Course on Hierarchical and Bayesian Stats for Ecologists in November

Updated: Oct 18

The Hierarchical Modelling and Bayesian Statistics course will be offered again in November in Santa Maria.

The course is one and a half weeks long with hands-on activities and classes from 8 AM until 6 PM with a lunch break in the middle of the day.

This year, the course will be offered both virtually and in-person in Silveira Martins, a nearby city. Lodging will be provided to the students at no cost. A limited number of seats are available to students from other institutions/not registered. Those interested must contact me as soon as possible by e-mail, provide a brief motivation letter (2 paragraphs max) and describe if attendance will be in person or not. At the end of the course, attendees are expected to use Hierarchical Bayesian models in their own research project. However, I do not expect students to know advanced stats at the beginning. Instead, we will go the long road from probability theory all the way to using Bayesian stats. Along this way, students will be able to create their own Generalized Linear Model using only the basic package in R (basic functions, such as sum and log), implement basic occupancy models using a Frequentist (Maximum Likelihood) approach, and much more. For every bit of information, we will use tons of ecological examples, make some fun calculations by hand, and practice in R.

Some popular topics that will be covered in this course are:

  • Probability rules

  • Maximum Likelihood calculations and optimization

  • P-values (and the problems with p-values)

  • Occupancy models (basics)

  • Generalized Mixed Effect Models with single and multiple random effects

  • Bayes theorem, prior and posterior probability

  • JAGs/BUGS programming

  • Implementation of self-designed models both using ML and Bayesian Statistics

Start date: 17 Nov 2021

End date: 26 Nov 2021

*No class on the 23rd afternoon.


1) Espaço Multidisciplinar de Pesquisa e Extensão - Silveira Martins and virtually. Lodging and transport from Santa Maria, RS, Brazil, will be provided. All in-person participants must be fully vaccinated.


Portuguese and English (depending on the number of participants).

If you are interested in participating, send me an e-mail or message (check the Contact Me tab). The course will have a maximum of 20 participants.

Click here to see the course Syllabus (only in Portuguese)

Click here to see the course Schedule (only in Portuguese)

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