Bayesian Data Analysis for Ecologists [reflections]
The course I gave last week in the Gran Paradiso National Park was certainly one of the most exciting I ever gave! And not only because of the paradisiac location. Indeed, the young twenty ecologists/biologists/geneticists who attended the course were unbelievably motivated to learn about Bayesian Statistics. They did come to the course with a (strong) purpose and with clear problems and real datasets as well.They were thus ready to endure some of my most theoretical slides to obtain indications for progressing in their own work. Another great point was the repeated will to get beyond black box solutions, even Bayesian black box solutions, to understand the available softwares and possibly to modify them. Towards this goal, I slightly modified the way I usually teach Bayesian Core, in order to replace the standard datasets with three “local” datasets obtained from the park biologist, Achaz von Hardenberg (but not available publicly). Here are the modified slides:
which will mostly be useful to those who attended the course. I am thus very grateful to Achaz von Hardenberg, from the Alpine Wildlife Research Centre, Gran Paradiso National Park, and to Antonietta Mira, from the University of Insubria, who invited me to give this course. My only regret is that we could not cover the types of problems met by the attendees more in depth. Given their diversity and richness, this is rather frustrating! It is thus most likely that we will have a follow-up course in a near future with the same participants based on case studies only, where we can study those problems in thematic groups.