Postgraduate Course Consumer - Resource Interactions: Danger, Disease and Density-Dependence


31-Jan-2010 - 04-Feb-2010

All organisms require inputs of energy and/or materials in order to grow
and reproduce. Consumer-resource interactions in all its variations
(i.e. plant-nutrient, plant-herbivore, predator-prey, host-parasitoid,
and host-parasite) are central to ecological and evolutionary research.
However, consumer-resource interactions are also the basis of
exploitative competition (two or more consumers share resources),
facilitation (one consumer increases resources for another) and many
mutualisms (species trade 'resources'). Most organisms function as both
consumers and resources in a food web.

The functional and numerical responses of the consumer and a function
describing resource population growth are essential components of any
consumer-resource interaction. Understanding these responses often
requires that we understand the adaptive processes V evolution,
behaviour, and phenotypic plasticity V that shape these interactions
on both short and long time-scales.

SCOPE OF THE COURSE
This one-week course will illustrate how adopting a consumer-resource
approach can change our understanding of interactions, and how adaptive
processes can be important in understanding both academic and applied
problems in ecology. The course will focus on three selected topics
within the broad field of consumer-resource interactions: Danger,
Disease and Density-dependence.

These topics will be introduced by world leading experts, with a focus
on the latest developments and ongoing research efforts.

The introductions will provide the starting point for practical work by
the participants to make the acquired knowledge operational. To this
end, sub-groups are challenged to develop ideas for their own research:
analyzing their own data, writing a proposal, planning an experiment,
developing a model or writing a paper.

The experts and organisers will be available to all groups during the
practical work, allowing participants intensive interaction with them.
The main goal of the course will be achieved if the participants acquire
novel ideas and techniques for their own research.

LECTURERS
Peter Abrams (University of Toronto)
Joel Brown (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Bob Holt (University of Florida)
Don DeAngelis (University of Miami)
Han Olff (Groningen University)
Theunis Piersma (Groningen University, Royal Netherlands Institute for
Sea Research)

COURSE SET-UP
On Sunday evening, we start with guest lectures by Han Olff and Theunis
Piersma. On Monday, the basics of consumer-recourse interations and the
topics will be introduced. Then groups will be formed. During the
following days, there will be three one-hour lectures on specific
topics, followed by discussion. The rest of the day will be spent on the
practical work, under the supervision of the experts and the organisers.
On the last day, the groups present their practical work to all
participants.

LOCATION
Hotel & Conference Centre De Bergse Bossen
Traaij 229, Driebergen
The Netherlands
www.debergsebossen.nl

REGISTRATION
You can register online via: www.pe-rc.nl , (under
Courses and activities) or send an email to PE&RC: pe-office@wur.nl

FEE (Includes B&B, coffee, tea, lunches, dinners and course materials):
- PE&RC, SENSE, RSEE and NIOO PhD candidates with an approved
Education Plan (TSP) 400,-
- All other PhD participants 700,-
- External participants 1.200,-

ORGANISERS
Wolf Mooij (Netherlands Institute of Ecology, w.mooij@nioo.knaw.nl)
Bart Nolet (Netherlands Institute of Ecology, b.nolet@nioo.knaw.nl)
Frank van Langevelde (Wageningen University, frank.vanlangevelde@wur.nl)
Jan van Gils (Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, jan.van.gils@nioz.nl
)
Claudius van de Vijver (Graduate School for Production Ecology and
Resource Conservation, claudius.vandevijver@wur.nl)

FURTHER INFORMATION
See: www.pe-rc.nl under courses and activities
For information on the content of the course please contact one of the
organizers
For information on registration, fees and logistical matters please
contact PE&RC (pe-office@wur.nl).