Statistics for Ecology & Evolution—Fall 2008


Meetings: 4 lectures hours per week split between classroom and computer lab

Meeting Times — M 2–4 pm [201A Rosenau]
                               W 2–4 pm [217 Wilson]

Text: Stauffer, Howard B. 2008. Contemporary Bayesian and Frequentist Statistical Research Methods for Natural Resource Scientists. Wiley, New York.

Software: R, a freeware implementation of the S language. The R home page is The software can be downloded from WinBUGS, a freeware program for Bayesian statistical inference, downloadable from Note: WinBUGS only runs on Windows. An alternative to WinBUGS for Macintosh users is JAGS.

Course Website:

Office Hours: I’m available any time on MWF. I try to reserve TTh for my statistical consulting projects and will often be unavailable on these days. My office is in 218 Miller Hall (home of the Institute for the Environment). Miller Hall is on the corner of McCauley and Pittsboro, next to the Carolina Inn.

Evaluation: Weekly computer exercises using R and WinBUGS. Take-home midterm and final exam

Registration Details: Seats are reserved separately for ECOL 563 (10 seats) and BIOL 563 (10 seats). If the course is closed for one of these listings, try registering for the other one.

For Bayesian estimation we will use WinBUGS, downloadable for free from WinBUGS is the most popular implementation of Markov chain Monte Carlo methods for Bayesian estimation and has a large online support group. WinBUGS only runs on Windows. An alternative to WinBUGS for Macintosh users is JAGS: The modeling language of JAGS is nearly identical to that of WinBUGS. Both JAGS and WinBUGS can be run directly from R through the use of add-on packages.

Jack Weiss
Phone: (919) 962-5930
Address: Curriculum in Ecology, Box 3275, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 27516
Copyright © 2008
Last Revised--Aug 19, 2008