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Regular courses

Several faculty members of the FCM program offer courses related to the program’s fields of study at their respective universities. Many of these courses can be taken remotely by videoconference, provided there are facilities available. Students must notify the professor and program coordinator at least one session in advance of their intention to participate in these courses.

Courses are open to all interested students, even if they are not enrolled in the FCM program.

Registration for Regular Courses

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Summer Schools

Every year, the FCM program organise a Summer School adressing themes such as forest ecology, modelling and complexity. Students supported by a scholarship from the FCM program are strongly encouraged to attend. FCM Partners are also welcome. Non-scholarship students may also attend, provided that there is sufficient space.

This Summer School is open to foreign students and the majority of classes will be offered in English. It is our hope that the Summer School will not only provide valuable training, but will also provide opportunities for exchanges, impromptu meetings and stimulating discussions.



The fifth edition of the FCM Summer School will be held from May 16 to 20, 2016, at the Laurentian Biology Station (Université de Montréal, St-Hippolyte, about one hour from Montreal by car). A dozen of professors and collaborators will give lectures and workshops addressing issues related to forest ecology, complexity and modelling. As this is the last year of the FCM program, the 2016 Summer School will focus on the futur of forests as complex adaptive systems. Modelling workshops, group exercices and dicussions will be organised by many FCM members.

This year, we are very pleased to welcome Dr. Michael Scherer-Lorenzen, professor at the University of Freiburg. Michael and professors Beatrix Beisner et Paul del Giorgio, from the department of biology at UQAM, will give a workshop on the links between terrestrial and aquatic diversity. We will also meet delegates from the Calcul Québec group. Here is the scheduleAdobe.


Costs will be largely covered by the program for students (accommodation and meals). M.Sc. and Ph.D. students enrolled in a Quebec university (including foreign students that do not pay increased tuition fees) MUST register to BIO864C to participate to the Summer School (see below).

To be fair to all, students enrolled in universities outside Quebec and foreign students enrolled in Quebec universities that pay increased tuition fees can 1- Attempt to get 1 credit by their respective university for this training or 2- Not register to the 1 credit course but pay a CAN$ 100 contribution upon arrival, by check. This also applies to postdoctoral fellows.

Registration to BIO864C :

This summer school is a 1 credit course. The course is entitled « BIO864C École en modélisation de la complexité de la forêt » and is given by the Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences biologiques. The evaluation will be based on active participation. As the content is different every year, it is possible to register more than once.

Registration to the Summer School:

In all cases, you must register with the FCM program by completing the registration form. Deadline: April 22, 2016.

Note to all non-scholarship students: Because space may be limited, please send a letter detailing the relevance of this Summer School in your academic progression to the program coordinator. You will receive a confirmation of your inscription after the deadline if there is still enough room for accommodation.

Note to FCM scholarship students: Transportation costs will be refunded by the FCM program.


In 2015, two summer schools related to the FCM program were offered.

The fourth edition of the FCM Summer School was held from May 25 to 29, 2015, at Laurentian Biology Station (Université de Montréal, north of Montreal city). Here is the detailed scheduleAdobe and the picture gallery.

Another summer school, on Forests as complex systems, was offered at the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest in Oregon, June 8-12, 2015. Here is the general infoAdobe and the syllabusAdobe.



The third edition of the FCM Summer School was held from June 2 to 6, 2014, at Forêt Montmorency (Université Laval, north of Québec city).

Here is the detailed scheduleAdobe and the picture gallery.



The second edition was held from June 3 to 7 2013 at the Gault Nature Reserve (McGill University, Saint-Hilaire, Quebec).

Here is the detailed schedule Adobe and the picture gallery.

The session "How to integrate complexity in management?" given by Christian Messier and Klaus Puettmann was recorded and is available in 3 episodes on YouTube :

  1. Managing Forests as Complex Adaptive Systems (Christian Messier)
  2. Adaptability (Klaus Puettmann)
  3. From Adaptability to Panarchy (Klaus Puettmann)

PDF part 1Adobe PDF parts 2 and 3Adobe



The first edition has been held from May 28th to June 1st at the Laurentian Biology Station (Université de Montréal, Saint-Hippolyte, Quebec).

Here are the detailed schedule Adobe and the photo gallery.


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Other training activities

Seminars, workshops and other training activities are given regularly by invited researchers in the various participating universities. Check the calendar and contact the program coordinator if you wish to attend the presentations remotely.


Modelling Summer school

A one week summer school on modelling techniques of ecological ecosystems will be offered at August 25-29, 2014. Training will be given at the Domaine Valga, located at Saint-Gabriel (approx. 30 km from Rimouski). The training will be given by Dominique Gravel, professor at Université du Québec à Rimouski and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Continental Ecosystem Ecology. This intensive training session is principally intended for MSc and PHD students in biology, forestry, wildlife management and oceanography. The objective is to acquire the technical skills needed to design and analyze ecological models. Main topics will include: i) Differential equations, local stability analysis; ii) Numerical methods of integration; iii) Stochastic models; iv) Cellular automata and spatial ecology; v) Ecological networks. For each topic, there will be short presentations of the techniques, followed by supervised exercises in R and then work on personal projects. Participants are required to already have at least a basic familiarity with R and knowledge of differential and integral calculus. All details here.

Workshop on Structural equations and Path analysis

James Grace (U.S. Geological Survey) gave a workshop on structural equations and path analysis, March 25, 2014, at UQAM (Montréal). James Grace is a world leader in Quantitative Ecology.  This workshop was organized by the Chair in Spatial Modelling and Biodiversity and the FCM program. For more information, please consult Dr. Grace's web site and his book «Structural Equation Modeling and Natural Sytems » (Cambridge).


Work meeting - How the concept of "Complex Adaptive System" can be useful and used to better manage the world's forests

A work meeting was held October 31 2013 with Dr. Simon Levin (complexity specialist), Robin Chazdon (specialist in the dynamics and management of tropical forests) and Klaus Puettmann (specialist in silviculture and in the use of the concept of complexity in forest management) to discuss how the concept of "Complex Adaptive System" can be useful and used to better manage the world's forests. The purpose of this meeting was to have the basics to write a short article for forest managers in a high impact journal. FCM members and students were welcome to attend this meeting that was held at the Station de Biologie des Laurentides (Université de Montréal).

Modelling Techniques in Ecology Summer School

The first one week summer school on modelling techniques of ecological ecosystems was offered at August 26-30, 2013. Training was given at the Domaine Valga, located near Rimouski. The training was given by Dominique Gravel, professor at Université du Québec à Rimouski and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Continental Ecosystem Ecology assisted by Timothée Poisot, postdoctoral fellow at the same lab. All the material used during the training is available here.

Workshop for LANDIS users

A workshop for LANDIS users was held at ISFORT (Ripon, Québec) on October 28-30, 2013. This workshop was organised by Frédérik Doyon’s lab and the FCM Program. After discussions among current LANDIS users working in Quebec, it's been acknowledged that there was a need for sharing the methodological and technical expertise that we acquired in process of our respective projects. All details here.


Workshop on Mixed models in a bayesian and frequentist context

Ben Bolker (McMaster University, a world leader in the field of quantitative ecology) gave a two-day workshop at UQAM (Montréal), October 30th and 31st 2012. About 20 participants attended the workshop organised jointly by the Canada Research Chair in Spatial Modelling and Biodiversity and the CREATE program in Forest Complexity Modelling. Please visit Dr. Bolker’s web site and his book “Ecological Models and Data in R”.

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International internships

Students are encouraged to do internships at other institutes and laboratories working in the fields of complexity (e.g. Santa Fe Institute and the New England Complex Systems Institute) and modelling (e.g. International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies). Mobility scholarships have been established by the FCM program and several other mobility bursaries are available through universities and research centres associated with the FCM program.