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Applied Population Dynamics for Conservation and Management



Course format On-site
Date 2021-01-11 - 2021-05-07

The course provides an introduction to basic concepts used in analyses of single-species population dynamics. These concepts will be applied in models for analysing fluctuations in size of populations in space and time. Both deterministic and stochastic models will be included. Particular emphasis will be made to how these models can be used in analyses of the consequences for population viability of different kinds of human activities such as expected changes in climate, habitat destruction and fragmentation and harvesting. The aim of the course is to give the students an in-depth understanding of general principles in population dynamics with emphasis on how they can be applied in practice to analyse different kinds of data. A central focus will be to illustrate how these principles can be used to address core problems in conservation biology of large management relevance. Examples of such problems are the minimum size of viable populations, optimal harvest strategies of renewable resources and ecological effects of expected changes in climate. Subjects covered include demography, population regulation and life history strategies in different animal and plant species.

Learning outcomes


The student should have knowledge about:

  • Central concepts in analyses of population dynamics
  • Deterministic and stochastic factors that influence population fluctuations
  • Variables affecting the risk of extinctions of populations
  • –Effects on climate change on dynamics of populations
  • Effects of age-structure on dynamics of populations
  • Spatial dynamics: Metapopulations, dynamical consequences of habitat-fragmentation and spatial synchrony of population fluctuations
  • Sustainable harvesting strategies.


The candidate can

  • Interpret population dynamical consequences, as well as consequences for conservation and management, of variation in parameters estimated from analyses of time series
  • Present graphically parameters that influences the degree of spatial synchrony in population fluctuations
  • Use data and simple models to analyse different core problems in conservation biology and management

General knowledge

The candidate is able to

  • Communicate concerning aspects of their work independently
  • Critically assess existing theories, methods and field data
  • Work independently in practical and theoretical problem-solving
  • Analyze and think critically about various information sources and use these to structure and formulate scientific reasoning


ISCED Categories

Conservation and environmental management
Scientific modelling