Statistics with R for Marine Scientists:

Introduction to Data exploration, regression, GLM

and linear mixed-effects models

Course Instructors:

Dr. Alain Zuur & Dr. Elena Ieno, Highland Statistics Ltd. (

This course will be offered in collaboration with the Graduate Center at Kiel University.

Target Audience:

This course is open to doctoral candidates in the marine sciences from SEA-EU partner universities.


Online, a link will be sent prior to the course

Detailed Description:

– 5 days live online course with on-demand videos –

We begin with an introduction to R and provide a protocol for data exploration to avoid common statistical problems. We will discuss how to detect outliers, deal with collinearity and transformations.

An important statistical tool is multiple linear regression. Various basic linear regression topics will be explained from a biological point of view. We will discuss potential problems and show how generalised linear models (GLM) can be used to analyse count data.

In the second part of the course linear mixed-effects models are introduced to deal with pseudoreplication. These models can be used to analyse hierarchical or clustered data, e.g. multiple observations from the same animal, site, area, nest, patient, hospital, vessel, lake, hive, transect, etc. We will also discuss generalised linear mixed-effects models (GLMM) to analyse count data.

This is a non-technical, and easy-to-follow course.

For further information, please have a look here:

Course Format:

The course will be delivered via live online teaching using Zoom. It represents a total of approximately 40 hours.

To improve the quality of our online courses, every exercise and every theory presentation is also available as an on-demand video file that can be watched online, as often as you want, at any time of the day, within a 6 month period.

A discussion board allows for daily interaction between instructors and participants. You are invited to apply the statistical techniques discussed during the course on your own data and if you encounter any problems, you can ask questions on the Discussion Board.

The course includes a 1-hour face-to-face video chat with the instructors (to be used within 6 months after the course).


Pre-required knowledge:

Working knowledge of R, data exploration, linear regression and GLM (Poisson, negative binomial, Bernoulli). This is a non-technical course.

Recommended Literature:

  • Zuur, Ieno and Smith (2007). Analysis Ecological Data. Springer.
  • Zuur, Ieno, Elphick. (2010). A protocol for data exploration to avoiding common statistical prob-lems. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 1: 3-14.
  • Zuur, Hilbe, Ieno (2013). Beginner’s Guide to GLM and GLMM with R.
  • Books are not included in the course fee. The course can be followed without purchasing these books.


  • Please ensure that you have system administration rights to install R and R packages on your computer.
  • Instructions what to install is on the course website.


5 days live online course:

Day 1

Tuesday, 07 December 2021
 09:00 – 16:00 h

Module 1: Introduction to R & Data exploration

Day 2

Friday, 10 December 2021
 09:00 – 16:00 h

Module 2: Bivariate linear regression & multiple linear regression

Day 3

Tuesday, 14 December 2021
 09:00 – 16:00 h

Module 3: Interactions in multiple linear regression models, Poisson and negative binomial distributions, Poisson GLM & negative binomial GLM

Day 4

Friday, 17 December 2021
 09:00 – 16:00 h

Module 4: Catching up, introduction to matrix notation & linear mixed-effects models for nested data

Day 5

Tuesday, 21 December 2021
 09:00 – 16:00 h

Module 5: Catching up & Poisson GLMM & negative binomial GLMM


In order to register for “Statistics with R for marine scientists” please write an e-mail to stating your affiliation to:

  • university
  • department
  • marine sciences

The Application Deadline has been prolonged until 25 November 2021.

Limit: Places for SEA-EU international participants are limited and will be attributed on a first-come-first-served-basis.

Please note:

Each person who is granted a place will receive an email from the SEA-EU@CAU team with further instructions by 26 November 2021. Without this confirmation e-mail you are not allowed to participate in the course.

All further registrations will be put on a waiting list. As soon as a place becomes available in the course, you will receive a message from us. If you have not received a message by 30 November 2021, you have not been allocated a place on this course.

Conditions of enrolment:

  • The course offers are meant for SEA-EU Alliance Universities’ doctoral candidates: Registration is only considered if made with a valid institutional email address.
  • By applying to this course, you agree that your data (name, affiliation, email) will be shared with the course instructor and the Graduate Center at Kiel University if your application is confirmed.
  • A certificate of participation will be issued, upon attendance to >75% of the course.
  • Registration is binding.

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