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R for Macroecological and Global Change Studies (2015)

Name of course:

R for Macroecological and Global Change Studies

ECTS credits:


Course parameters:

Language: English

Level of course: PhD course

Time of year: 14-20 June 2015

No. of contact hours/hours in total incl. preparation, assignment(s) or the like:

Contact hours: 35, Total hours: 95

Capacity limits: 15 participants

Objectives of the course:

This course will introduce R, with a focus on aspects of the language that are relevant in the analysis of large spatial datasets. The course assumes no or little prior knowledge of R but will move quickly through introductory topics such as defining functions, plotting and basic statistical tests. With this foundation, we will then introduce more advanced topics related directly to macroecological and biogeographical studies beginning with handling and manipulating vector- and raster-type data. We will then introduce two widely-used methods in spatial macroecology and global change studies – species distribution modeling and spatial regression methods. We will conclude with a small project that integrates the topics covered in the course. Students may bring their own data to analyze in the project if it fits the course themes.

Learning outcomes and competences:

At the end of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Understand the general structure and philosophy of R
  • Perform complex data management tasks, especially including spatial data
  • Perform advanced statistical analyses, including spatial regression, species distribution models and multivariate methods

Compulsory programme:

Students should 1. Complete the pre-course reading assignments, 2. Complete 8 in-class assignments and 3. Complete and document an analysis project at the course’s end.

Course contents:

The major topics are: objects and functions in R, plotting and graphics, statistical models, multivariate methods, spatial data, spatial regression and species distribution models.


A background in basic statistics

Name of lecturer: Brody Sandel

Type of course/teaching methods:

Lectures, exercises


R for Beginners, Emmanuel Paradis, a selection (10) of research articles using relevant methods.


Course homepage:


Course assessment:

Successful completion of 8 in-class assignments and a final project.


Department of Bioscience


14-20 June, 2015


Sandbjerg Gods


Deadline for registration is 31 March, 2015. Information regarding admission will be sent out no later than 7 April.

For registration: Email a brief description of your PhD project and description of the relevance of the course to your research, along with a CV to Brody Sandel (

If you have any questions, please contact Brody Sandel.

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Revised 16.05.2017