Postgraduate Scientific Writing Course - Spring 2023

The goal of this course is to provide graduate students at the National Museum of Natural Sciences (MNCN-CSIC) with theoretical knowledge about the key components of scientific writing, practical experience on text editing aiming for precise and clear writing, and the opportunity to develop skills to communicate effectively the results of their research. Emphasis will be given to writing for scientific journals.

Eligible participants: doctoral students at MNCN

Dates: Thursdays from 2th of March to 11th of May

Location: National Museum of Natural Sciences (MNCN-CSIC)

Course structure


We will meet for 1–1.5 hours on selected dates starting on March 2, 2023, until May 4, 2023. Meetings will be for: 

1) Lectures presented by the faculty emphasizing a specific writing component or skill.

2) Small group tutorials (approximately 5 students) to revise and receive feedback on writing assignments.

The five lectures will be held on Thursdays at 11:00 in the Salón de Actos of the Museum (2 March, 16 March, 30 March, 20 April, 4 May). The lectures will be recorded.
Tutorial groups will vary for each class, both in terms of the faculty lead and student members, so that you can benefit from the interaction of all course participants. The writing assignments should be sent by email to your tutorial group by 14:00 the day before the tutorial meeting. The venues and specific dates for the tutorial groups will be set after the lecture for each topic, depending on availability.

Course Faculty


Dr. Joaquín Hortal

Joaquín Hortal is a biogeographer and community ecologist, working as scientific researcher at the Department of Biogeography and Global Change of the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (CSIC, Spain). He is also scientific collaborator at the Department of Ecology of the Universidade Federal de Goiás (Brazil) and the Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes (cE3c) of the Universidade de Lisboa (Portugal), and member of eBryo – Research Group on Experimental Bryology. Besides these centres, he has also worked at the Universidade dos Açores (Portugal), University of Copenhagen (Denmark) and Imperial College at Silwood Park (UK). Joaquín's main research aim is to understand why biodiversity is distributed the way it is in space and time. He is particularly interested in community structure and the processes that drive the spatial and temporal dynamics of ecological assemblages. His current work aims at unifying into a single framework the different hypotheses about the origin of geographic gradients of biodiversity and community dynamics; in particular, the interplay of niche and coexistence as determinants of species co-occurrence, and the concurring effects of the evolutionary history of species, glaciations and current climate. He also works on assessing and accounting for data-driven uncertainty in biodiversity analyses. He's got a long editorial experience, having edited more than 300 research papers for seven journals. He was the Editor-in-Chief of Frontiers of Biogeography, the scientific journal of the International Biogeography Society, for over a decade, and is now the EiC of npj Biodiversity, a journal of the Nature portfolio.

Dr. Patricia Burrowes

Patricia A. Burrowes is a Professor in the Department of Biology at The University of Puerto Rico in San Juan, and research collaborator at the MNCN, Madrid.  She received her Ph.D. at the University of Kansas under the mentorship of W.E. Duellman, and her early-career research interests included community ecology, reproductive behavior and population genetics of tropical amphibians. Since the eminent decline of amphibian populations worldwide, Patricia has dedicated her efforts to the study of the factors involved in this crisis, particularly, the ecology of chytridiomycosis under enzootic conditions and the response of tropical amphibians to climate warming. She enjoys teaching and dedicates a lot of time to encourage active participation in her classes and to the development of teaching strategies that result in increased conceptual learning and the advancement of values that promote greater interest in Biology among her students. 

Dr. Robert Wilson 

Rob Wilson is an ecologist and entomologist working since 2018 as a researcher in the department of Biogeography and Global Change at the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales. He did a PhD and two postdocs on butterfly distributions and metapopulation dynamics at the University of Leeds (UK). During a research fellowship at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, he started work on the elevation ranges of butterfly species in mountains, as models to understand ecological responses to climate change. He was a Senior Lecturer in Conservation Biology at the University of Exeter (UK), where he was chair of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity committee from 2014 to 2018, monitoring and implementing actions to improve gender equality in the Biosciences department. At the MNCN he has been Deputy Director of Training (Vicedirector de Formación Científica y Profesional) since 2021. He has broad experience of peer review in disciplinary and general science journals, has been an Associate Editor of the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B since 2014, and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Ecological Entomology since 2022.





  • Jueves, 02 Marzo 2023
  • Jueves, 11 Mayo 2023




Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN-CSIC)