September 23, 2008 @ 8:30 am – September 26, 2008 @ 5:30 pm
Romberg Tiburon Center
3152 Paradise Drive
Tiburon, CA 94920
Marina Psaros

This five day workshop will cover the statistical analysis of assemblage data (species by samples matrices of abundance, area cover etc) and/or multi-variable environmental data which arise in a wide range of applications in environmental science and ecology, from environmental impact assessments, through fundamental community ecology studies and monitoring of widescale biodiversity change, to biomarker studies and purely physical or chemical analyses

? Based on the PRIMER package (Plymouth Routines In Multivariate Ecological Research), a worldwide standard software tool used in over 3000 recent SCI-listed papers, for analysis of assemblages of marine benthic flora/fauna, fish, corals, plankton, algae etc, and, increasingly, terrestrial, freshwater, palaeontological, microbial & genetic data

? Covers the core topics of similarity, clustering (CLUSTER), ordination by non-metric multi-dimensional scaling (MDS) and principal components analysis (PCA), hypothesis testing on similarity matrices (ANOSIM) and other permutation tests (RELATE), linking biotic patterns to environmental variables (BEST/Bio-Env), identifying species responsible for observed community pattern (SIMPER, BEST/BvStep), comparison of ordinations (2nd stage MDS), dominance curves and (bio)diversity indices, including measures based on taxonomic relatedness of species (TAXDTEST), and practical issues such as taxonomic identification level, sample design, choice of analysis, etc

? Lectures also cover the newer tools in the current PRIMER version (v6), e.g. a much wider range of similarity measures including new dispersion-weighted and taxonomically-based coefficients, new global permutation tests for: a) groups formed in dendrograms (for a priori unstructured samples), b) dominance curves and c) optimal biota-environment relationships (the latter also examined by new non-parametric ‘linkage trees’). Also new in v6 were SIMPER analyses for 2-way layouts and abiotic variables, missing data algorithms for environmental data, improved MDS plots and diagnostics, merging of non-matching species lists, a wide class of richness estimators, workspaces which are navigable and saveable, major speed and data capacity enhancements etc

? The workshop will be given by Dr P J Somerfield (Plymouth Marine Lab, UK). Paul Somerfield is a senior researcher in community ecology and quantitative methods at the PML, heading the laboratory’s biodiversity research projects. He has been responsible for some of the methodology in the current version of PRIMER and has much experience using the package creatively in a wide range of applications (well outside the biodiversity area)

? ‘Hands-on’ lab sessions will use real literature case studies, analysed with PRIMER. Participants are also encouraged to bring some of their own data to the course. The emphasis throughout is on practical application and interpretation, the theoretical aspects (e.g. the multivariate statistical methods which are the core of the course) being carefully selected to be those that are simple to describe and understand. No prior statistical knowledge is assumed

In addition to the course registration fee, software licensing costs are as follows:

Private sector company: $800 new v6 / $400 upgrade to v6 from v5

Public sector institution: $600 new v6 / $300 upgrade to v6 from v5

University staff/student: $400 new v6 / $200 upgrade to v6 from v5

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