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Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences

Graduate Program (M.Sc.) - Global Change Ecology

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Summer School

An Introduction to Bayesian modeling for Ecologists

September 17 - 21, 2012 - University of Bayreuth


Statistical modeling with Bayesian methods has become increasingly popular in ecology, but the techniques required for doing so are not part of the standard curriculum in most Universities. Our aim for this course is to give a simple and practical introduction to Bayesian modeling for students, graduate students, and early-stage researchers in ecology.


Content of the course will include:

  • Introduction to Bayesian statistics (Priors, Likelihoods, etc.)
  • Introduction to sampling methods (e.g. Markov Chain Monte Carlo)
  • Introduction to hierarchical Bayesian models
  • Introduction to the Bugs software for Bayesian Models

The course will consist, each day, of lectures in the morning, practical exercises in the afternoon, and a talk on advanced topics in Bayesian statistics in the late afternoon. Course language will be English. ECTS credits can be awarded if necessary from the University of Bayreuth. Knowledge of R, or at least good competency in another programming language, will be advantageous to profit from the exercises. An optional refreshing R tutorial will be offered at the beginning of the course.

Venue and course fees

The course will take place at the University of Bayreuth. There is no course fee; however, accommodation and food must be paid by the course participants. We have reserved a very basic and very reasonably priced option from 16th -22nd of September in an old farmhouse close to the University. The price is approximately 12 Euro per day in 4-bed rooms, no meals included. If you would like to book accommodation there, please indicate so in your application. Of course, you may also organize your own accommodation in a hotel.

How to apply

To apply for the course, please send an email with your contact details, a brief summary of your research interests and motivation for attending this course (max 150 words) , and an indication of your experience with R by July 30th to joern.pagel@uni-potsdam.de. After this date, we will make the initial selection and subsequent applications will be admitted onto the course on a firstcome first-served basis until all places are filled.


  • Björn Reineking, University of Bayreuth
  • Florian Hartig, UFZ Leipzig
  • Jörn Pagel, University of Potsdam
  • Joseph Chipperfield, University of Trier

Global Change Ecology (M.Sc.)

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