E²M²:  Ecological and Epidemiological Modeling in Madagascar

January 13-20, 2018 + January 22, 2018

Centre ValBio, Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar

Preparation for E²M²

Software installations

We ask that you please begin to familiarize yourself with the computer programs that will be used at E2M2. If you will be bringing a personal laptop to the workshop, please be sure that the following programs are installed and working:

  • Excel, or a compatible spreadsheet software such as Google Spreadsheets
  • R – a statistical programming language (Windows , Linux, and MacOS )
  • R Studio – a user interface for R that will be needed for computer exercises

If you will not be bringing your own computer to the workshop, we will still expect you to complete the preparatory tutorials in R, so please locate a computer in your area on which you can install and begin these tutorials.

Preparatory tutorials

After you have installed R and R studio on your computer, please begin to work through the four tutorials linked here. All of them are extensively annotated with directions. If you have any problems loading and/or the software, please let us know immediately. We expect you to be familiar with all material presented in these tutorials prior to your arrival to E2M2 on January 13.

Preparatory assignment

In addition to the attached tutorials, we ask that you prepare a short oral presentation summarizing your research (2 minutes max, 1 powerpoint slide, saved in PDF format) prior to your arrival to E²M².

  • You may summarize recent, completed research that forms the basis for ongoing work, or you may give an overview of a new project that’s in development. You can present the subject of your application abstract if you desire, or you can choose a new topic you would like to develop during the workshop.
  • We recommend including 1-2 visual aids (e.g. figures or diagrams) that will help you explain key aspects of the research. Please keep the text on your slide to a minimum.
  • Do not attempt to explain all of the details of your project – stick to the essentials and keep it simple. You will be kept to time.

We ask that you please email PDF versions of your slide to by midnight on Wednesday, January 10 in advance of arrival to the workshop. Please be prepared to present them to the rest of the class on Sunday, January 14.

Preparatory Reading

Please also read the scientific paper, “Bubonic plaque: a metapopulation model of a zoonosis” by M.J. Keeling and C.A. Gilligan, linked here, and take notes to answer the accompanying study questions in advance of your arrival on January 13.

Allergies, medications, and food restrictions

All meals and lodging during the workshop will be provided, beginning with lunch on Saturday, January 13 (please eat breakfast prior to arrival) and ending with lunch on Saturday, January 20 (you will be responsible for your own dinner the evening after return to Tana). With the exception of lunch during both transit journeys, all meals will take place at Centre Valbio. Additionally, lunch will be provided at our mandatory closing session at Institut Pasteur de Madagascar.

If you have any allergies, medications, or food restrictions that we need to know about (i.e. shellfish allergy, vegetarianism, etc.), please let Cara Brook ( know immediately.

Climate and weather

Our workshop takes place at the onset of the rainy season in Madagascar’s summer. As such, it will be hot and humid in Ranomafana, so please pack accordingly. While most of our workshop will take place in the CVB conference room, some of our sessions will involve hiking outside. Please bring bug-repellent clothing (long sleeves and pants), hiking shoes, and rain gear. Each participant should also bring a backpack, a water bottle, and a headlamp or flashlight to take on the trail.