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Biomeasurement: A Student's Guide to Biological Statistics

TextbookHandbook / Manual
  • The why and how of biological statistics, and the perfect companion for an introductory course in statistics for the life sciences
  • Explains why statistics are needed, how to choose and carry out statistical analyses, and how their results can be interpreted
  • Focuses on the application of statistics as a valuable research tool, avoiding detailed treatment of the mathematical basis of statistics
  • Places emphasis on explanation so that students are guided through the key concepts and techniques in a steady, progressive way
  • Enables students to build confidence in handling actual data through the use of real data sets
  • Illustrates the use of the techniques presented in published research work through 'Literature Links', highlighting the importance of statistics in real-world science and demonstrating how to report results in a professional manner
  • The Online Resource Centre features additional resources for students and teachers to enhance the educational value of the book

By: Dawn Hawkins(Author)

333 pages, 150 b/w illustrations, tables

Oxford University Press

Paperback | Feb 2014 | Edition: 3 | #207903 | ISBN-13: 9780199650446
Availability: Usually dispatched within 48 hours
NHBS Price: £28.99 $38/€32 approx

About this book

Statistical analysis allows us to attach meaning to data that we have collected; it helps us to understand what experimental results really mean, and to assess whether we can trust what experiments seem to be telling us. Yet, despite being a collection of the most valuable and important tools available to bioscientists, statistics is often the aspect of study most feared by students.

Biomeasurement offers a refreshing, student-focused introduction to the use of statistics in the study of the biosciences. With an emphasis on why statistical techniques are essential tools for bioscientists, the book develops confidence in students to use and further explore the key techniques for themselves. 

Beginning by placing the role of data analysis in the context of the wider scientific method and introducing the student to the key terms and concepts common to all statistical tools, the book then guides the student through descriptive statistics, and on to inferential statistics, explaining how and why each type of technique is used, and what each can tell us in order to better understand our data. It goes on to present the key statistical tests, walking the student step-wise through the use of each, with carefully-integrated examples and plentiful opportunities for hands-on practice. Biomeasurement closes with an overview of choosing the right test to suit your data, and tools for presenting data and their statistical analyses.

Written by a talented educator, whose teaching has won praise from the UK's Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, Biomeasurement is sure to engage even the most wary of students, demonstrating the power and importance of statistics throughout the study of bioscience.

New to this edition:
- The book now supports R through 'help sheets' and screencasts on the Online Resource Centre.
- The chapter introducing the Generalized Linear Model has been enhanced with further guidance on model choice.
- A new chapter on binary data expands on the existing coverage of the Generalized Linear Model by introducing the reader to logistic GLMs.
- More emphasis has been placed on interpretation of results from a biological perspective through greater consideration of effect size.
- Author screencasts outline key statistical techniques and walk students through the use of statistical analysis packages, SPSS and R.
- New activities have been added to the Online Resource Centre.

Reviews from previous edition

"This book represents the best I have seen for teaching undergraduate biologists statistics. It explains things at the level that the average student can understand, but still provides them with the foundation to go on and develop there statistical skills further if they want or need to."
– Dr Chris Venditti, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Hull, UK

"Biomeasurement is an excellent, high quality textbook. It demystifies and clarifies topics that students can normally find confusing and challenging. It is a must for all biologists!"
– Dr Maria G. Tuohy, School of Natural Sciences, National University of Ireland, Galway

"It does a wonderful job of keeping the biology the focus of an analysis, and highlighting the fact that statistics is simply another useful tool to help biological understanding."
– Dr Shane Richards, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, University of Durham, UK

"The clarity of the key rules, formulae and worked examples also set this text apart from others that I have used. These are excellent features which, for me, enrich the learning experience for students."
– Dr Steven Gilliespie, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Glasgow, UK

"I only wish the book had been available when I was an undergraduate – it really is a pleasure to use."
– Mark Winterbottom, Journal of Biological Education, Volume 44, Issue 1, 2009

"Biomeasurement really is a 'top notch' text on statistics for Biologists. I wish it had been written before I planned my own course!"
– Mark Winterbottom, Journal of Biological Education, Vol 40, No 2, Spring 2006

"A 'must purchase' for biologists interested in statistics. Oh, that I had had the benefit of being taught by Dawn Hawkins!"
– Basil Jarvis, Biologist Vol 52 No 3

"This is a very user-friendly introduction to statistical methods for first-year undergraduate biology students."
– F. James Rohlf, in Quarterly Review of Biology, September 2010

"Even from reading the first chapter only it is clear that the writer has put some thought into making the book entertaining to read. Oddly, it has worked! Her style of writing is casual, readable and humorous. This simple and 'easy to read' style makes the book inviting to use. The writer has achieved something I thought was impossible and made statistics interesting/appealing to study!"
– Bethan Clifford, Student, University of Nottingham

"The presentation allows readers easily to access material which is relevant to their needs. Chapter 13, on presentation of data, provides an ideal conclusion to book."
– The Society of General Microbiology

"Biomeasurement is a well researched and planned book. The audience of the book is clearly identified and targeted by the material."
– The Society for General Microbiology

Related titles

See the previous edition

Biomeasurement: Understanding, Analysing and Communicating Data in the Biosciences

Biomeasurement offers a refreshing, student-focused introduction to the use...

NHBS Price: £26.99 $35/€30 approx


1: Why am I reading this book?
2: Getting to grips with the basics
3: Describing a single sample
4: Inferring and estimating
5: Overview of hypothesis testing
6: Tests on frequencies
7: Tests of difference: two unrelated samples
8: Tests of difference: two related samples
9: Tests of difference: more than two samples
10: Tests of relationship: regression
11: Tests of relationship: correlation
12: Generalized Linear Model I: General Linear Model
13: Generalized Linear Model II: Logistic Model
14: Choosing the right test and graph

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