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 extreme south, Argentina and New Zealand.

All in all we have educated about 7000 ecologist. We have revisited some institutes more than 10 times. Various institutes run 2 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 25 days; should you wish to do so. We provide a series of courses, see the table below.






Data exploration and visualization with R




Introduction to R (also available as an online course)




Data exploration, regression, GLM and GAM with R


Basic statistics


Linear mixed effects modelling (dealing with heterogeneity, 1-way and 2-way nested data) and GLMM with R


Courses 2 & 3


Zero inflated models and GLMM with R. With introduction to Bayesian statistics and MCMC in JAGS.


Courses 2 - 4


Multivariate analysis with R


Basic statistics

7 Beginner's guide to MCMC, GAM and GAMM 5 Courses 2-4
8 Beginner's guide to MCMC, GLM and GAM 4 Courses 2 -3

In practice people do course 3, followed by course 4 or 5 six or twelve months later.  

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) and A Beginner's Guide to GAMM with R (Zuur et al. 2014).

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, etc.

The map below shows location of courses in 2014

View Courses 2014 in a larger map

Courses in 2014 - 2015

When Where Status Course Remaining seats Flyer Price
7-11 April, 2014 Helsinki, Finland In-house Data exploration, linear regression, GLM & GAM in R. With introduction to R. - - -
5 - 9 May, 2014 CIMA Research Foundation, Savona, Italy Open Introduction to MCMC, Linear mixed effects models and GLMM with R Flyer 595 Euros/ £500
12-16 May, 2014 Aston University. Birmingham, UK Open Data exploration, linear regression, GLM & GAM in R. With introduction to R. 10 Flyer £525 (excl. VAT)
7-11 July, 2014 Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK Open Data Exploration, Regression, GLM & GAM with introduction to R 12 Flyer 500 GBP (+20% VAT)
8-12 September, 2014 IMR In-house   0    
22-26 September, 2014 Parks Canada, Banff, Canada Open Introduction to MCMC, Linear mixed effects models and GLMM with R 15 Flyer 850 CAD
6 - 10 October, 2014 Irstea, Nogent-sur-Vernisson, France Open Zero Inflated Models & Generalized Linear Mixed Models with R 15 Flyer 595 Euros
27 - 31 October, 2014 NIOZ, The Netherlands In-house Beginner's Guide to GAM  and GAMM 0 - -
3 - 7 November, 2014 TBA In-house TBA 0 - -
17 - 21 November, 2014 IMR In-house TBA 0 - -
24 - 28 November, 2014 IMR In-house TBA 0 - -
1 - 5 November, 2014 IMR In-house TBA 0 - -
15 - 19 December 2014 Wageningen University, The Netherlands In-house Zero Inflated models and GLMM with R 0 - -
19 - 23 January 2015 Halifax, Canada Open Introduction to Linear mixed effects models,  GLMM and MCMC with R 25 Flyer 850 CAD
April 2013 Online Open Follow-up course for participants who have attended our data exploration, regression, GLM & GAM course in R. Email to register Flyer 100 GBP
Any time Online Open A Beginner's Guide to R Email to register Flyer 300 Euro


See below for terms and conditions.


Course registration

To register for an open course, please contact us by email ( We need to know your name and address for the invoice and which course you would like to attend. Please read the terms and conditions below before registering.

Terms and conditions:

  1. All fees are payable 6 weeks in advance and no admission to the course will be permitted until payment has been received. 
  2. Course literature and software is copyright protected and may not be reproduced or distributed without permission.  
  3. The course content might be modified or improved prior to the course start date. 
  4. 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.
  5. Accommodation is not included as part of the course fee and participants are expected to make their own arrangements. 
  6. Refunds (after deducting a 15% bank and administration fee) will only be given if a place is cancelled at least 6 weeks before the start date of the course.
  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.  


The calendar below shows where we have been, are and will be.


Past courses

Here is a list of past courses (2002-2010). We have seen a lot of people and it was (is) great fun! 





2006 - 2002