Plant Functional Traits

Organizers invite applications for the 4th TraitTrain International Plant Functional Traits Course (TraitTrain4). This course will take place 16-27 July 2018 at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway.


This course is intended for graduate students, M.Sc. and PhD, and will offer hands-on experience with collecting and exploring plant functional traits data in a real-life field research project setting. The course will also include an introduction to the use of plant trait data in climate-change research and ecosystem ecology.

TraitTrain4 will address several core scientific questions with an emphasis on key skills, including:

  • Collecting original data in the field
  • Developing data management skills
  • Developing computational and statistical skills
  • Generating data summaries and basic hypothesis tests.

Participants will be introduced to the environmental, ecological, and taxonomic diversity of the region, and will be involved in one of the following projects:

  • Assessing the role of climate and biotic factors in determining plant community leaf trait composition
  • Assessing how temperature variation and leaf functional traits influence leaf ecophysiology
  • Using a trait-based approach to assess how local plant communities and populations respond to experimental climate and grazing treatments
  • Measuring how functional trait composition influences ecosystem functioning by measuring carbon dioxide (CO2)-flux within and across plant communities.

The course fee covers costs for accommodation, food, and transport in Svalbard. For students at the University of Bergen, the University of Arizona, and UNIS, funding is available to help offset cost of travel to Svalbard. Some external participants may also be offered funding to support travel to Svalbard.

Applications must include a short personal statement describing how the course fits into the applicant's goals and aspirations and a curriculum vitae. Applicants should also rank the four projects listed above in order of interest.

Applications should be send to Vigdis Vandvik or Brian Enquist by the 1 April 2018.

The course is organized in collaboration with University of Bergen, University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) and University of Arizona.

Course details

Academic level(s)Master, PhD
CountryNorway
Language of instructionEnglish
InstitutionUniversity of Bergen
Begin date16.07.2018
End date27.07.2018
Registration deadline01.04.2018
ECTS credits0.0
Field schoolYes
Fields of studyEnvironmental science
Teaching placeSvalbard
Teaching termSummer term
Tagsfield schoolclimate changesummer schoolplants
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