Python for biologists [Virtual course]

Introduction to Python programming and its applications for biodiversity research


This 2-day workshop is intended to introduce you to the world of Python programming and to make you wonder why you haven't started using Python much earlier. No prior knowledge or experience with Python programming is necessary, yet previous exposure to other programming languages (such as R, bash, Perl, etc.) is certainly useful. The course is split into two days, which you can also choose to attend individually. On the first day we will cover the basic Python syntax and learn some handy and fun data science operations, including the use of lists, loops and arrays, as well as some useful data visualization tools. On the second day we will expand on the tools of the previous day and learn how to write our own Python program with a basic command line user-interaction. During this day we will also cover a mini machine learning exercise.

By the end of the course you will be equipped with all necessary knowledge to produce personalized tools for common applications in biodiversity research (e.g. processing of ecological data, DNA sequence data, etc.).

Even though the focus will be on biological data, the course is equally suitable for you if your background is in any of the life-sciences, since the tools and the syntax introduced in this course are universally applicable to any kind of data. We encourage you to bring your own data and problems, which we can help you tackle during the course.

Course teachers: Tobias Andermann, Matthias Obst

Recommended background: No Python knowledge required

Course level: PhD level (motivated Master's students welcome)

Application: A short motivation (5 lines stating goals and expectations) should be submitted to latest by May 4th, 2020.

Contact: Tobias Andermann (, Matthias Obst (


Contact Hugo de Boer for information related to ForBio.

Published Mar. 25, 2020 12:00 PM - Last modified Mar. 25, 2020 12:00 PM