Live Online Course – An Introduction to Basic Statistics for Biologists using R

We offer a live, instructor-led, distance-learning course based around our book An Introduction to Basic Statistics for Biologists using R. It is run over four three-hour sessions via the Zoom video-conferencing platform.

This is a practical course and it is aimed at anyone who wishes to learn how to carry out basic data processing and statistical analyses on biological data using R. This includes importing data sets into R, error-checking and processing them to prepare them for analysis, calculating basic summary statistics, creating graphs, assessing and transforming their distributions, and running statistical tests such as Shapiro-Wilk tests, t-tests, Mann-Whitney U tests, paired t-tests, Wilcoxon Matched Pairs tests, F-tests for equality of variance, Levene’s tests, ANOVAs, Kruskal-Walis tests, chi-squared tests, correlations and linear regressions. It will also cover how to use R, how to work out how to do things for yourself in R and how to create annotated R script archives of what you have done. No previous experience with R or statistical analysis is required to do this course.

We will next be running this course between the 6th and the 9th of July 2020, with one session being held each day between 14:00 and 17:00 British Summer Time (we are based in Scotland so this is the time zone we operate in). This allows participants from as wide a range of time zones to participate in the course. However, if these times are not suitable for you, please let us know as we may be able to provide the same sessions at other times of day, depending on demand.

The sessions will consist of a series of background talk covering specific topics (more details are provided below), followed by related practical exercises based on instructions from An Introduction to Basic Statistics for Biologists using R. As a result, all participants will receive a free copy of this book shipped to their address in advance of the start of the course. While you are encouraged to remain online during the practical sessions, you can choose to go off-line as you work though the exercises (or if you need to take a break). However, if you have any questions, the course instructor will be available throughout the course for you to ask any questions you wish at any point.

This course will be hosted by Dr Colin D MacLeod, one of the authors of An Introduction to Basic Statistics for Biologists using R. Dr MacLeod has been working in biological research for more than 25 years. He is the author of over 50 peer-reviewed publications and a series of books written to help biologists learn practical skills, such as statistics and GIS.

At the end of the course, all attendees will receive a certificate of attendance and completion. Each certificate is embossed with the GIS In Ecology official stamp to prevent its fraudulent reproduction. In addition, each certificate has its own unique identification number that we will record, along with your name, meaning that we can verify the authenticity of the certificates we issue (and the course you have completed) on request.

Attendance will be limited to a maximum of 19 people. The fees for this course are GBP 250 per person (with a discounted rate of GBP 195 for students, the unwaged and those working for registered charities). To book a place, click on the button below to pay the course fees with a credit/debit card. For more information, or if you would prefer to pay using another method (such as a bank transfer), contact info@GISinEcology.com.

Please Note: If you choose to pay using the button below, please do not make any arrangements regarding your participation until you have received an email from us confirming your booking for a specific course (this may take a couple of days, depending on how busy we are).

*** This course is now fully subscribed, but we will be running another one soon. To be added to the waiting list for the next iteration of this course, please email info@GISinEcology.com with the subject line Introductory Stats Course In R. ***


Fee Options



This course will cover:

  1. An introduction to R and Rstudio (and, if required, this will include help with installing these software packages).
  2. What you need to know to get started with using R.
  3. What to do if you get stuck with using R for data processing and statistical analysis.
  4. How to import data into R and prepare it for analysis.
  5. How to create graphs from biological data in R.
  6. How to assess and transform the distribution of biological data.
  7. How to compare data from different groups with statistical analysis.
  8. How to use correlations and regressions to biological data.
  9. How to work out how to do things in R.
  10. How to create an annotated R code archive so you have a record of what you have done.