About Highland Statistics Ltd.

Welcome to the Highstat blog

My name is Alain Francois Zuur. The first two names are French, cialis   but the surname is Dutch. In case you are curious, here here is a (very short) summary of my career.zuur_alain

  • 1993 – 1997: MSc in mathematics (University of Groningen, The Netherlands).
  • 1997 – 2000: PhD in statistics. Based at Aberdeen University, UK. Funded by The Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ).
  • 2000 – 2005: Statistical consultant at FRS Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen, UK.
  • 2002 – present: Director of Highland Statistics Ltd.

So, now you know where I am from, and 15 years living in Scotland has given me a Scottish accent (or so they say).

Together with my colleague, Dr. Elena Ieno (who is a biologist), we teach twenty 5-day statistics courses (all over the world) per year. Course topics are based on our three Springer books (Analysing Ecological data; Mixed effects models and extensions in ecology with R; A Beginner’s Guide to R) and our four self-publishing books (Zero Inflated Models and GLMM with R; Beginner’s Guide to GAM with R; Beginner’s Guide to GLM and GLMM with R; Beginner’s Guide to GAMM with R).

The later three books were written under a coconut tree in the Caribbean  (now you know  IMG_0017where my lovely wife Nandi originates from). Yes, life as a statistician is hard!

So, why write a blog?

  1. Nandi and me foolishly moved permanently to Scotland. So, no more coconut trees. Speaking of coconut trees….I was nearly killed by a coconut falling out of a tree! Imagine that: ‘Statistician killed by coconut‘. Never become part of your own data sets! Bad idea.
  2. The seven books contain a large number of topics, but to avoid 1000+ page books, we had to drop lots of small sections and analyses. A blog is a nice platform to present some of the material that did not go into the books.
  3. We will try to avoid the ‘read this blog, now buy a book‘ sentence. Having said that, at times it may be difficult to avoid this, especially if we discuss add-on analyses of specific book chapters.
  4. I believe they have banana trees on the west coast of Scotland…..perhaps I should write the next book under a banana tree?


Sailing around Tobago with my wife Nandi.


Writing companion from Tobago