Multivariate statistics in community ecology

13-16 February 2007


Dr Daniel Borcard, Université de Montréal, Canada
Dr François Gillet, EPF Lausanne, Switzerland


Principles and applications of multivariate analyses to community ecology: Indirect and direct ordination, classification, multivariate analysis of complex experiments, multivariate statistical testing.


Multidimensional biological and environmental data and their transformation

Ordination methods (CA, PCA, PCoA, CCA, RDA, db-RDA)

Clustering methods (association matrices, hierarchical clustering, K-Means)

Permutation tests (tests of canonical ordination, Mantel tests)

Multivariate analysis of variance using Redundancy Analysis

Worked examples and exercises using R language

Attendance and home work - Active participaton is required and exercises have to be passed at the end of each chapter.

If you have not attended any course previously (i.e., "applied statistical regression modelling for biologists using R") and thus if you are a beginner with this software (similar to S-Plus), we strongly encourage you to practice some rudiments of the R language before the course.
Note that the theoretical part of the course is very general and can be applied to any other suitable statistical software. However, a basic knowledge of the R language would be very useful, although not required, for the exercises.
R is open source and you can download binaries of the last version at:
Depending on the time you can put into this self-learning, you can find various tutorials and introductions to R from the CRAN web site:
Under Documentation, go to Manuals, and see in particular the "contributed documentation":
You'll find here some useful short guides and tutorials, among which I recommend especially "R for Beginners" by Emmanuel Paradis, and the "R reference card" by Tom Short.
Dave Roberts has written a short introduction to R for vegetation ecologists:

general information

Dates: 13-16 February 2007

Schedule: 8.55 - 17.00

Location: Université de Neuchâtel, Unimail, bâtiment de chimie(G, "Institut de chimie"), room B1

Credit points: 2.5 credit points (Research tools)

Evaluation: Active participation is required and a practical evaluation (case study or exercises) has to be passed at the end of the course.

Information: Please contact Dr Daniel Borcard or Dr François Gillet

Travel expenses: NCCR Ph.D. participants are eligible for reimbursement of incurred travel expenses by train (half-fare card, and 2nd class). Please send the original tickets (no copies, except for the general abonnement) to Dr. Christiane Bobillier.  No reimbursement for bus, taxi or car travel expenses will be paid.


This course is opened to all Ph.D. student, however priority is given to doctoral programme "Plants and their Environment" participants and NCCR Plant Survival Ph.D. students. Postdocs and diploma students are welcome depending on availability.

This course is free, but the cost is approx. CHF 500.00 per person. Therefore a waiting list will be prepared to ensure that there are no empty seats.

Minimum number of participants: 8, maximum: 15. Course full.

Registration: closed

Deadline: 22 January 2007