Introductory-level WinBUGS workshop

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Introductory-level WinBUGS workshop

Postby Michael Schaub » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:53 am

Introductory-level workshop: „Bayesian population analysis using WinBUGS“

Instructors: Marc Kéry and Michael Schaub, Swiss Ornithological Institute
Date: 15–19 February 2010, 4.5 days
Venue: Swiss Ornithological Institute, 6204 Sempach, Switzerland
Costs: 500 Swiss francs (academics 300); 2 wild-cards are available (*).

The analysis of the distribution and abundance as well as the demographic components of population change such as survival rates form the core of most of ecology and its applications such as conservation or monitoring science. The last years have seen much progress in methods and computer algorithms to fit the statistical models involved in such analyses. In particular, the Bayesian statistical analysis and the revolutionary general-purpose software package WinBUGS have opened up entirely new possibilities for ecologists of conducting fairly complex population analyses.

This course introduces some key models used in the analysis of distribution, abundance and survival, as well as their spatial and temporal patterns, in a Bayesian analysis framework. We use programs R and WinBUGS throughout to fit and understand some of the most widely used models for the analysis of animal and plant populations. These include:

- Poisson generalized linear mixed model (e.g., Link and Sauer 2002) and state-space models (e.g., Dennis et al. 2006) to analyse population dynamics with partial accounting for observation error,
- Site-occupancy models (MacKenzie et al. 2002, 2003) for the analysis species distributions and binomial mixture models (Royle 2004) for the analysis of distribution and abundance with full accounting for observation error,
- Closed-population models for population size,
- Cormack-Jolly-Seber and ring-recovery models for estimating survival rates, and
- Integrated population models (Besbeas et al. 2002; Schaub et al. 2007)

This is an introductory-level workshop with about equal amount of time spent on lecturing and solving exercises. No previous experience with program WinBUGS, or Bayesian statistics, is assumed. However, a good working knowledge of modern regression methods (ANOVA, ANCOVA, generalised linear models) and some exposure to program R (or another programming language) is assumed.

Send applications to Michael Schaub, by 31 October 2009 at the latest.

(*) If you have limited funds, you can apply for your course fee to be waived.
Michael Schaub
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Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 1:35 am

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