Books  Data Analysis & Modelling  Data Analysis & Statistics 

The Analysis of Biological Data

By: Michael C Whitlock(Author), Dolph Schluter(Author)

864 pages, colour illustrations, tables

Roberts and Company Publishers

Hardback | Jul 2014 | Edition: 2 | #228826 | ISBN-13: 9781936221486
Availability uncertain: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £64.99 $85/€73 approx

About this book

Knowledge of statistics is essential in modern biology and medicine. Biologists and health professionals learn statistics best with real and interesting examples. The Analysis of Biological Data, Second Edition, by Whitlock and Schluter, teaches modern methods of statistics through the use of fascinating biological and medical cases. Readers consistently praise its clear and engaging writing and practical perspective.

The second edition features over 200 new examples and problems. These include new calculation practice problems, which guide the student step by step through the methods, and a greater number of the examples and topics come from medical and human health research. Every chapter has been carefully edited for even greater clarity and ease of use. All the data sets, R scripts for all worked examples in The Analysis of Biological Data, as well as many other teaching resources, are available to qualified instructors (see below).


1. Statistics and samples
INTERLEAF 1 Biology and the history of statistics
2. Displaying data
3. Describing data
4. Estimating with uncertainty
INTERLEAF 2 Pseudoreplication
5. Probability
6. Hypothesis testing
INTERLEAF 3 Why statistical significance is not the same as biological importance

7. Analyzing proportions
INTERLEAF 4 Correlation does not require causation
8. Fitting probability models to frequency data
INTERLEAF 5 Making a plan
9. Contingency analysis: associations between categorical variables

10. The normal distribution
INTERLEAF 6 Controls in medical studies
11. Inference for a normal population
12. Comparing two means
INTERLEAF 7 Which test should I use?
13. Handling violations of assumptions
14. Designing experiments
INTERLEAF 8 Data dredging
15. Comparing means of more than two groups
INTERLEAF 9 Experimental and statistical mistakes

16. Correlation between numerical variables
INTERLEAF 10 Publication bias
17. Regression
INTERLEAF 11 Using species as data points

18. Multiple explanatory variables
19. Computer-intensive methods
20. Likelihood
21. Meta-analysis: combining information from multiple studies

Answers to practice problems
Literature cited
Statistical tables
Photo credits

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Michael Whitlock is an evolutionary biologist and population geneticist. He is a professor of zoology at the University of British Columbia, where he has taught statistics to biology students since 1995. Whitlock is known for his work on the spatial structure of biological populations, genetic drift, and the genetics of adaptation. He has worked with fungus beetles, rhinos, and fruit flies; mathematical theory; and statistical genetics. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also the former editor-in-chief of The American Naturalist.

Dolph Schluter is professor and Canada Research Chair in the zoology department and Biodiversity Research Center at the University of British Columbia. He currently teaches evolutionary ecology as well as a graduate course in biological data analysis. Schluter is known for his research on adaptive radiation – the evolution of ecological diversity in groups of organisms that are multiplying rapidly – and on the evolution of major biodiversity gradients. His initial studies were carried out on Darwin's finches in the Galápagos Islands, followed by work on seed-eating birds in other parts of the world. Recently he has carried out studies of competition, adaptation, and the origin of species in threespine stickleback inhabiting lakes of coastal British Columbia, Canada, and the genetic basis of species differences. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of London and the Royal Society of Canada and is a Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received multiple honors including the Guggenheim Fellowship, The Sewall Wright Award from the American Society of Naturalists, the Killam Fellowship from the Canada Council, and the Darwin-Wallace Medal from the Linnean Society of London. He is a past president of the Society for the Study of Evolution and the American Society of Naturalists. His other books include The Ecology of Adaptive Radiation (2000).

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