Ecological Statistics: Contemporary theory and application
By Gordon A. Fox, Simoneta Negrete-Yankelevich, Vinicio J. Sosa
Oxford University Press, 400pp | Buy on Amazon

Modern ecology is less about field observations and data, and more about what you do with the data – that’s where statistics shines. However, many ecologists or biologists aren’t especially savvy in statistics, and there’s a specific need to bridge that gap – this is where this book comes in.

Ecological Statistics is an intermediate book – it’s not aimed at total beginners, although even if you’re a total beginner, you can still draw a lot from it. It gives a very solid introduction on several approaches that you can use in ecological studies, giving readers a feel of inference, likelihoods, generalized linear (mixed) models, spatially or phylogenetically-structured data.

Alongside the book, there’s an accompanying website that provides additional information and examples; however, you will likely not having any problem grasping the concepts discussed here. The emphasis is on the conceptual side, and math is kept to a bare minimum – still, as in any statistics book, you do have some math.

Having had some basic experience in statistics, I found it quite easy to understand their explanations and read through the text; one of the things I liked about the book is that I got the feeling that it’s not only aimed at biologists that want to do statistics, but also on statisticians who might want to do some biological studies. The recommended programming language for applications is R, which from what I gathered in recent years, seems to  be the standard.

RELATED  Book review: 'Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age'

So if you’re actually studying or working in ecology/biology and want to learn how to successfully apply statistics to your study, this is definitely one of the best books out there. Even if you’re a senior researcher, there’s a good chance you’ll learn something from it.

Enjoyed this article? Join 40,000+ subscribers to the ZME Science newsletter. Subscribe now!

Like us on Facebook