Course information

Course title
Anatomical Network Analysis (AnNA) (Spain)
University / Organization
Capellades (Barcelona)
Academic level
Both Msc and PhD
Course director
Course lecturer(s)
Dr Diego Rasskin-Gutman (Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, Spain) Dr Borja Esteve-Altava (The Royal Veterinary College, United Kingdom)
Course aim
Course overview Anatomical Network Analysis (AnNA) is a framework for quantitatively characterizing the topological organization of anatomical systems using tools from Network Theory. AnNA is emerging as a new tool to identify developmental constraints, measuring morphological complexity and modularity, building morphospace, and modelling the growth of anatomical structures. This course is entitled to teach the main concepts of AnNA. Students will learn the basics of network analysis applied to morphological and anatomical systems: gathering information, building network models, analysing them, and interpret the outcomes of their analysis. This course combines theoretical introductions and practical exercises using the free and open-source software R and RStudio. Participants are encouraged to bring their own data for practising and for the supervised project session; anatomical networks will be provided by the instructors if needed. This course is addressed to PhD students, postdocs and senior researchers.
Course contents / programme
Program Monday, October 22nd, 2018. Principles of Anatomical Network Analysis, by Dr Diego Rasskin-Gutman and Dr Borja Esteve-Altava. Introductions and course overview. Conceptual basis and history of anatomical networks analysis (AnNA). Levels of organization: Differences between AnNA and morphometrics. Introduction to network theory. Types of nodes, links, and networks. Basic network parameters. Organization of the network’s topology (regular, random, small-world, scale-free, hierarchy). Introduction to R. Getting R and RStudio ready to work. Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018. Creating and Analysing Anatomical Networks in R, by Dr Diego Rasskin-Gutman and Dr Borja Esteve-Altava. The graph package and the graph object. Create the simplest networks. Manipulate graphic objects and attributes. Create anatomical networks from data (students are welcome to bring their own data). Using AnNA to study morphological complexity, integration, and modularity. The meaning of being small-world, scale-free, and hierarchical in morphology. Calculate network parameters. Small-world, scale-free, and hierarchical organization in networks. Wednesday, October 24th, 2018. Null models and Modularity, by Dr Diego Rasskin-Gutman and Dr Borja Esteve-Altava. Introduction to null models and morphospaces. Create null network models in R (random, small-world, scale-free, proximity, Gabriel). Generative connecto-spaces (AnNA + morphospaces). Introduction to morphological modularity. Identification, validation, and comparison of anatomical network modules using graph. Introducing OSLOM (Order Statistics Local Optimization Method). A note on using network algorithms in morphometrics to find modules. Thursday, October 25th, 2018. Students Projects, supervised by Dr. Borja Esteve-Altava. Student will work in their own projects (in groups of 2-3 persons). Friday, October 26th, 2018. Projects Presentations and Discussion, supervised by Dr. Borja Esteve-Altava. Each team will present its work to the group for discussion and round table (15’ + 10’ Q&A). AnNA discussion and brainstorming. Course feedback.
Required Knowledge and preparation
Teaching methods
Course type
Consecutive days
Online course
Duration (net days)
October 22nd-26th
Course fee
Direct e-mail to register
Paper submission required?
Logo of institution
front approval