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Qlife Quantitative Biology winter school « Quantitative Seascape Ecology of Marine Plankton »

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Download here tentative program


Master in Life Science, ENS
BIO-Q10-Qlife Winter School | Quantitative Seascape Ecology of Marine Plankton
Year and Semester: M2 | S2
Where: Biology department, ENS
Duration: 1 week (March 4 - 8, 2024)
Credits: 3 ECTS
Maximum class size: 25 students


Patrick Charnay, Biology Department, ENS
Chairman of the scientific committee: Chris Bowler, Biology Department, ENS


Tara expeditions | metagenomics | quantitative ecology | plankton | oceanic environment | evolutionary biology | biogeochemistry | climate change

Course prerequisites

Basic experience in file manipulation under Unix/Linux and coding ability in Python or R. Attendance is competitive (25 participants) and open to M2 and PhD students, postdocs, engineers and junior scientists with backgrounds in life science, geoscience, physics, chemistry, computer science and mathematics.

Course objectives and description

Aims and themes: the workshop will cover a range of quantitative studies in ecology made possible by the extensive Tara Oceans datasets, which comprise DNA sequence and organism imaging resources from all domains of plankton life including viruses, as well as rich metadata to explore their environmental context.
Participants will learn to use these unprecedented resources for exploring contributions of plankton to ecological, evolutionary and biogeochemical processes, aiming to provide the predictive power needed to track the impact of climate change on life in the oceans.

Organisation: Each day will include two introductory lectures in the morning, followed by digital practicals run by experts in the afternoon (every day, the student has to choose between two practicals).
The evenings will include inspirational seminars from prestigious scientists and poster presentations by the students.

Assessment of M2 students

After the course, the student who requires a mark writes reports on two of the digital workshops, which will be assessed by the coordinators of the practicals.

Course material

The course will include introductory lectures, a series of hands-on digital workshops run by experts, inspirational seminars from prestigious scientists and poster sessions run by the students.

Application Deadline

January 7th, 2024

Registration fees

150 € (fees cover food and lodging from Monday morning to Friday afternoon. Some travel grants will be available).

Application procedure

Register through this link
In addition, provide a CV, a motivation letter (including justification for travel grant if requested) and a supporting letter from a supervisor with “Qlife Marine Plankton Winter School 2024_LASTNAME” as subject header to Melissa.Dewulf at

Suggested readings in relation with the module content

Karsenti, E., Acinas, S. G., Bork, P., Bowler, C., De Vargas, C., Raes, J., Sullivan, M., Arendt, D., Benzoni, F., Claverie, J. M., Follows, M., Gorsky, G., Hingamp, P., Iudicone, D, Jaillon, O., Kandels-Lewis, S., Krzic, U., Not, F., Ogata, H., Pesant, S., Reynaud, E. G., Sardet, C., Sieracki, M. E., Speich, S., Velayoudon, D., Weissenbach, J., Wincker, P.; the Tara Oceans Consortium. A holistic approach to marine eco-systems biology. PLoS Biol. 9: e1001177 (2011).

Sunagawa, S., Acinas, S. G., Bork, P., Bowler, C., Tara Oceans Coordinators, Eveillard, D., Gorsky, G., Guidi, L., Iudicone, D., Karsenti, E., Lombard, F., Ogata, H., Pesant, S., Sullivan, M. B., Wincker, P. and de Vargas, C. Tara Oceans: towards global ocean ecosystems biology. Nat. Rev. Microbiol. 18: 428-445 (2020).

Pierella Karlusich, J. J., Lombard, F., Irisson, J.-O., Bowler, C. and Foster, R. A. Coupling imaging and omics in plankton surveys: State-of-the-art, challenges, and future directions. Front. Mar. Sci. 9: 878803. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2022.878803 (2022).

Delmont, T. O., Gaia, M., Hinsinger, D. D., Fremont, P., Vanni, C., Fernandez Guerra, A., Eren, A. M., Kourlaiev, A., d’Agata, L., Clayssen, Q., Villar, E., Labadie, K., Cruaud, C., Poulain, J., Da Silva, C., Wessner, M., Noel, B., Aury, J. M., Tara Oceans Coordinators, de Vargas, C., Bowler, C., Karsenti, E., Pelletier, E., Wincker, P. and Jaillon, O. Functional repertoire convergence of distantly related eukaryotic plankton lineages abundant in the sunlit ocean. Cell Genomics 2: 100123 (2022).