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DEB School description

The DEB School is an advanced training course on Dynamic Energy Budget theory. The objectives are (i) to learn fundamental DEB theory concepts, (ii) to train participants to apply DEB modelling to support their research and (iii) formulate their research questions. All applications of models come with the need to know parameter values so the course places due emphasis on extracting parameter values from real data.

The School comprises a balance of theory (lectures), exercises, scientific discussions and working on an own "Pet project". The individual "Pet projects" are dedicated to estimating DEB parameters for an animal from data using the AmP procedure. DEB theory and associated parameter estimation methods can later be applied to the more complex cases once the student masters the basics.

The course will take place online and marks four decades of research, development and application of DEB theory. This consistent 40-year DEB program results in the latter being the best tested quantitative theory on metabolic organisation; as such it has strong potential to support designing, carrying out and interpreting ecological/biological investigations. During the entire course, participants will interact with skilled scientists actively involved in applying DEB to their own research. This is the 7th edition of the DEB School: it builds upon our previous experience and is designed to foster networking and strengthening international cooperation. It further builds upon the last edition and includes new material and insights stemming from the latest phase in the DEB research program.

School participation is limited to 40 attendees. Applications are open until 1 May 2021 or until all places are full.

Learning objectives

  • Formulate a research question
  • Know core DEB concepts and associated alternative concepts
  • Able to estimate DEB parameters from real-world data
  • Discuss biological realism of DEB parameters
  • Apply DEB parameter estimation to support your own research
  • Capacity to apply DEB to address contemporary problems in conservation, environmental impacts and resource management

School certificate

Please mention on the registration form if you would like a certificate of attendance. In order to receive a certificate the attendee must have completed the course work: (i) submission of a discussion topic, (ii) submission of a file with data from the animal species they will work on (preferably a species relevant to one's research), and (iii) presentation of findings at the end of the course. See course content and planning and the "pre-school work" section below for more details. 

School topics

  • Conceptual Basics on DEB theory and the standard DEB model
  • Applications of theory in ecology and ecotoxicology
  • Method for DEB parameter estimation and sensitivity analysis
  • Metabolic theories and transfers of scale (population, ecosystem)

Pre-school work

  1. Follow the DEB Tele-course (highly recommended)
  2. Prepare a discussion related to potential DEB applications in your own research, where you can pose questions about problems that you expect to meet in such applications.
  3. Compile data for your pet, and read this page carefully https://bio.vu.nl/thb/deb/deblab/add_my_pet/AmP@DEB2021.html

How to apply and register?

To attend the DEB2021 School, you need to apply. More information here. 

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