BIMAF organized an international hands-on training on modeling under climate change scenarios, 16‒20 October 2017, on IITA-Benin station. The training covered practical aspects of using suitable insect modeling tools such as ILCYM, and MaxEnt. For example, Insect Life Cycle Modeling (ILCYM) software facilitates the development of pest insect phenology models and provides analytical tools for studying pest population ecology. ILCYM software consists of two main modules. One, the “model builder”, facilitates the development of insect phenology models based on experimental temperature data of a specific pest. This module also provides tools to analyze an insect’s life-table and to validate developed models. The second module implements the phenology model in a GIS environment and allows for spatial, global, or regional simulation of pest activities (“pest risk mapping”). The objective of ILCYM software is to provide an open-source computer-aided tool for researchers and students using advanced modeling techniques.

The goal of the training was to present an overview of the available potential insect modeling tools and to offer a data analysis opportunity to students and scientists working on climate-driven biorisks and Invasive Alien Species (IAS) among them tephritid fruit flies and the devastating FAW Spodoptera frugiperda. This 5-day event had hands-on practical sessions where participants used sample files or their own datasets and, discussed their results with the trainers and fellow attendees.