Description
The School is live-streamed on the ICTP QLS YouTube page at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3cvRkdfO-76JKosmx1tiXw

Virtual meeting

The Winter School on Quantitative System Biology has been held every year since 2012 at ICTP in Trieste, Italy and ICTS in Bangalore, India in alternating years.

The topic of the 2020 School is Ecosystems Ecology, with a special focus on quantitative methods and modelling techniques.

Ecology views biological systems as composed of many interdependent parts, whose interactions between themselves and the environment span a wide range of spatial and temporal scales (from cells to the biosphere). This incredible complexity of interactions parallels often with the simplicity of emergent statistical patterns of abundance and biodiversity, as well as nutrient cycling. Describing quantitatively the dynamics of populations, communities and ecosystems requires therefore a broad range of mathematical and modelling techniques. Thanks to new experimental and sequencing techniques, community and ecosystem ecology are experiencing a revolution, as they are transitioning from a traditionally data-poor discipline to a data-rich one. This change presents new challenges and new possibilities for ecologists, physicists, and mathematicians around the world.

This advanced school will focus on ecosystems, and it aims at providing an integrated perspective of both experimental and theoretical approaches. The topics covered include:
• Ecological networks;
• Population and community dynamics;
• Macroecology, including ecosystems and landscapes;
• Ecological interactions;
• Ecological Communities in-vitro.

Ecology has extremely important applications, from environmental preservation to disease eradication. Most ecologists in the majority of developing countries have strong applied expertise, but they are not up to date with the most recent theoretical and quantitative tools and results. Applied ecologists, with some quantitative background, could strongly benefit from this school, both in terms of exposure to fundamental questions in ecology, and of quantitative methods that they could apply to their research. On the other hand, the strong expertise in quantitative and theoretical tools (e.g., dynamical systems theory, stochastic processes, random matrix theory) of physicists and mathematicians from developing countries is sometimes dissipated to study problems of secondary relevance. This school could offer them exposure to up-to-date problems in quantitative ecology, where those theoretical tools could find interesting and novel applications.

Lecturers:
S. ALLESINA, University of Chicago, USA
S. AZAELE, University of Padua, Italy
J. BASCOMPTE, University of Zurich, Switzerland
D. FISHER, Stanford University, USA
M. GATTO, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
V. GUTTAL, Center for Ecological Sciences, IISc, India
J. LEVINE, Princeton University, USA
A. MARITAN, University of Padua, Italy
J. O'DWYER, University of Illinois, USA
M. PASCUAL, University of Chicago, USA
A. RINALDO, EPFL, Switzerland
A. SANCHEZ, Yale University, USA
D. SEGRÈ, Boston University, USA
C. STAVER, Yale University, USA
S. SUWEIS, University of Padua, Italy
J. WEITZ, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
J. YEAKEL, University of California, MERCED, USA

Scientific Advisory Committee:
V. BALASUBRAMANIAN, University of Pennsylvania, USA
A. CELANI, ICTP, Italy
​​S. JAIN, University of Delhi, India
V.K. KRISHNAMURTHY, ICTS, Bangalore, India
M. MARSILI, ICTP, Italy
M. THATTAI, National Centre for Biological Sciences, India
 
Go to day
  • Monday, 30 November 2020
    • 13:10 - 13:15
      • 13:10 Opening remarks 5'
        The time zone is CET. 
        You can choose your time zone (in place of of Europe/Rome) on the top right of the page and 
        the programme time will be modified accordingly.
        
        
        Material: Introductory remarks from the Organizers Video
    • 13:15 - 17:00
      • 13:15 Tutorial: Non-linear dynamics 1 1h0'
        Speaker: Leonardo PACCIANI (Università di Padova, Italy)
        Material: Video
      • 14:30 Virus-Microbe Dynamics: Principles, Ecology, and Therapeutics - Part 1 1h0'
        Speaker: Joshua WEITZ (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA)
        Material: Video
      • 15:45 Alternative Stable States in Ecosystem Dynamics: the example of savanna and forest - Part 1 1h0'
        Speaker: Carla STAVER (Yale University, USA)
  • Tuesday, 1 December 2020
    • 13:15 - 17:00
      • 13:15 Tutorial: Non-linear dynamics 2 1h0'
        Speaker: Leonardo PACCIANI (Università di Padova, Italy)
        Material: Video
      • 14:30 Alternative Stable States in Ecosystem Dynamics: the example of savanna and forest - Part 2 1h0'
        Speaker: Carla STAVER (Yale University, USA)
      • 15:45 Virus-Microbe Dynamics: Principles, Ecology, and Therapeutics - Part 2 1h0'
        Speaker: Joshua WEITZ (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA)
        Material: Video
  • Wednesday, 2 December 2020
    • 13:15 - 17:00
      • 13:15 Tutorial: Stochastic processes 1h0'
        Speaker: Matteo MARSILI (ICTP, Italy)
        Material: Video
      • 14:30 Tutorial: Linear Algebra 1h0'
        Speaker: Zachary MILLER (University of Chicago, USA)
        Material: Video
      • 15:45 Assembly of ecological communities: some theoretical explorations - Part 1 1h0'
        Speaker: Stefano ALLESINA (University of Chicago, USA)
        Material: Video
  • Thursday, 3 December 2020
    • 13:15 - 17:00
      • 13:15 Models of disease ecology: basics, macroparasites, COVID-19 - Part 1 1h0'
        Speaker: Marino GATTO (Politecnico di Milano, Italy)
        Material: Video
      • 14:30 Tutorial: Networks 1h0'
        Speaker: Arsham GHAVASIEH (Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Italy)
        Material: Video
      • 15:45 Virus-Microbe Dynamics: Principles, Ecology, and Therapeutics - Part 3 1h0'
        Speaker: Joshua WEITZ (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA)
        Material: Video
  • Friday, 4 December 2020
    • 14:30 - 17:00
      • 14:30 River networks as ecological corridors: species, populations, pathogens - Part 1 1h0'
        Speaker: Andrea RINALDO (EPFL, Switzerland)
        Material: Video
      • 15:45 Assembly of ecological communities: some theoretical explorations - Part 2 1h0'
        Speaker: Stefano ALLESINA (University of Chicago, USA)
        Material: Video
  • Monday, 7 December 2020
    • 13:15 - 18:15
      • 13:15 Mutualistic Networks - Q&A 1h0'
        Prerecorded lecture
        Speaker: Jordi BASCOMPTE (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
        Material: Video
      • 14:30 Models of disease ecology: basics, macroparasites, COVID-19 - Part 2 1h0'
        Speaker: Marino GATTO (Politecnico di Milano, Italy)
        Material: Video
      • 15:45 Modern coexistence theory 1h0'
        Speaker: Jonathan LEVINE (Princeton University, USA)
      • 17:00 Assembly of ecological communities: some theoretical explorations- Part 3 1h0'
        Speaker: Stefano ALLESINA (University of Chicago, USA)
        Material: Video
  • Tuesday, 8 December 2020
    • 14:30 - 18:15
      • 14:30 Scaling in ecology, metabolic theory and community patterns 1h0'
        Speaker: Amos MARITAN (University of Padua, Italy)
        Material: Video
      • 15:45 Cooperation, Resilience and Stability - Q&A 1h0'
        Prerecorded lecture
        Speaker: James O'DWYER (University of Illinois, USA)
        Material: Video
      • 17:00 Eco-evolutionary dynamics in host-pathogen systems I: the assembly of strain structure 1h0'
        Speaker: Mercedes PASCUAL (University of Chicago, USA)
        Material: Video
  • Wednesday, 9 December 2020
    • 13:15 - 19:30
      • 13:15 River networks as ecological corridors: species, populations, pathogens - Part 2 1h0'
        Speaker: Andrea RINALDO (EPFL, Switzerland)
        Material: Video
      • 14:30 Models of disease ecology: basics, macroparasites, COVID-19 - Part 3 1h0'
        Speaker: Marino GATTO (Politecnico di Milano, Italy)
        Material: Video
      • 15:45 Trait and phlogenetic predictors of species coexistence 1h0'
        Speaker: Jonathan LEVINE (Princeton University, USA)
      • 17:00 From genome-scale to ecosystem-level modeling of metabolism - Part 1 1h0'
        Speaker: Daniel SEGRE (Boston University, USA)
        Material: Video
      • 18:15 Evolution and Ecology in High Dimensions: What should not be surprising? - Part 1 1h0'
        Speaker: Daniel FISHER (Stanford University, USA)
        Material: Video
  • Thursday, 10 December 2020
    • 14:30 - 19:30
      • 14:30 Stochastic modelling of community patterns and upscaling biodiversity 1h0'
        Speaker: Sandro AZAELE (University of Padua, Italy)
        Material: Video
      • 15:45 Rapid evolution and species diversity maintenance 1h0'
        Speaker: Jonathan LEVINE (Princeton University, USA)
      • 17:00 Eco-evolutionary dynamics in host-pathogen systems II: consequences of strain structure 1h0'
        Speaker: Mercedes PASCUAL (Chicago University, USA)
        Material: Video
      • 18:15 Evolution and Ecology in HIgh Dimensions: What should not be surprising? - Part 2 1h0'
        Speaker: Daniel FISHER (Stanford University, USA)
        Material: Video
  • Friday, 11 December 2020
    • 12:00 - 19:30
      • 12:00 Stochasticity and bistability in ecological systems - Part 1 1h0'
        Speaker: Vishwesha GUTTAL (Center for Ecological Sciences, IISc, India)
        Material: Video
      • 13:15 River networks as ecological corridors: species, populations, pathogens - Part 3 1h0'
        Speaker: Andrea RINALDO (EPFL, Switzerland)
        Material: Video
      • 14:30 Community patterns in consumer-resource models 1h0'
        Speaker: Samir SUWEIS (University of Padua, Italy)
        Material: Video
      • 15:45 From genome-scale to ecosystem-level modeling of metabolism - Part 2 1h0'
        Speaker: Daniel SEGRE (Boston University, USA)
        Material: Video
      • 17:00 The population dynamics of climate-sensitive infectious diseases: some challenges of scale 1h0'
        Speaker: Mercedes PASCUAL (Chicago University, USA)
      • 18:15 Evolution and Ecology in High Dimensions: What should not be surprising? - Part 3 1h0'
        Speaker: Daniel FISHER (Stanford University, USA)
        Material: Video
  • Monday, 14 December 2020
    • 14:30 - 19:30
      • 14:30 Mathematical ecology: A century of progress, and challenges for the next century 1h0'
        Speaker: Simon LEVIN (Princeton University, USA)
      • 15:45 The assembly and evolution of microbial communities - Part 1 1h0'
        Speaker: Alvaro SANCHEZ (Yale University, USA)
        Material: Video
      • 17:00 From genome-scale to ecosystem-level modeling of metabolism - Part 3 1h0'
        Speaker: Daniel SEGRE (Boston University, USA)
        Material: Video
      • 18:15 Overview of theoretical paleoecology 1h0'
        Speaker: Justin YEAKEL (University of California MERCED, USA)
        Material: Video
  • Tuesday, 15 December 2020
    • 12:00 - 19:30
      • 12:00 Stochasticity and bistability in ecological systems - Part 2 1h0'
        Speaker: Vishwesha GUTTAL (Center for Ecological Sciences, IISc, India)
        Material: Video
      • 13:15 Seminar - Understanding phylogenetic patterns through micro-evolutionary models 1h0'
        Speaker: Flavia MARQUITTI (State University of Campinas)
        Material: Video
      • 15:45 The assembly and evolution of microbial communities - Part 2 1h0'
        Speaker: Alvaro SANCHEZ (Yale University, USA)
        Material: Video
      • 17:00 Seminar - Evolution of microbial interactions in fluctuating environments 1h0'
        Speaker: Alejandra RODRIGUEZ VERDUGO (University of California IRVINE, USA)
        Material: Video
      • 18:15 Collapse of an ecological network in Ancient Egypt 1h0'
        Speaker: Justin YEAKEL (University of California MERCED, USA)
        Material: Video
  • Wednesday, 16 December 2020
    • 16:00 - 18:45
      • 16:00 ICTP Colloquium by Prof. Ned Wingreen on "Modeling microbial diversity" 1h0'
        All participants are welcome to attend. 
        More information can be found at: http://indico.ictp.it/event/9492/
        Speaker: Prof. Ned WINGREEN (Princeton University, USA)
      • 17:30 Round Table - Pandemic 1h0'
        Moderator: Simon LEVIN (Princeton University, USA)
        
        Panelists: 
        Ramanan LAXMINARAYAN (Princeton University, USA)
        Scott BARRETT (Columbia University, USA)
        Wilfred NDIFON (AIMS, South Africa)
        Joshua S. WEITZ (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA)
        Marino GATTO (Politecnico di Milano, Italy)
        Mercedes PASCUAL (University of Chicago, USA)
        Lone SIMONSEN (Roskilde University, Denmark)
        Jorgen WEIBULL (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden)
        Material: Video
  • Thursday, 17 December 2020
    • 12:00 - 13:15
      • 12:00 Stochasticity and bistability in ecological systems - Part 3 1h0'
        Speaker: Vishwesha GUTTAL (Center for Ecological Sciences, IISc, India)
        Material: Video
    • 14:30 - 19:30
      • 14:30 Round Table - Socio-economic interface 1h0'
        Moderator: Simon LEVIN (Princeton University, USA)
        
        Panelists:
        Matteo MARSILI (ICTP, Italy)
        Andrea RINALDO (EPFL, Switzerland)
        Mercedes PASCUAL (University of Chicago, USA)
        Alessandro TAVONI (Universita' di Bologna, Italy)
        Partha DASGUPTA (University of Cambridge, UK)
        Karine NYBORG (University of Oslo, Norway)
        Kanchan CHOPRA (University of Delhi, India)
        
        Material: Video
      • 15:45 The assembly and evolution of microbial communities - Part 3 1h0'
        Speaker: Alvaro SANCHEZ (Yale University, USA)
        Material: Video
      • 17:00 The dynamics of starvation provide insight into Cope’s Rule and the evolution of grazing 1h0'
        Speaker: Justin YEAKEL (University of California MERCED, USA)
        Material: Video
      • 18:15 Round Table - Going big: challenges and opportunity in high-dimensional ecosystems 1h0'
        Moderator: Jacopo GRILLI (ICTP, Italy)
        
        Panelists:
        Matteo MARSILI (ICTP, Italy)
        Daniel SEGRE (Boston University, USA)
        Daniel FISHER (Stanford University, USA)
        Jonathan LEVINE (Princeton University, USA)
        Justin YEAKEL (University of California MERCED, USA)
        Stefano ALLESINA (University of Chicago, USA)
        Mercedes PASCUAL (University of Chicago, USA)
        Material: Video