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Mixed Effects Models and Extensions in Ecology with R (Statistics for Biology and Health) 2009th Edition

17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0387874579
ISBN-10: 0387874577
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Editorial Reviews

Review

From the reviews:

"For many people dealing with statistics is like jumping into ice-cold water. This metaphor is depicted by the cover of this book … . full of excellent example code and for most graphs and analyses the code is printed and explained in detail. … Each example finishes with … valuable information for a person new to a technique. In summary, I highly recommend the book to anyone who is familiar with basic statistics … who wants to expand his/her statistical knowledge to analyse ecological data." (Bernd Gruber, Basic and Applied Ecology, Vol. 10, 2009)

"This book is written in a very approachable conversational style. The additional focus on the heuristics of the process rather than just a rote recital of theory and equations is commendable. This type of approach helps the reader get behind the ‘why’ of what’s being done rather than blindly follow a simple list of rules.… In short, this text is good for researchers with at least a little familiarity with the basic concepts of modeling and who want some solid stop-by-stop guidance with examples on how common ecological modeling tasks are accomplished using R." (Aaron Christ, Journal of Statistical Software, November 2009, Vol. 32)

"The authors succeed in explaining complex extensions of regression in largely nonmathematical terms and clearly present appropriate R code for each analysis. A major strength of the text is that instead of relying on idealized datasets … the authors use data from consulting projects or dissertation research to expose issues associated with ‘real’ data. … The book is well written and accessible … . the volume should be a useful reference for advanced graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and experienced professionals working in the biological sciences." (Paul E. Bourdeau, The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 84, December, 2009)

“This is a companion volume to Analyzing Ecology Data by the same authors. …It extends the previous work by looking at more complex general and generalized linear models involving mixed effects or heterogeneity in variances. It is aimed at statistically sophisticated readers who have a good understanding of multiple regression models… .The pedagogical style is informal… . The authors are pragmatists―they use combinations of informal graphical approaches, formal hypothesis  testing, and information-theoretical model selection methods  when analyzing data. …Advanced graduate students in ecology or ecologists with several years of experience with ‘messy’ data would find this book useful. …Statisticians would find this book interesting for the nice explorations of many of the issues with messy data. This book would be (very) suitable for a graduate course on statistical consulting―indeed, students would learn a great deal about the use of sophisticated statistical models in ecology! …I very much liked this book (and also the previous volume). I enjoyed the nontechnical presentations of the complex ideas and their emphasis that a good analysis uses ‘simple statistical methods wherever possible, but doesn’t use them simplistically.’” (Biometrics, Summer 2009, 65, 992–993)

“This book is a great introduction to a wide variety of regression models. … This text examines how to fit many alternative models using the statistical package R. … The text is a valuable reference … . A large number of real datasets are used as examples. Discussion on which model to use and the large number of recent references make the book useful for self study … .” (David J. Olive, Technometrics, Vol. 52 (4), November, 2010)

From the Back Cover

Building on the successful Analysing Ecological Data (2007) by Zuur, Ieno and Smith, the authors now provide an expanded introduction to using regression and its extensions in analysing ecological data. As with the earlier book, real data sets from postgraduate ecological studies or research projects are used throughout. The first part of the book is a largely non-mathematical introduction to linear mixed effects modelling, GLM and GAM, zero inflated models, GEE, GLMM and GAMM. The second part provides ten case studies that range from koalas to deep sea research. These chapters provide an invaluable insight into analysing complex ecological datasets, including comparisons of different approaches to the same problem. By matching ecological questions and data structure to a case study, these chapters provide an excellent starting point to analysing your own data. Data and R code from all chapters are available from www.highstat.com.

Alain F. Zuur is senior statistician and director of Highland Statistics Ltd., a statistical consultancy company based in the UK. He has taught statistics to more than 5000 ecologists. He is honorary research fellow in the School of Biological Sciences, Oceanlab, at the University of Aberdeen, UK.

Elena N. Ieno is senior marine biologist and co-director at Highland Statistics Ltd. She has been involved in guiding PhD students on the design and analysis of ecological data. She is honorary research fellow in the School of Biological Sciences, Oceanlab, at the University of Aberdeen, UK.

Neil J. Walker works as biostatistician for the Central Science Laboratory (an executive agency of DEFRA) and is based at the Woodchester Park research unit in Gloucestershire, South-West England. His work involves him in a number of environmental and wildlife biology projects.

Anatoly A. Saveliev is a professor at the Geography and Ecology Faculty at Kazan State University, Russian Federation, where he teaches GIS and statistics. He also provides consultancy in statistics, GIS & Remote Sensing, spatial modelling and software development in these areas.

Graham M. Smith is a director of AEVRM Ltd, an environmental consultancy in the UK and the course director for the MSc in ecological impact assessment at Bath Spa University in the UK.

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Product Details

  • Series: Statistics for Biology and Health
  • Hardcover: 574 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2009 edition (March 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387874577
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387874579
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alain F. Zuur is senior statistician and director of Highland Statistics Ltd., a statistical consultancy company based in the UK. He has taught statistics to more than 5000 ecologists. He is honorary research fellow in the School of Biological Sciences, Oceanlab, at the University of Aberdeen, UK.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Philip Turk on July 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Many applications in ecology clearly are not amenable to use of the general linear model due to violations of its assumptions. In fact, in most projects I work on, things like correlation among the errors, nonconstant error variance, etc., are the rule, rather than the exception. If you are looking for an applied text dealing with these types of situations with lots of examples, and demonstrations on analysis in R, then you should get this book. It does not delve into theory; there are plenty of other textbooks where you can fill in those details if you are interested. Rather, this book would be ideally suited for quantitative ecologists, biometricians, and statistical consultants who work in life sciences. Another nice thing is that the book does not assume you are an "R expert". Well done.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is very good in both introducing statistical concepts and describing the R commands to implement those concepts. It is required, however, a relatively deep understanding of Linear Regression. I read this book from A to Z, however, each chapter is as independent as possible, and therefore it is possible to read the individual chapters. I did not try the code on the web page of the book yet, but I did type some of the examples and the code from the book works OK. In addition in the web site there is a set of instructions to install a package with all the code from the examples and updates on the R libraries and packages explained in the book.

Each methodology explained in the book covers step by step both the statistical (and mathematical) details as well as the construction of the R code (including importing the dataset and formating of columns for later analysis).

One of the most important "extra points" in this book is the use of a consistent methodology to approach the problem of modeling ecological data from a statistical point of view.

My only complain is that there are lots (LOTS) of typos, nothing too serious (since I was able to catch them) but still, I'm a little disappointed, because a good reviewer should got those.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By BlueDaisy on April 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Mixed effects models and extensions in ecology with R (Statistics for Biology and Health)

The authors extend the expertise and practicality of Analysing Ecological Data (2007) to more types of data that are encountered in the world of living things. Many "real world" data are characterized by problems that traditional methods cannot cope with very well: nested data, heterogeneity of variances, spatial and temporal correlations, and more. These authors discuss these issues using ecological problems, but their approaches can be easily translated into other areas, such as human behavior and health (my area).

In a highly readable style, they begin with clear explanations of the special problems of messy and complex data, and why they require special handling. They use a gentle mathematical and theoretical touch when conceptualizing problems, so the analyst understands why the authors suggest handling data in the way they do. Then they guide the analyst through the process of statistical decision making through a step by step process, explaining options at various points. Finally, they end with suggestions on methods for communicating the results to other scientists. At the end of the analysis, the reader understands the reasoning underlying the statistical methods and decisions made along the way.

The R code for analyzing data sets is clearly presented, so the reader who attempts the examples learns how to apply this powerful statistical language as well.

This is a book that I expect to use again and again. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Andersen on June 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've read through the first 6 chapters during the past few days, and have quite enjoyed it -- it reads smoothly, almost like a novel; quite unexpected for a text written by multiple authors. There's even a bit of humor. I've worked a bit with mixed models in the SAS world, but needed to learn how to deal with them in R, and this book has turned-out to be rather better than expected in this regard (I'm really liking how mixed models are done in R as opposed to SAS). At first I thought the blend of topics covered a bit odd, wondering what the heck a "Generalized Additive Model" was and what it was doing in a book on mixed models, but it turns out that GAMs are really nifty and not too difficult to grasp and in fact appear relevant to problems I'm currently working on. The authors have a preference for working with the distribution of the data as given rather than attempting to transform it to an approximation of normality, and I'm coming to appreciate this as well. For an applied text, it has unexpected depths. Great book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By GG on April 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a plant ecologist. Even when I try to design simple experiments, it seems everything has autocorrelation (how did they do ecology in the past!?). So, I'm always using mixed models.

This book is great on two fronts. First, it is an excellent "how to" guide for using mixed models in R. It gives you examples, output, and a roadmap to the code you need to write to do the analysis. Second, it explains the theory behind mixed models in a way that is easy to understand for a non-statistician. It walks you through what output means and the theory behind what R is doing, and the limitations of what R won't do.

Every ecologist should buy this book.
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