Consumer-Resource Interactions

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Consumer-Resource Interactions

in Times of Global Environmental Change

Sunday 2 - Thursday 6 December 2018

Hotel de Bergse Bossen, Driebergen


aquatic-ecologyAll organisms require inputs of energy and/or materials in order to grow and reproduce. Consumer-resource interactions in all its variations (i.e., plant-nutrient, plant-herbivore, predator-prey, host-parasitoid, and host-parasite) are central to ecological and evolutionary research. However, consumer-resource interactions are also the basis of exploitative competition (two or more consumers share resources), facilitation (one consumer increases resources for another) and many mutualisms (species trade 'resources'). Most organisms function as both consumers and resources in a food web. The functional and numerical responses of the consumer and a function describing resource population growth are essential components of any consumer-resource interaction. Understanding these responses often requires that we understand the adaptive processes - behaviour, phenotypic plasticity and evolution - that shape these interactions on both short and long time-scales.

This one-week course will illustrate how adopting a consumer-resource approach can change our understanding of interactions, and how adaptive processes can be important in understanding both academic and applied problems in ecology. This edition of the course will focus on consumer-resource interactions in times of global environmental change at three levels of integration: the individual-population level, the community-ecosystem level and the socio-ecological level. Consumer-resource interactions at each of these levels of integration will be introduced by world-renowned experts, with a focus on the latest developments and ongoing research efforts. The introductions will provide the starting point for practical work by the participants to make the acquired knowledge operational. To this end, sub-groups are challenged to develop ideas for their own research: analysing their own data, writing a proposal, planning an experiment, developing a model or writing a paper. The lecturers and organisers will be available to all groups during the practical work, allowing participants intensive interaction with them. The main goal of the course will be achieved if the participants acquire novel ideas and techniques for their own research. Aside from updating and deepening your scientific knowledge in the field of consumer-resource interactions, this course also offers an excellent opportunity to broaden your network and to interact with world-class scientists in the field!

Sometimes, our PhD courses can even lead to scientific journal articles, such as this one by Jim de Fouw (who participated in the 2014 edition of the course) and his colleagues: (note the comment in the acknowledgements section)!


On Sunday evening, we start with warming-up lectures by the organisers. Then, on Monday, the basics of consumer-resource interactions and the topics will be introduced. After that, work groups will be formed. During the following days, there will be lectures on specific topics, followed by discussion. The rest of the day will be spent on the practical work, under the supervision of the lecturers and the organisers. On the last day, the groups present their practical work to all participants. 


General information
Target Group The course is aimed at PhD candidates and other academics
Group Size Min. 25, max. 40 participants
Course duration 5 days
Language of instruction English
Frequency of recurrence Once every four years
Number of credits 1.5 ECTS
Prior knowledge Basic knowledge of consumer-resource interactions is required. Basic knowledge on modelling is helpful but not essential.
Location Hotel Bergse Bossen, Driebergen


Course Lecturers

World-renowned experts / lecturers contributing to the course:

Course Organisers


Fees 1
PE&RC / SENSE / RSEE PhD candidates with an approved TSP € 280,- € 330,-
a) All other PhD candidates
b) Postdocs and staff of the above mentioned Graduate Schools
€ 600,- € 650,-
All others € 880,- € 930,-

1 The course fee includes accommodation, all meals, course materials, coffee/tea, and water. It does not include beverages in the bar.
2 The Early-Bird Fee applies to anyone who REGISTERS ON OR BEFORE 4 NOVEMBER 2018


  • If you need an invoice to complete your payment, please send an email to, including ALL relevant details that should be mentioned on the invoice (e.g., purchase order no., specific addresses, attendees, etc.).
  • The Early-Bird policy is such that the moment of REGISTRATION (and not payment) is leading for determining the fee that applies to you.
  • Please make sure that your payment is arranged within two weeks after your registration.
  • It is the participant's responsibility to make sure that he/she (or his/her secretary) completes the payment correctly and in time.
PE&RC Cancellation Conditions
  • Up to 4 (four) weeks prior to the start of the course, cancellation is free of charge.
  • Up to 2 (two) weeks prior to the start of the course, a fee of € 280,- will be charged.
  • In case of cancellation within two weeks prior to the start of the course, a fee of € 600,- will be charged.
  • If you do not show at all, a fee of € 880,- will nevertheless be charged.

Note: If you would like to cancel your registration, ALWAYS inform us and do not assume that by NOT paying the participation fee, your registration is automatically cancelled, because it isn't (and do note that you will be kept to the cancellation conditions).

More information

Dr. Lennart Suselbeek (PE&RC)
Phone: +31 (0) 317 485426


To register, please enter your details below and click "Register".