In the framework of the Conference, 3 training sessions will be provided, tailored to specific audiences, and with maximum capacity of 20 participants for each session.
The sessions will take place during the weekend before the Conference. You can register for a session via the conference registration page.
Training Session 1 – 5 April
Using genetic data to detect barrier effects of linear transportation infrastructures (See details)
Training Session 2 – 4 and 5 April
Monitoring wildlife crossings and roadkills (See details)
Training Session 3 – 5 April
Planning for resolving ecological conflicts in transportation (See details)
1. “Using genetic data to detect barrier effects of linear transportation infrastructures”
Niko received degrees in Forest Ecology, Environmental Monitoring, and Wildlife Resources. His practical experiences include working for a private consulting company where he conducted environmental impact assessments for road construction projects. He was a postdoc at the Leibniz-Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin before moving to the University of Goettingen in 2011, where he currently leads the Department of Wildlife Sciences. His research focuses on ecological connectivity, which he analyzes at different biological levels (from genes to ecosystems) and by combining movement ecology, landscape genetics, and simulation modeling. Many of his projects include an assessment of road effects on functional connectivity.
Linear transportation infrastructures (e.g., roads, canals) can severely impede movement and gene flow of species. Genetic data are increasingly used to detect such barrier effects and the use of genetic data has many potential advantages over other data types, such as mark-recapture or telemetry. However, gathering and analysing genetic data requires specialized knowledge and skills that not all road ecologists possess. The aim of the training session is to provide non-geneticists with an overview of available approaches for genetically detecting barrier effects, so that participants will be able to evaluate published studies and conduct their own projects involving genetics. During the training session, participants will first learn about the different components of genetic variation and the genetic markers available to quantify this variation. Following this theoretical background, the session will introduce several of the most commonly-used methods for detecting genetic barrier effects of linear landscape features. Each method will be explained and illustrated with an empirical study. Participants will then have the opportunity to apply the methods themselves using small data sets. The session will conclude with some guidelines for study design and optimal data analysis to detect barrier effects, and a discussion of individual projects that participants plan to conduct in the future. Note that participates have to bring their own laptops (preferably with a Windows operation system) and with the latest version of the R statistical environment and various packages installed. The training session is aimed at researchers and practitioners with no or limited knowledge of population genetics, but with at least a basic working knowledge in R.
What is genetic variation?
Adaptive vs. neutral genetic data
Processes affecting genetic variation
Diversity vs. structure
How do we measure genetic variation?
How to detect genetic barrier effects (background, example and practical exercise for each method)
Traditional statistics (FST etc.)
Barrier detection methods (Monmonier’s algorithm, Wombling)
Individual-based genetic distances
Assignment and clustering methods
Bayesian estimation of migration rates
Landscape genetic approaches (partial Mantel tests, distance-based regression, etc.)
Landscape genetic simulations
Final discussion and wrap-up
How long before a barrier can be detected genetically?
What species traits impact genetic road effects?
Study design for genetic studies in road ecology
Discussion of individual projects
Balkenhol N & Sunnucks P (2015): Genetic approaches in road ecology. Pp. 110-118 in: Handbook of Road Ecology. Van Der Ree R, Grilo C & Smith D (Eds.). Wiley-Blackwell.
Holderegger R & Di Giulio M (2011): The genetic effects of roads: A review of empirical evidence. Basic and Applied Ecology 11: 522-531
Balkenhol N & Waits LP (2009): Molecular road ecology: Exploring the potential of molecular genetics to investigate the impacts of transportation on wildlife. Molecular Ecology 18: 4151-4164.
2. “Monitoring wildlife crossings and roadkills”
The course will be taught by road ecology experts from Minuartia and the University of Évora. With the support of IENE, LIFE LINES and the LIFE Safe Crossing projects.
Carme Rosell, PhD biologist. Senior consultant at MINUARTIA, in Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain). Member of a research group in the Department of Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences, University of Barcelona Her work focuses on the mitigation of human-wildlife conflicts and she has led numerous projects on ecology and transportation (roads, railways and airports). She also participated in R&D projects such as LIFE Safe-Crossing, on reducing road impacts on large carnivores, and the CEDR Project SAFEROAD - Safe Roads for Wildlife and People. Topics of expertise include wildlife passages, reducing animal-vehicle collisions and improving road maintenance practices to enhance biodiversity. She has co-authored several guidelines and manuals including the COST341 European handbook ‘Wildlife and Traffic’ (2003), ‘Technical prescriptions for wildlife crossing and fence design’ (2006, update 2015), ‘Handbook of Road Ecology’ (2015) and ‘Road maintenance guidelines to improve wildlife conservation and road safety’-CEDR Roads and Wildlife Program (2016). She regularly teaches on the master’s degree in Landscape Architecture at ETSAB-UPC and in Ecological Restoration at the UB. She is a member of the Infrastructure & Ecology Network Europe (IENE) Governance Board and the ITTECOP Scientific Committee (French Research Program on infrastructure and landscape). She is also editor on editor on ‘Frontiers’ on the topic ‘Integrating Transport Infrastructures with Living Landscapes’.
António Mira is a senior researcher at MED, the Mediterranean Institute for Agriculture, Environment and Development and a teaches Conservation Biology at the University of Évora since 2003. His research ranges between "Applied Population and Community Ecology" and "Landscape Ecology" and in the last ten years its main interests have been focused on transportation ecology. He have lead several studies on the effects land use changes and habitat fragmentation on landscape functional connectivity and implications for long-term wildlife population persistence; description of road/rail kills patterns; quantification of road barrier effect for species with different vagility; monitoring the efficiency of roadkill mitigation measures; and the potential role of verges as corridors and refuges for small fauna. He his member of IENE since 2008 and have published more than 80 scientific papers. He is the head of the “LIFE LINES – Linear Infrastructure Networks with Ecological Solutions” project whose main aim is to contribute to more sustainable powerlines and transportation networks.
Sara Santos is a PhD researcher at MED - Mediterranean Institute for Agriculture, Environment and Development. Her research focuses road ecology, but also wildlife ecology and conservation. She is a member of IENE since 2018 and has published 11 scientific papers on road/railway ecology. Since 2010 she has been working on the effects of roads on wildlife. In particular, she is interested in assessing the barrier effect of roads to animal movements and how these structures influence landscape functional connectivity and regional population persistence. Specifically, she intends to assess how roads affect populations persistence, and which life-history traits make species more vulnerable to the impacts of roads. She coordinated the project POPCONNECT whose aim was to assess the relative importance of roadkills and barrier effect in changes of landscape functional connectivity and evaluate the implications of these in long term population viability. She also studied the effects of methods on mortality numbers and spatial patterns when conducting/planning roadkill surveys.
Michal Bíl is an Associated Professor of Environmental Geography and senior researcher at CDV – Transport Research Centre in Brno, Czech Republic. His primary area of research interest at present encompasses spatial analyses of traffic crashes including animal-vehicle collisions. He is a co-author of the KDE+, a geostatistical method (www.kdeplus.cz), which is currently used in many countries for identification of traffic crash hotspots along linear transportation infrastructure. He initiated the development of the animal-vehicle crash and roadkill reporting system for the Czech Republic Srazenazver.cz (www.srazenazver.cz).
Marina Torrellas is a MSc consultant at MINUARTIA. Degree in Biology at the University of Barcelona and master's degree in 'Earth Ecology and Biodiversity Management' at Autonomous University of Barcelona. In 2015 she started the collaboration with Minuartia in the framework of the European project SAFEROAD carrying out the final MSc project on Ungulate-Vehicle Collisions in the Catalan road network. She participates in wildlife management projects particularly on monitoring of wildlife mitigation measures on High Speed Railways and roads and identification of hot spots on animal-vehicle collisions in the LIFE Safe-Crossing project ‘Preventing Animal-Vehicle Collisions – Demonstration of Best Practices targeting priority species in SE Europe’. She also collaborates on developing guidelines such as the ‘Implementation Guides to address Road mitigation strategies and Maintenance of ecological assets on linear infrastructure-CEDR Call 2013 – Roads and wildlife’.
Nuno M. Pedroso is an Invited Researcher Assistant researcher at MED - Mediterranean Institute for Agriculture, Environment and Development, University of Évora. He's been working mainly in mammalian ecology and conservation mostly linked with aquatic and anthropic environments. He is also interested in environmental policy and impact assessment regarding biodiversity and conservation. He has published 20 scientific papers and also participated and collaborated in several monitoring and environmental impact projects and LIFE projects. Lately, he has been working on road ecology, being the project manager of the “LIFE LINES – Linear Infrastructure Networks with Ecological Solutions”, a LIFE project funded by the European Union, whose main aim is to contribute to more sustainable powerlines and transportation networks.
Luis Guilherme Sousa is a herpetologist and a collaborator at MED - Mediterranean Institute for Agriculture, Environment and Development. Since 2006, he has been working with the ecology and conservation of reptiles and amphibians in Portugal. He has a master’s degree in Conservation Biology from the University of Évora and, during his dissertation, studied the conservation of Mediterranean Temporary Ponds and amphibians in Alentejo region. His main interest is the identification and photographic record of Portugal’s biodiversity. Nowadays, Luis Guilherme Sousa in LIFE LINES Project is responsible for amphibian’s sampling and the development and implementation of mitigation measures to reduce the amphibian roadkills. He also supports all works and has a major contribution in the divulgation and raising awareness among citizens.
This two-day course is suitable for students, young researchers and practitioners involved in projects targeting identification of roadkill hotspots and evaluation of effectiveness of measures aiming to mitigate road-barrier effect and mortality. The first day includes sessions focused on importance of monitoring road mortality and effectiveness of wildlife crossings and fencing. Information provided will help definition of monitoring aims and targets, and selection of the best protocols and techniques to respond each project specific goals. Participants will also receive basic training on data analyses and associated software. The second day will be entirely dedicated to field trips. We will visit roadkill hotspots for different species/groups, amphibian passages and culverts adapted with dry ledges to facilitate fauna passages. Participants will be invited to discuss, in situ, monitoring results considering the methodological protocol that has been used and the landscape context.
4th April 2020. Theoretical and practical classes
Why monitor roadkills?
Roadkill survey methods and protocols:
Innovative devices for automatic detection and identification of carcasses using artificial intelligence
Planning and executing a road kill monitoring program:
The need for standardized sampling designs
Identifying the data and resources that are needed
Identifying possible constrains
Undertaking the roadkill survey
Analysing and reporting roadkill data
WILDLIFE CROSSINGS / FENCING
Goals of wildlife crossings and fencing in the overall mitigation strategy
Fencing types according to target species
Key points to be monitored to check appropriate status and functionality
Main types of wildlife overpasses and underpasses
Goals and target species according to type
Key features to be registered in the crossing and its surroundings
Implementing a wildlife crossing monitoring program:
Defining monitoring goals and targets
A framework for standardized sampling design
Methods and devices to monitor wildlife crossing data according to target species
Analyzing wildlife crossing data and evaluating effectiveness
5th April 2020. Field trip to several roads in Évora county
Hotspots of road mortality. Visit to several mitigation sites (amphibian passages, wildlife underpasses; walls to prevent bat mortality). Discussion of monitoring methods and results.
3. “Planning for resolving ecological conflicts in transportation”
After 17 years as environmental and health director at the Swedish Transport Administration, I started Trogon Consulting AB to be able to use my knowledge, constructively, in order to make things happened. With my background as a scientist, politician and civil servant I wanted to combine my fields of expertise to something new. Example of this, is my present research around governmental incentives for sustainable development and how one can create public acceptance for the forthcoming changes. I also supply the Swedish agency for transport analysis and regional authorities with background analysis for transport policies. Between 1990 and 1998 I was active as a politician in the municipality of Sollentuna and (1995-1998) as a political advisor for the Swedish minister of transport. Member of the environment and health committee (1990-1994), the high school board (1994-1995), municipal executive board (1994-1998) and the local parliament (1991-1998).
Marguerite Trocmé, born in Paris in 1961 received her Bachelor of Science in 1983 in terrestrial ecology from Brown University, USA and a Masters in environmental engineering with a specialization in ecotoxicology from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in 1985. She started working on questions related to the impact of infrastructure on natural habitats in 1986 for the World Wildlife Fund in Geneva and has specialized in this area since 1989, first with the Swiss Environmental Agency, reviewing impacts of gaselines, high tension lines, railways, roads ,hydroelectric dams and golf courses. Since 2008 she is responsible for setting the environmental standards for the Swiss highways at the Swiss federal road office. She is the author of numerous publications relating to the mitigation of impact of infrastructure on the environment, whether it be natural habitats, protection of water resources, soils, dealing with contaminated sites and noise mitigation and organizes regularly courses for engineers. She was vice-president for the COST 341 program and has be actively involved in IENE from the start.
Anders Sjölund is the National Biodiversity Coordinator for the Swedish Transport Administration. He also Chair the nature and cultural group at the Nordic Road Association (NVF), Chair of the Governance Board for the Infrastructure Ecology Network Europe (IENE), member of the Steering Committee for the International Conference on Transport and Ecology (ICOET and member of the Swedish Wildlife Accident Council (NVR). Anders is an Ecologist that been professionally active in the field of Road Ecology since 1997 at The Swedish Road Administration and the Swedish Transport Administration, mainly involved in research and strategic work regarding all aspects of transport infrastructure: Strategic planning, planning, designing, maintenance and follow up.
The programme aims at giving an up to date review of how to plan transport infrastructure in order to resolve the ecological, and social, conflicts that will occur during the planning process. The technical session is given for Yeppi´s (Young ecological and transportation/infrastructure professionals) and for older professionals with the need of a strategic overview over the planning process and conflict solving.
The training course will include lectures and discussions around some real cases. The cases will be three conflict rich projects that is completed*. The projects are Swedish, but the conflicts and the conflict solving mechanisms are universal. The process of conflict resolution in infrastructure planning will be enlightened by lectures from European Experts.
The following topics will be addressed:
Examples of state of the art will be presented from Sweden, Belgium (Flanders) and Switzerland.
*Road 50. A new trunk road that passes through a landscape with high ecological value. It was stopped by the Swedish government at a late stage and redrafted into a different location after extensive landscape analysis.
Botnia Line (railway) A 190 km long new railway along the Costline of northern Sweden that was completed 2010. It involved many ecological conflicts, including major conflicts with Natura 2000.
E6. Tanum. A motorway through a landscape rich in cultural values including the world heritage site of Tanum. The project was completed 2015.