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QUANTITATIVE ECOLOGY

CODE 94745
ACADEMIC YEAR 2022/2023
CREDITS
  • 6 cfu during the 2nd year of 10723 BIOLOGIA ED ECOLOGIA MARINA (LM-75) - GENOVA
  • 6 cfu during the 2nd year of 10723 BIOLOGIA ED ECOLOGIA MARINA (LM-6) - GENOVA
  • 6 cfu during the 2nd year of 10589 CONSERVAZIONE E GESTIONE DELLA NATURA(LM-60) - GENOVA
  • SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR BIO/07
    LANGUAGE Italian
    TEACHING LOCATION
  • GENOVA
  • SEMESTER 1° Semester
    MODULES This unit is a module of:
    TEACHING MATERIALS AULAWEB

    AIMS AND CONTENT

    LEARNING OUTCOMES

    The teaching aims to provide students the fundamental knowledge for the organization and study of ecological data, the structuring of an experimental design in ecology and the choice and use of the main univariate and multivariate analysis techniques. Students will also be introduced to the use of the open source software R for the creation of graphs, data exploration and statistical analysis of univariate and multivariate data.

    AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

    Attendance and active participation in the proposed training activities, which include lectures and practical exercises, will allow the student to:

    - learn how to structure an experimental design in the ecological field;

    - organize and explore the data collected through an experiment;

    - choose and use the correct uni or multivariate analysis techniques to test hypotheses;

    - interpret and comment on the results of a statistical test;

    - use the open-source software R for the creation of graphs, data exploration and statistical analysis on univariate and multivariate data.

    TEACHING METHODS

    The teaching consists of lectures and applied lessons (in the computer room) where students will learn to apply data analysis techniques using the R software.

    Lectures are delivered through multimedia presentations, video, quiz and individual or team practice exercises, which can be performed both in the classroom or on-line.

    Seminars will complete the teaching with focus on specific topics.

    Please refer to AulaWeb application specific for the teaching for potential updates due to changes in the health and epidemiological situation.

    SYLLABUS/CONTENT

    INTRODUCTION TO QUANTITATIVE ECOLOGY:

    1) The experimental design in ecology, the hypothetical deductive method

    2) Parameters of a population, statistical inference

    UNIVARIATE ANALYSIS

    1) Frequency distributions, asymmetry and kurtosis

    2) The Analysis of Variance: algebraic distribution of variability, the linear model, parametric and non parametric tests

    3) Multi-factorial, hierarchical and orthogonal designs

    4) Multi-factorial designs for impact assessment: BACI and beyond BACI 

    5) Correlation and linear regression

    6) Multiple regressions and Regression Trees

    MULTIVARIATE ANALYSIS

    1) Similarity coefficients and cluster analysis

    2) PCA and MDS orders

    3) Multivariate tests (ANOSIM, PERMANOVA)

    SOFTWARE R

    1) Introduction to the use of R software

    2) Frequency distributions

    3) Data exploration

    4) Univariate analyses

    5) Multivariate analyses

    RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Available (downloadable from the AulaWeb or Teams) presentations, videos and all material of the lessons. The provided material is sufficient for the exam preparation.

    Suggested reading:

    Fowler, Cohen. Statistics for Ornithologists and Naturalists. Natural Sciences Texts, Franco Muzzio Editore, 2010.

    Dytham, Calvin. Choosing and using statistics: a biologist's guide. John Wiley & Sons, 2011.

    D. Borcard et al., Numerical Ecology with R, Use R, 1 DOI 10.1007/978-1-4419-7976-6_1, © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

    Underwood A.J., 1997. Experiments in ecology. Cambridge University Press

    Gambi M.C., Dappiano M., 2003. Handbook of sampling methodology and study of Mediterranean marine benthos. Marine Mediterranean Biology, vol 10 (Suppl.).

    Camussi A., Möller F., Ottaviano E., Sari Gorla M., 1995. Statistical methods for biological experimentation. Zanichelli.

    Zar J.H., 1999. Biostatistical Analysis. Fourth Editino. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458.

    Legendre, Pierre & Louis Legendre. 1998. Numerical ecology. 2nd English edition. Elsevier Science BV, Amsterdam. xv + 853 pages.

    DC Schneider Quantitative Ecology, 2nd edn, 2009. London: Academic Press. 432 pp.

    A.F. Zuur, E.N. Ieno, G. M. Smith. Analysing Ecological Data. Statistics for Biology and Health. Springer, 2007

     

    TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

    Exam Board

    STEFANO FERRETTI (President)

    MARIACHIARA CHIANTORE

    VALENTINA ASNAGHI (President Substitute)

    LESSONS

    Class schedule

    QUANTITATIVE ECOLOGY

    EXAMS

    EXAM DESCRIPTION

    The exam consists of an oral test concerning the topics covered in the course. The exam will start with the exposition of a scientific article provided by the lecturer or of student's choice (preferably exposed with a short digital presentation, e.g. in power point or similar), and will continue with other 2/3 questions asked by the lecturer on topics covered during classes.The exam is passed if the student has obtained a grade greater than or equal to 18/30.

    Five appeals will be available in the summer session (June, July, September) and 2 calls in the winter session (January-February).

    Please refer to AulaWeb application specific for the teaching for potential updates due to changes in the health and epidemiological situation.

    ASSESSMENT METHODS

    Details on how to prepare for the exam and the degree of detail required for each topic will be provided during the lessons. The exam will verify the actual acquisition of knowledge, which the student will have to be able to connect and integrate. The ability to synthesize and recognize the main aspects of the topic will be evaluated and the ability to expose the arguments clearly and with correct terminology will also be considered. 

    The oral examination begins with a critical report on a scientific article (of student's choice or from those provided and available on Aulaweb/Teams) to assess the ability to understand a scientific text, identify objectives of the study, and interpret and comment on the results presented. 

    Exam schedule

    Date Time Location Type Notes
    17/01/2023 10:00 GENOVA Orale
    30/01/2023 10:00 GENOVA Orale
    09/02/2023 10:00 GENOVA Orale
    24/02/2023 10:00 GENOVA Orale

    FURTHER INFORMATION

    The topics covered and the numerous examples discussed in class encourage assiduous attendance. Part of the lectures will also be conducted in the computer classroom to enable students to perform the analyses on the data themselves using excel and R.