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Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies

Fall 2018

Controversies in Ecology

Autumn Graduate School of the PhD Program in Ecology
ETH & University of Zurich
Kastanienbaum, Switzerland 22 – 26 October 2018

"When a thing ceases to be a subject of controversy, it ceases to be a subject of interest."                W. Hazlitt, The Spirit of Controversy

The theme of the summer school will be "Controversies in Ecology". Now and again, ecologists shake off any reputation as tree-hugging, always-getting-along-well, aligned-in-cause. Instead, they get involved in a good 'ole' disagreement, flinging barbs back and forth in the journals, and elsewhere.


Students developed and presented their understanding of a controversy. The course was designed to increase their synthetic and critical thinking competencies and encouraged students to think creatively about resolving controversies.During the course the students probed the role of controversies for diverse impacts of research and honed their skills across diverse dissemination pathways.>

Instructors were international experts in a range of controversies .


Katja Rasanen (Eawag, CH)
Blake Matthews (Eawag, CH)
Dylan Childs (Uni Sheffield, UK) 
Stephan Munch (UCSC, USA) John DeLong (University of Nebraska, USA) Owen Petchey (UZH, CH)


The graduate school is funded through SUK-Programm "Doktoratsprogramme".