PRiMER: Primer in Methods and Ecological Research

Primer in Methods and Ecological Research (PRiMER) is a certificate course offered by Gubbi Labs to provide experiential learning on how to pursue research in Ecology. An intensive programme is aimed at inspiring participants and impart essential skills to be an ecologist.
Ecology is a unified field in biology, which over the years has transcended boundaries of subjects like physics, chemistry, mathematics and social sciences. From being a mere observational and natural history based domain, ecology has progressed to enable the understanding of complex ecological processes and behaviour. This course will enable the participants to venture into fields of natural history, environmental biology and theoretical ecology. This course is specifically designed for students and professionals alike. The training we impart during this course will be helpful in carrying out objective research across various disciplines as well.
PRiMER exposes participants to the basic skills such as the art of asking research questions, project planning and management, hands-on training in census, sampling and monitoring techniques, ecological statistics, remote sensing, mapping (GIS, spatial analysis and modelling), science communication (presentations, writing scientific papers and popular articles) and writing
grant proposals. It will also expose participants to soft skills such as effective leadership, adaptive management and highlight the importance of working in teams.
PRiMER is a two credit course with over 40 hours of contact teaching. It will be facilitated by faculty members comprising an expert panel of ecologists and research scientists, with extensive experience in the field ecology.



Introduction to Ecological Research: Fundamentals of research; planning and management of independent research; literature review; seeing the big picture and framing objective. The course will provide hands-on exposure to mind-mapping tool (Freemind) and reference manager (Mendeley®). 
Ecological Statistics: Fundamentals of data collection, database management and exploratory analysis; nature of data and data types (parametrics and non-parametric); data visualization; descriptive statistics; diversity indices; probability distributions; statistical hypothesis testing; choosing and using appropriate statistical tests. Introduction to tools for statistical analysis viz., PAST®, R and RStudio™. 
Mapping and Modelling: Fundamentals of mapping and remote sensing; use of navigation gadgets (Garmin eTrex 30; Smartphone based tools); geo-spatial analysis; species distribution modelling; geo-visualization; hands-on training in making maps. Tools exposed: QGIS®, MaxEnt®, Google Earth®
Ecological Census and Monitoring techniques: Fundamentals of field data collection techniques; hands-on training in sampling techniques such as line and transects, point, quadrat, time-constrained, audio-visual encounter surveys; mark–recapture techniques and camera trapping. Usage of automated data collecting devices (acoustics and weather monitoring).
Communicating Research: Fundamentals of science communication; art of storytelling; the nuances of presentation skills and techniques, writing scientific and popular articles, and research grant proposals. Basics of science journalism; developing a communication message; writing a press release; pitching to reporters and giving effective sound and video bytes.
PRiMER provides you the tools necessary to synthesise field observations, analyse data, interpret, visualize and report findings in a succinct scientific framework. This intense field course will be beneficial to aspiring students of biology, researchers, forest managers, teachers,
environmental management consultants, nature enthusiasts and photographers. The training and skill sets inculcated in PRiMER are necessary tenets for a career in ecology and helpful in trans-disciplinary research. Certificates will be awarded to all participants upon course completion.
Credits are subject to successful completion of the course and evaluation.

Tools used: 

MendeleyⓇ, Freemind, R, RStudio™, PastⓇ, QGIS®, MaxEnt®, Google Earth, Handheld location devices, Weather and acoustic monitoring devices, Camera traps.

Faculty Profile

Sudhira HS: Sudhira has a PhD from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. His research interest centres on how towns and cities evolve. He has been publishing scientific research articles for a while now. His research has been primarily on land-use and land cover change studies exploring their consequences on environmental sustainability and understanding their inter-relationships with resources and transportation. He is a bird-watcher and volunteers for India Literacy Project (link is external) (ILP). Currently, he is the Director of Gubbi Labs. [Google Scholar]

Seshadri KS: Seshadri has a PhD in Biological Sciences from the National University of Singapore (NUS). His research is focussed on aspects of animal behaviour, ecology and conservation within diverse taxa. His most recent work has been on amphibians and has discovered novel behaviour and species. In the past, he has worked with the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment and has been subsequently associated with Gubbi Labs in various capacities. He has authored several peer reviewed publications, book chapters and popular articles. A passionate birdwatcher, he is involved in several activities focussed at engaging people to appreciate natural landscapes. For his work, he received the prestigious ‘Future Conservationist’ award from the Conservation Leadership Programme in 2010 and the ‘Navjot Sodhi Conservation Biology Scholarship’ from NUS in 2013. [Google Scholar]


Applicants must be 18 years or above as on 21st May 2018.


Chingaara Estate House, Kabbinakad, Coorg District, Karnataka

Course Dates:  

21st May to 26th May 2018.

Course Fee: 

Students (Undergraduate, Postgraduate, PhD and PostDoctoral) : ₹ 20,000/-   
Professionals: ₹ 30,000/- 
Foreign nationals: US $ 600
Course fees includes vegetarian food and a basic accommodation on sharing basis.
Participants have to bring their own laptop. 
Apply online at

Important Dates:

Apply from 23rd March until 23rd April 2018
First list will be announced on 27th April 2018
Second list will be announced on 30th April 2017

Course dates: 21st to 26th May 2018

Contact Us:
Gubbi Labs LLP
#2-182, 2nd Cross Extension, Gubbi—572216,  Tumkuru District, Karnataka State,  India
P: +91 8884261204