iDiv Summer School 2023: Integrating ecological and economic theory for modelling biodiversity change

The German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig will conduct its seventh summer school “Integrating ecological and economic theory for modelling biodiversity change” from 4-8 September 2023 in Leipzig, Germany.

The summer school will be organized and hosted by the graduate school yDiv and the iDiv working groups Theory in Biodiversity Science and Biodiversity Economics including Ulrich Brose and Martin Quaas as the main instructors. During the five summer school days, participants will learn strategies to run models of complex ecological networks and economic models of how people behave in resource harvesting. Synthesis of these models yields integrated dynamics of ecological stability (species persistence, community biomass, and ecosystem functioning) and sustainable economic returns (biomass harvested, revenue, and employment). The course will include lectures, seminars and computer labs using the programming language R, a faster programming language such as C or Julia, and optimization programming languages such as AMPL with Knitro. In addition, participants will have opportunities to attend iDiv Seminars and exchange with iDiv researchers. 

The summer school is aimed at early career scientists (3rd year doctoral researchers & early postdocs) from around the world with an overall interest in ecological and economic modeling.

For questions about the summer school please contact the yDiv graduate school coordinator Dr Nicole Sachmerda-Schulz via


The lecturers of this summer school includes the scientific staff of the Theory in Biodiversity Science and the Biodiversity Economics groups.

Date and venue

The summer school takes place from 4 to 8 September 2023 at the iDiv building in Leipzig, Germany. The site has good transport connections to the city centre and to the accommodation.

The address is Puschstr. 4, 04103 Leipzig/Germany.


The total cost of the course is EUR 150. This covers the costs of teaching and materials, accommodation, coffee breaks and lunch, two dinners and the cultural programme. All participants will be provided a single room in a two-room apartment in the city center (Apartment Central) from 3-9 September (6 nights).

In addition, 3-4 fellowships are available that will cover the registration fee as well as travel costs to Leipzig. These fellowships are for scientists from regions that are often underrepresented in science (see list here).


The application is closed. Each applicant will be informed about admission by the end of May.

We are currently accepting applications from early career scientists (3rd year doctoral researchers & early postdocs) from around the world! 

Please note the overall prerequisites for an application: Participants should have good programming skills in a computer language such as R, basic knowledge of a faster computing language such as C or Julia would be helpful. The course requires a good knowledge of English and an understanding of general mathematical and theoretical principles (being able to take derivatives, applying the chain rule, basic knowledge of difference or differential equations). Most importantly, we are looking for participants that are open to exploring novel questions at the interface of ecological and economic modeling and who have a desire to study complex systems.

Please submit your application via the iDiv application portal at and prepare to include the following information:

1)     Your name, position, home institution and contact details

2)     A letter of interest describing the research questions that you are interested in and including an abstract about your project/model

3)     An up-to-date CV

4)     In case you would like to apply for a fellowship (see section “costs”), provide a short statement.

The maximum number of participants is 15. The gender and nationality of applicants will be taken into account to maintain diverse participation. Applications from developing countries, in particular from female applicants, will be particularly welcome.

iDiv is a family-friendly workplace, and we offer various support for families. For the summer school participants, we are able to offer on-site childcare during the daily programme. If you require this service, please let us know when you apply!

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