Biodiversity Conservation Society Sarawak
Pertubuhan Konservasi Biodiversiti Sarawak
About BCSS
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Trainers' area
Past workshops
Conferences and meetings:

"Boot Camp" in wildlife study design and data analysis

The 10-day "Boot Camp" is intended for those involved in wildlife research using techniques such as presence/absence surveys or mark-recapture - or those who need to understand the results of this research. More details are here. See also Who we are.

Myanmar, University of Mandalay, 2-14 July 2019

Venue: University of Mandalay

Dates: Tues evening 2 July to Sun 14 July, with breaks on Sat 6 and Wed 10 July.

Registration Deposit: A deposit of US$50 (MMK 75,000) is required to confirm your booking. This will be refunded on completion of the workshop.

Registration includes all workshop materials and refreshments, but not lunch. Participants should bring their own notebook computers. All software used is free of charge.

Application deadline: 15 May 2019, but priority goes to those who apply early. Applications will close when fully booked.


  • Myanmar Nationals: Accommodation at the university hostel costs 5,000MMK per person for twin sharing or 10,000 MMK for single occupancy. Booking must go through the local organizer.
  • Non-Myanmar Nationals: Accommodation at the hotels near University campus within walking distance cost approx. 30 USD per night for twin room.

The workshop will be conducted in English.


Kuala Lumpur, 8-19 July 2019

Venue: Akademi Hevea, part of the Rubber Research Institute complex, Sungai Buloh, close to Subang airport.

Dates: Mon 8 to Fri 19 July with breaks on Thu 11 and Mon 15 July. This is just before the International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB) in Kuala Lumpur.

Registration fee: US$300 (MYR1200), with an early-bird rate of US$200 (MYR780) for those who pay before 8 June 2019.

The registration fee includes all workshop materials, refreshments and lunch. Participants should bring their own notebook computers. All software used is free of charge.

Application deadline: 8 May 2019, but priority goes to those who apply early. Applications will close when fully booked.

Accommodation: Accommodation and meals at Akademi Hevea Lodge for 12 nights (check-in 7 July, check-out 20 July) costs US$250 (MYR980) per person for twin sharing  or US$380 (MYR1500) for single occupancy. This includes dinner, supper, and breakfast. Bookings must go through BCSS.


Further Boot Camps are being planned in Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Tanzania and Indonesia. Details will be posted here as soon as available.

Other specialist workshops for wildlife researchers

In 2018, we ran workshops on Simulations and Modelling, Bayes with JAGS, Data Exploration, and GIS with QGIS and R. Details are included on our Past Workshops page. We currently have no plans to run other specialist workshops; email workshops@bcss.org.my if you are interested in hosting one.

Note that all these workshops focus on techniques used for terrestrial vertebrates; they can usually be modified for use with invertebrates or plants, or for aquatic systems, but our examples will be for terrestrial systems.

Simulations and Modelling in R

Simulations are an important tool for wildlife biologists when designing a study. It enables you to explore different sample sizes and sampling strategies, to see how best to collect data to answer your research question. In addition, setting up simulations forces you to think through how the data might be generated, ie, to create a model of the system you are studying. More information here.

Bayesian analysis with JAGS and R

We introduce Bayesian concepts in the Boot Camp, but to go beyond the simplest cases, you need to get to grips with JAGS software. Here we show how to use JAGS for typical analyses of wildlife data and provide skills to go further. Details of workshop content are here.

Data Exploration and Display with R

Checking, organising and exploring the data are vital before starting on any analysis. Here we discuss the process from recording in the field to ready-to-use data in R and the presentation of the data and results using charts. Details of topics to be covered are here.

Introduction to GIS with QGIS and R

Geographic information system (GIS) tools are essential today for understanding what is happening around us. QGIS software is free, open-source, cross-platform software that is constantly updated for greater performance. This workshop is intended for those who want to learn the basics of GIS but do not have access to proprietary software. More details of the content are here.

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Updated 29 March 2019 by Mike Meredith