Workshop: Introduction to Bayesian Networks for risk and impact assessment to support decision making

The aim of is workshop was to introduce Bayesian (Belief) Networks to students and researchers. We will provide a theoretical background together with hands on exercises from risk and impact assessments and decision making.

When: Tuesday March 28th at 10 to 16

Where: Heden (room bottom floor), Ecology Building, Lund University, Sölvegatan 37, Lund, Sweden

The workshop is free of charge. The workshop is supported by the research school ClimBEco.

Target audience:

Undergraduate and graduate students and researchers interested in learning how to build and use Bayesian (Belief) Networks to integrate evidence, assess risk or impacts, and evaluate decision alternatives. We will use examples from environmental risk and impact assessments, but the scope of the workshop is BNs with no particular type of application. No previous experience in BNs is needed. Participants are encouraged to study a literature list sent out prior to the workshop.


A Bayesian Network is a modelling framework that enable us to integrate evidence to inform decisions, based on causal relations between decision, state and impact variables. BNs allows integration of data and expert knowledge.

The workshop will be facilitated by:

Wayne Landis, Western Washington University, United States.

Wayne is a Professor in Environmental Science and a Director of the Institute of Environmental Toxicology at Western Washington University. He has over 20 years of experience in ecological risk assessment research, using Bayesian networks to guide decision making.

Ullrika Sahlin, Center for Environmental and Climate Research, Lund, Sweden.

Ullrika is a researcher with focus on risk, uncertainty and decision making.

Schedule with links to presentations


In order to get more out of the workshop we encourage you to study the literature before the workshop.

  • Marcot, B. G., J. D. Steventon, G. D. Sutherland, and R. K. McCann. 2006. Guidelines for developing and updating Bayesian belief networks applied to ecological modeling and conservation. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 36:3063-3074. Link
  • J. Pearl. A short note on Bayesian networks prepared for the MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive sciences. Downloaded from
  • The support documentation for using GENIE includes an introduction to decision analysis and Bayesian networks:
  • Herring, C. E., J. Stinson, and W. G. Landis. 2015. Evaluating nonindigenous species management in a Bayesian networks derived relative risk framework for Padilla Bay, WA, USA. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 11:640-652. Link

We will run examples in R and GENIE ( In order to do the hands-on exercises we recommend that you have these programs on you computer when you come to the workshop.


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