Online courses: Intro to Occupancy Modelling/Model Averaging

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Online courses: Intro to Occupancy Modelling/Model Averaging

Postby darryl » Wed Feb 10, 2021 3:14 am

These online courses are now available. All lectures and exercises are pre-recorded allowing you to work through the material at your own pace. Discussion boards allow you to ask any questions of the instructors.

Introduction to Occupancy Modelling
Darryl MacKenzie
Cost: US$200 (+ applicable taxes) for 30 days access

Occupancy models are a suite of methods that have been developed for examining the patterns and dynamics of species occurrence (e.g., presence/absence) across a region of interest, particularly while accounting for the imperfect detection of species. They may be used in a wide range of ecological applications, from simply providing a monitoring metric, to investigating relationships between the distribution of a species with environmental variables (i.e., species distribution modelling), or how these change over time.

Darryl MacKenzie ( is first author of the seminal paper on occupancy modelling while accounting for imperfect detection (MacKenzie et al., 2002), and of the authoritative book on the topic Occupancy Estimation and Modeling ( ... nd-edition).


Model Averaging
Instructor: David Fletcher
Cost: US$200 (+ applicable taxes) for 30 days access

Model averaging is a means of allowing for model uncertainty in estimation and prediction. Results from the full set of models are combined using model weights, thereby providing better estimates and confidence (credible) intervals, compared to a single “best” model. Recent developments in Bayesian and frequentist methods for model averaging have provided improved means of calculating model weights and confidence intervals.

The course provides an up-to date overview of model averaging, from both the Bayesian and frequentist perspective, including bagging and stacking, methods that are popular in machine learning. It is based on the material in David’s 2018 Springer research monograph ( as well as more recent developments, including confidence distributions (the frequentist analogue of posterior distributions). There is emphasis on understanding the theory underlying the methods and on experience using the methods in RStudio.

In addition to his book on model averaging (see above), David Fletcher has published over 80 scientific papers, including key papers on model averaging (


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