Biosystematics, informatics and genomics of the big 4 insect groups: training tomorrow's researchers and entrepreneurs


BIG4 course on Historical biogeography and diversification analyses
The workshop took place from October 29 to November 3, 2017, on La Palma, Canary Islands.
This workshop focused on historical biogeography which is the study of the present and past distribution patterns of biological diversity and their underlying environmental and historical causes, it uses a combination of phylogenetic and distributional information. For this workshop three teachers were invited: Nicolas Chazot (Lund University), Isabel Sanmartín (Real Jardín Botánico) and Brent Emerson (Instituto de Productos Naturales y Agrobiología).
The workshop covered lectures on different models of historical geography and diversification analyses, as well as practical sessions on different softwares and programs allowing to study diversification processes.

Student presentations:
Elsa Call
Emmanuel Arriaga Varela
Ihar Arlou
Janina Kypke
Anne-Sarah Ganske

Vienna workshop (Morphology of Invertebrates 3D imaging and novel approaches for Biosystematics, 8th May- 13 May 2017, Naturhistorisches Museum​ Wien

This recent BIG4 workshop took place in spring 2017 at the Natural History Museum, Vienna, hosted by Dr. Nesrine Akkari. Here are the presentations from the workshop:

Dr. Sarah Faulwetter: Cyberspecimens: from creation to curation and publication

Course slides and literature from Dr. Brian Metscher
Basic microscope alignment
Cromey10- Digital Imaging Ethics
Contrast-enhanced MicroCT: 3D images in various life sciences applications
Slides from 11 May
Slides from 11 May (2)
Slides from 12 May
Photoshop- Image size dialog box
Photoshop- Using the histogram tool
Reference and links

Arn Rytter Jensen- Scientific Illustration
Lowres Illustrations- presentation
Illustrator: cheat-sheet_macOS
Illustrator: cheat-sheet_Windows
Photoshop: cheat-sheet_macOS
Photoshop: cheat-sheet_Windows

Stockholm workshop, 10th Oct- 17th Oct 2016, Tovetorp field station south of Stockholm

From 09.10.2016 to 19.10.2016 BIG4 held a workshop at Tovetorp Research Station in Sweden. These the slides and notes from the different events:

Bayesian Phylogenetics and Phylogenomics

Fredrik Ronquist: Bayesisan Phylogenetic Inference: Introduction
Fredrik Ronquist: Dating Phylogenies with Fossils
Fredrik Ronquist: Introduction to MrBayes
Fredrik Ronquist: Phylogenetic Graphical Models and RevBayes: Introduction
Niklas Wahlberg: Comparing via BIC


Exercises at the Uppmax supercomptuting cluster
Unix tips
External: "De Bruijn Graph assembly"


Rodrigo Esparza-Salas: Seal diet analysis using the OBITools pipeline
Daniel Marquina: Design And In Silico Validation Of PCR-metabarcoding Primers
Danie Marquina: Problems with amplicon-based approaches (and how to overcome them)

Citizen Science

Stephen Coulson: Artportalen (Swedish Species Observation System)
Devin P Sullivan: Project Discovery/ Real Science in Real Games


Entrepreneurship panel
Entrepreneurship exercise

How to Become a Successful Scientist?

Janina's Notes
Victor's Notes

Student Presentations

Elsa Call
AnneSarah Ganske
Ashish Tomar
Janina Kypke
Hamid Ghanavi Tovetorp
Trevor Burt
Erik Gobbo
Emmanuel Arriaga Varela
Si-Pei Liu
Ihar Arlou
Daniel Marquina
Matthias Seidel
Josh Shaw
Viktor Senderov

BIG4 Field Workshop, June 6-10 2016, Podyjí National Park, Czech Republic

The field workshop, organized by Martin Fikáček took place at Havraníky, Czech Republic. Students were introduced to the insect orders, various collecting methods and sample sorting  & identification and curation, among others.

During the workshop, student were also given a chance to present a progress report of their on-going projects, including their current milestones, problems and challenges. This event provided a dynamic platform to stimulate a rich discussion among students and supervisors that can be beneficial for their projects.

A heartfelt thank you to the external collaborators: Ole Karsholt, Pavel Matos, Petr Jansta and Dominik Vondracek, for their invaluable expertise in helping out with this workshop

Presentation from the workshop are as below:
Start & conclusion
Collecting methods
Legal aspects
Modern Systematics
Name & Vouchers
Species disc. BOLD
Species disc. Concept
Species disc. Delimitation

BIG 4 Kick-off meeting, September 14-18 2015, Copenhagen, Denmark

The BIG 4 Kick-off meeting took place on September 14-18 2015 in Copenhagen, Denmark with all students having a chance to meet each other and every BIG4 supervisor. The meeting involved a variety of scientific activities and social events including presentations of each individual BIG4 project, talks about BIG4’s fellow’s rights and obligations, ITN financing rules, and network work packages. Finally, ITN fellows had a workshop on museum entomological collections, their management and curation.

You can see all meeting presentation below:


Work packages presentations:

Entomological collections workshop:


BIG4 Initial Supervisory Board Meeting, January 21, 2015

This Supervisory Board meeting is the first bussiness meeting for the PIs and the Coordinating Team of the University of Copenhagen. The meeting took place on the 21st of January 2015 at the Zoological Museum of Copenhagen, Denmark. The one-day meeting was attended by the BIG4 management team, beneficiaries, partners and several guests from the Zoological Museum of Copenhagen to sharpen and tune ITN plans and activities in preparation for hiring new fellows and for the kick-off meeting.