Workshop “Hierarchical Models in Ecology: ..."

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Workshop “Hierarchical Models in Ecology: ..."

Postby bschmidt » Tue May 08, 2007 10:34 am

Workshop “Hierarchical Models in Ecology: Inference in Population, Metapopulation, and Community Ecology”


Robert M. Dorazio, USGS - Florida Integrated Science Center, Department of Statistics, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
J. Andrew Royle, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, Maryland.

Time: 10 – 14 September 2007

Location: University of Zürich, Switzerland

Description: Large-scale studies of abundance, occupancy (distribution) and species richness are widespread in ecology, conservation and management. Common examples are habitat or metapopulation studies, biogeography, monitoring programs or game species surveys. Such studies typically produce repeated counts or detection/non-detection data for many (e.g. >20) locations and interest is focused on spatial or temporal patterns. However, their interpretation is complicated, since not accounting for imperfect detectability of individuals, occupied areas, or species, leads to an underestimation of abundance, occupancy and species richness and possibly to the masking, or spurious detection, of patterns, e.g. trends, regional patterns, or habitat relationships.
This course presents some of the exciting new statistical models developed in recent years to estimate abundance, occupancy and species richness corrected for imperfect detection in large-scale surveys (for abundance, see Royle and Nichols, Ecology, 2003; Royle, Biometrics, 2004; Royle et al., Ecology, 2004; Dorazio et al., Biometrics, 2005; Royle and Link, Ecology, 2005; for site-occupancy: MacKenzie et al., Ecology, 2002, 2003; and for occupancy and species richness: Dorazio & Royle, JASA, 2005; Dorazio et al., Ecology, 2006). These models have great potential for ecology and management, but, with the exception of site- occupancy models, have not yet been implemented in widely available computer programs and are not yet widely known among biologists, conservationists and managers.

This course covers use and implementation of these models using R and WinBUGS, see attached PDF outline. The first day provides an introduction to program R as a preparation and can be skipped by R users that are familiar with likelihood methods. Practical exercises form an important part of the course (you have to bring your own laptop).

Cost for the 4-day workshop is 500 CHF (approx. 300 Euro or 410 US$) for academic and 700 CHF (approx. 425 Euro or 580 US$) for non-academic participants, with a reduction to 300 CHF for members of the organising institutes and local Ph.D. students. This fee includes all course materials, facilities for the workshop, and morning and afternoon refreshments. The first day (R introduction) costs an additional 100 CHF for all.

Organisation: Marc Kéry, Swiss Ornithological Institute, email marc.kery (at); Benedikt R. Schmidt, Zoological Institute, University of Zurich, email bschmidt (at)

Participants: 20–25 people with an academic or ecological consulting background. We assume that participants have undergraduate-level knowledge of statistics. No prior knowledge of ML or Bayesian methods is assumed.

Registration: Send an email to Marc Kéry: marc.kery (at)

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