The Serrapilheira/ICTP-SAIFR Training Program in Quantitative Ecology trains young scientists studying at Brazilian institutions for world-class research on ecology using the quantitative methods of mathematics, physics, and computer science.
Brazil’s ecosystems are among the richest in the world, and it is becoming increasingly clear that their inherent complexity poses enormous scientific challenges to find solutions that allow them to survive and flourish. The goal is to build an interconnected network of highly skilled scientists who can make significant contributions to advance the field in Brazil and Latin America.
To reach its goal, the training program is highly selective and involves students who have already developed quantitative skills and are interested in applying these skills in solving cutting-edge problems in ecology. Lectures are presented by international experts. Vítor Vasconcelos from CSL complemented the lecture series with a course on Evolutionary Game Theory and Critical Transition.
This was one of the most rewarding experiences I had teaching, with lots of immediate feedback and interactions. Students were engaged, actively digging into the materials as we discussed them and asking a lot of highly relevant questions, relating to cross-domain literature. During the breaks and lunches, they would mention the many research projects that they were already involved in, reflecting on the successes and failures they’d experienced. This was quite surprising given their academic age. I need to thank Flávia Marquitti for the invitation and for this great honor and the rest of the organization for a very pleasant stay.