, and open science help towards achieving a greater impact.

Part 2: How do deal with research integrity dilemmas

Research integrity is the responsibility of the entire research community (researchers, publishers, funding agencies, etc.). During this workshop, Stefanie will give you hands-on advice based on real-life examples in science. Cases such as “How do you feel about exchanging co-authorship”, “What do you do when your private funder asks you to write bolder statements than your research results allow?”, “Is it ok to leave out outliers?” and other dilemmas in science will be discussed during the seminar. Additionally, Stefanie will link to codes of conduct and give tips and tricks on actions to take in an environment where integrity is one of the guiding principles.

Lecturers: Ms. Esther De Smet, Ghent University & Ms. Stefanie Van der Burght, Ghent University