NERC-funded advanced short course run by SE@K

The course took place 9-13 January 2017 at the University of Kent and was run by SE@K’s Diana, Eleni, and Rachel and DICE’s Richard Griffiths with the help of SE@K PhD students  Alex, Anita, Marina and Ming.

30 participants travelled from all around the UK for the course which involved lectures, R practicals, talks by Humphrey Crick from Natural England and Rufus Howard from IEMA, round table discussions on ecological challenges and the role of statistical modelling in dealing with some of these challenges and 1-1 sessions with the course organisers for all participants who wanted to discuss their studies and data.

On Tuesday Richard kicked off the day by discussing the types of population data that we need in conservation practice. Humphrey  then went on to discuss problems in modern conservation and the role of statistical modelling. Finally Rufus Howard talked about Big Data (Gaps) in EIA. A round table discussion then  focused on obstacles to incorporating statistical models and priorities of ecologists.

The rest of the week focused on statistical methods used in statistical ecology including abundance estimation, capture-recapture, occupancy modeling, distance sampling, citizen science data, modelling movement, species interaction models, spatial models and integrated modelling.

The course was successful at introducing complex statistical ideas, exposing participants to a wide range of statistical techniques and discussing state-of-the-art statistical methods. Below is a list of comments received about the course:

“Attending the course has enabled me to see how my data can be utilised in a better way..”


“Great materials and trainers”


“There were difficult concepts but it was very well presented and very accessible”


“Training was fantastic throughout”


“Good course and definitely beneficial”


“Great comprehensive course addressing many scenarios and how to deal with different datasets”


“I really appreciated the level of explanation given by all of the speakers”


“Incredibly well presented”


“Really great overview of the topics and great practical session”


“1-1 meetings were a great idea”


“I thought all lecturers were really very good and explained things very clearly and simply with good repetition”.