Biological Modelling and Model Analysis

Faculteit Science and Engineering
Jaar 2019/20
Vakcode WMLS18002
Vaknaam Biological Modelling and Model Analysis
Niveau(s) master
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester I a (23-09-2019 till 02-11-2019)

Uitgebreide vaknaam Biological Modelling and Model Analysis
Leerdoelen Learning objectives:
At the end of the course, the student is able to:
1) construct a quantitative model to address a biological research question
2) analyse a model with the help of mathematical techniques and computer simulation
3) derive biological insights from model analysis and communicate these to a broad audience
4) confront models with data and choose among models on the basis of empirical evidence
5) apply modelling strategies from a range of biological disciplines, and assess their strengths and weaknesses for addressing a given research question
Omschrijving In this course, students are made familiar with all phases of the modelling cycle: the translation of biological questions into formal models; the simplification of models to manageable complexity; the analysis of models with the help of mathematical, numerical and simulation techniques; the presentation of the qualitative and quantitative conclusions obtained from the model analysis; the estimation of model parameters and model validation; model comparison and selection of the best-supported model on the basis of empirical data; the refinement of models on the basis of the interplay between modelling and model-based data analysis.
Throughout the course, students will apply modelling and model analysis to research questions from various disciplines (e.g., systems biology, neurobiology, bioinformatics, phylogenetics, behavioural and social sciences, community ecology, evolutionary biology). The emphasis of the course will not only be on the technical aspects, but also (and perhaps even more) on the biological conclusions that can be drawn from a modelling approach. The course is taught by theoreticians working in different areas of biology, who are using a broad variety of modelling techniques. In this way, students gain an overview of the theoretical research done in the life sciences at the University of Groningen, as well as an understanding of the strength and weaknesses of different modelling strategies for addressing particular kinds of research questions.
Half of the course consists of a structured program of lectures and computer practicals covering all aspects of the modelling cycle. Along the way, students will develop their own modelling project (from model building, analysis, interpretation and validation to communication of the results). The other half of the course provides an in-depth overview of modelling approaches used in various disciplines of the life sciences. For each topic, students submit one of the exercises for evaluation.
Uren per week
Onderwijsvorm Hoorcollege (LC), Practisch werk (PRC)
(Lectures in class room setting, Computer practicals & project)
Toetsvorm Opdracht (AST), Presentatie (P)
(The final grade of the course is based on a mark for the presentation of the modelling project with associated documentation (50% of the final grade) and the grades for hand-in assignments associated with the guest lectures (determining 50% of the final grade in total). Active participation in the computer practicals, the project and the assignments are a precondition for obtaining a final mark.)
Vaksoort master
Coördinator dr. G.S. van Doorn
Docent(en) prof. dr. R.S. Etienne ,prof. dr. C.K. Hemelrijk ,dr. A. Milias Argeitis ,prof. dr. I.R. Pen ,prof. dr. J. van de Koppel ,dr. G.S. van Doorn ,prof. dr. F.J. Weissing
Verplichte literatuur
Titel Auteur ISBN Prijs
Course syllabus with study material, exercises and solutions various authors
Entreevoorwaarden Entry requirements are: sufficient background in mathematics and working knowledge of the computer algebra program Mathematica. These requirements can be met by completing the course Mathematics in the Life Sciences or an equivalent course.
Opmerkingen The course is compulsory for the track Modelling in the Life Sciences, therefore students in this track have priority if the course is overbooked. The course unit prepares students for a research project in theoretical biology for which the learning objectives attained are required as prior knowledge.
Study load: Lecture 100 hours,Practical 180 hours
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
MSc Biology: Modelling in the Life Sciences  ( Track Modelling in the Life Sciences) - semester I a verplicht
MSc Biology: Research  (Compulsory master courses) - semester I a keuze
MSc Biology: Science, Business and Policy  (Compulsory master courses) - semester I a keuze
MSc Biomolecular Sciences  (Electives/Optional modules) - semester I a keuze
MSc Courses for Exchange Students: Biology - semester I a verplicht
MSc Ecology and Evolution: Ecology and Conservation  (Electives/optional modules) - semester I a keuze
MSc Ecology and Evolution: Evolutionary Biology  (Electives/optional modules) - semester I a keuze
MSc Marine Biology: Research  (Compulsory master courses) - semester I a keuze