Statistics courses

General course flyer

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Here are some of the comments from people who have done one of our courses.

Not many people enjoy statistics; our course participants did! Well, in as far as statistics can be enjoyed. We will throw protocols and flow charts at you, plus a certain amount of humor. We don't use toy data, but real data.

We have been in nearly every country in Europe for courses. From the warm south (Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece) to the cold north (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania). From the west (Ireland) to the east (Bulgaria). We have also been in the United Arabic Emirates, Mexico, Canada, and in the far south, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.

All in all we have educated about 7000 ecologist. We have revisited some institutes more than 10 times. Various institutes run 3 in-house courses per year. Some of our courses are part of national or EU funded MSc or PhD programmes. Other courses were funded by UNESCO or were part of EU projects.  

The course instructors are a statistician (Dr. Alain Zuur) and a biologist (Dr. Elena Ieno). Our biological and statistical backgrounds ensure a lively and enjoyable interaction with our participants. One of our strong points is that we can explain statistics in an understandable language.

Which courses do we teach?

Unfortunately, we cannot teach you everything in one week. We can entertain you for about 50 days; should you wish to do so. We provide a series of courses, see the figure below.

Courses Highland Statistics Download figure as jpg (0.5 Mb) or pdf file (8 Mb)

The two most popular courses are:

Most participants start with course 4 and do course 5 six months later. After a year they do the zero inflation course and/or the GAMM course.

The figure below shows the recommended order of courses. Note that course 4 contains an 'Introduction to R' module; so in principle you can skip course 1.

Time line courses Highland Statistics

Download figure as jpg file (0.5 Mb) or pdf file (5 Mb).

Our course material

Our course material is based on Analyzing Ecological Data (Zuur et al. 2007), Mixed Effects Models and Extensions in Ecology with R (Zuur et al. 2009), A Beginner's Guide to R (Zuur et al. 2009), Zero Inflated Models and Generalized Linear Mixed Models with R  (Zuur et al. 2012), A Beginner's Guide to GAM with R (Zuur 2012), A Beginner's Guide to GLM and GLMM with R (Zuur et al. 2013), A Beginner's Guide to GAMM with R (Zuur et al. 2014), and A Beginner's Guide to Data Exploration and Visualisation (Ieno and Zuur 2015).

Analysing Ecological Data  Mixed effects modelling and extensions in R  Beginner's Guide to R         

Your university library probably has a copy of one of our books. Have a look at the case study chapters; most are based on data sets from previous course participants and are in fact the exercises that you will be doing during the course.

Note that during the courses we discuss concepts, and we will avoid the (limited and isolated) matrix algebra that is in the books.

Attending or organizing a course

The easiest option is to participate in one of the open courses. Alternative, you can organize an open or in-house course at your institute. In-house courses are for a pre-set fee, and you decide who participates. With open courses, you only have to arrange the room; we do the rest.

However, there is a waiting list for new courses of about 12 months. Just email us if you have any questions.

Can you tailor a course?

Yes of course. In general our audience consists of postgraduate ecologists, and the theory and exercise data sets are relatively easy to grasp. Occasionally, we get requests to organize a course for a specific audience. For example, in October 2009 we ran a course for 12 forensic entomologists at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Frankfurt, Germany. CSI viewers will know that these folks have quite interesting data sets; but rather different to what you will find in general statistical textbooks. The course organizer gave us a couple of data sets which we used as exercise data during the course, and we changed some of the examples during the lectures. Courses with small number of participants can also be run as a workshop. 

Where do we run our courses?

Anywhere. We have given courses in the UK, Portugal, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Argentina, Italy, The Netherlands, Finland, Spain, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, Bulgaria, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, United Arabic Emirates, Australia, etc.

Courses in 2017 - 2018

When Where Status Course Remaining seats Flyer Price
18-21 April 2017 VU, Amsterdam, The Netherlands In-house Data exploration, regression, GLM & GAM - - -
24-28 April 2017 HCMR, Crete, Greece Open
Data exploration, regression, GLM & GAM with introduction to R Flyer

Hotel info
8-12 May 2017 University of Genoa, Italy Open
Introduction to Regression Models with Spatial and Temporal Correlation 5 Flyer £600
15-19 May 2017 Cuidad Real, Spain In-house Data exploration, regression, GLM & GAM with introduction to R - - -
18-22 September 2017 Edmonton, Canada Registration will start in May Data exploration, regression, GLM & GAM with introduction to R 30 Flyer £575
2-6 October 2017 IMR, Bergen, Norway In-house To be dedided - - -
9-13 October 2017 Trondheim, Norway Open
Linear Mixed Effects Models and GLMM with R. Frequentist and Bayesian approaches 15 Flyer £525
23-27 October 2017 Southampton, UK Open
Introduction to Regression Models with Spatial and Temporal Correlation 25 Flyer £600 + 20%
30 October - 3 November 2017 Dublin, Ireland In-house Introduction to mixed-effects models and GLMMs - - -
13-17 November 2017 University of Helsinki, Finalnd In-house To be decided - - -
20-24 November 2017 IMR, Bergen, Norway In-house To be decided - - -
4-8 December 2017 Parks Canada, Banff, Canada Registration will start in May Introduction to Regression Models with Spatial and Temporal Correlation 25   £600
8-12 January 2018 Halifax, Canada Registration will start in May Linear Mixed Effects Models and GLMM with R. 30   £575
22-26 January 2018 Edmonton, Canada Registration will start in May Linear Mixed Effects Models and GLMM with R. Frequentist and Bayesian approaches 30 Flyer £575
February 2018 Lisbon, Portugal Open. Introduction to Regression Models with Spatial and Temporal Correlation 30   £600
Any time Online Open
A Beginner's Guide to R   Flyer £200

See below for terms and conditions.

Course registration

To register for a course, please click on the 'Register' link. You will be asked for your name, email address (no spamming) and address. To finalize registration the website will take you to our bank where you can make a secure credit card payment. You can also register via a purchase order, in which case you need to email ( us your institutional address, purchase order number and European VAT number (if relevant). Please read the terms and conditions below before registering.

Terms and conditions:

  1. Course literature and software is copyright protected and may not be reproduced or distributed without permission.  
  2. The course content might be modified or improved prior to the course start date. 
  3. In most courses, we are able to cover all advertised modules. Unexpected factors like power cuts, food poisoning, airline strikes etc. may slow us down. Occasionally the numerical knowledge of the participants is slightly lower than expected. We will do our best to cover all modules, but sometimes this is not possible. No refund will be given if we cannot cover all modules.
  4. Accommodation is not included as part of the course fee and participants are expected to make their own arrangements. 
  5. Once participants are given access to course exercises with R solution codes, pdf files of book chapters, pdf files of powerpoint files and video solution files, all course fees are non-refundable. However, depending for the circumstances for cancellation we may be able to offer you the option to attend a future course or you can authorise a colleague to attend this course.
  6. Refunds will only be given if a place is cancelled at least 6 weeks before the start date of the course. Fluctuations in the exchange rate and bank charges may affect the refunded amount. 
  7. A course participant can be substituted at any time before the start of the course. 
  8. We reserve the right to cancel any course without liability other than a refund of the full course fee. 
  9. Unfortunately, we cannot assist with VISA application. 
  10. The courses are designed for biologists and we will only discuss concepts; no detailed mathematics. As such, these courses are  less suitable for statisticians who wish to learn all the mathematical details.  

Past courses

Here is a list of past courses (2002-2015). We have seen a lot of people and it was (is) great fun! 




 Updating in process


Updating in process


Updating in process





2006 - 2002