Mixed effects models are needed when analysing data sets in which you have multiple observations from the same animal, site, hive, mesocosm, transect, river or if you have multiple short time series or blocks of spatial observations. The mixed effects models have been considered as one of the most satisfactory methods of dealing with complex binary, proportional, discrete, and continuos ecological data. In this intensive course a introduction to mixed effects models is covered. Several theorical aspects about Linear Mixed Models (LMM) and Generalised Linear Mixed Models (GLMMs) are addressed with practical examples. During the course several case studies are presented, in which the statistical theory is integrated with applied analyses in a clear and understandable manner. The course excercises are done with R software and several specific packages.

Intended Audience

The course is intended for graduate or PhD students, postdocs and faculty in ecology or related fields. An undergraudate or graduate level background in statistics is required. Students should be familiar with R before the course and with basic data exploration tolos.

Course Content


  • General Therory
  • Model selection: stepwise versus information theorethical approach
  • Interactions
  • Sketching model fits
  • Practices (two excersices)


  • General Introduction
  • Random intercept models
  • Random intercept and slope models
  • Sketching fitted values
  • Practices (three excersices)


  • GLMMs with Poisson distribution
  • GLMMs with Binomial distribution
  • Practices (four excercises)
  • What to present in a paper or thesis


Alain F. Zuur, PhD. is senior statistician and director of Highland Statistics Ltd., a statistical consultancy company based in the UK. He has contributed to a wide range of projects related to marine biology, oceanography, ecology, fisheries, etc. and has extensive experience teaching statistics to ecologists and environmental scientists in the form of academic and non-academic courses. He is honorary research fellow in the School of Biological Sciences, Oceanlab, at the University of Aberdeen, UK.

Elena Ieno, PhD. is senior marine biologist at Highland Statistics Ltd. In 2004 she left academia to work full time in statistical consultancy. She now teaches statistics to ecologists and has shown she can bridge the gap between the two disciplines and dispel the dread of statistics shown by most biologists. She is also involved in various international statistical consultancy projects, and is honorary research fellow in the School of Biological Sciences, Oceanlab, at the University of Aberdeen, UK.

General Information

Date: 17 – 20 February

Venue: Centro Andaluz de Medio Ambiente. Universidad de Granada

Course times:09.00 am to 18.00 pm including 1.5 hours lunch break and a 20 minutes tea/coffee break both morning and afternoon.

Price: 400 Euros

Registration: Fundación General UGR-Empresa



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