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Statistics for Ecologists Using R and Excel (Data in the Wild) Paperback – January 2, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1907807121 ISBN-10: 1907807128

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Product Details

  • Series: Data in the Wild
  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Pelagic Publishing Ltd (January 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907807128
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907807121
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.7 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #604,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark Gardener ( is an ecologist, lecturer, and writer working in the UK. His primary area of research was in pollination ecology and he has worked in the UK and around the word (principally Australia and the United States). Since his doctorate he has worked in many areas of ecology, often as a teacher and supervisor. He believes that ecological data, especially community data, is the most complicated and ill-behaved and is consequently the most fun to work with. He was introduced to R by a like-minded pedant whilst working in Australia during his doctorate. Learning R was not only fun but opened up a new avenue, making the study of community ecology a whole lot easier. He is currently self-employed and runs courses in ecology, data analysis, and R for a variety of organizations. Mark lives in rural Devon with his wife Christine, a biochemist who consequently has little need of statistics.

More About the Author

My latest book "Community Ecology: Analytical Methods Using R and Excel" is now in print. The study of ecological community data involves many methods of analysis. In this book you will learn many of the mainstays of community analysis including: diversity, similarity and cluster analysis, ordination and multivariate analyses. This book is for undergraduate and postgraduate students and researchers seeking a step-by-step methodology for analysing plant and animal communities using R and Excel.

The next project is about using Excel to manage data most effectively. The title is "Managing data using Excel: organising, summarizing and visualizing scientific data". This should be in print later in the summer 2014.

I started out as an optician but returned to science and completed my education with a degree from the Open University. I always wanted to be an ecologist and my degree enabled me to undertake research and I later gained a PhD in pollination ecology.

I've worked around the world and carried out field work in Australia and the United States as well as throughout the UK. After returning from research at the University of Hawai'i I began to do more teaching. I work as an Associate Lecturer with the Open University and also with the Field Studies Council.

More recently I have begun to write about ecology and science and in particular the process of collecting and analysing data. I have become familiar with the R program for statistical computing (open sources and free) and run courses in learning R as well as writing about it (see my website

My first book: "Statistics for Ecologists" is about the process of data analysis and is more than just a recipe for carrying out various statistical analyses. I've included notes on the collecting of data, and the writing up of the results as well as details about a range of analytical methods.

My last book "Beginning R" is aimed at teaching users how to get to grips with this powerful and flexible program. This book will be useful for anyone who needs to analyse datu, not just ecologists.

"The Essential R Reference". A reference guide for R, the statistical programming language, this is a kind of cross between a dictionary, thesaurus and glossary. I hope that it will be useful to new users and old hands alike.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Magnus Johnson on January 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
In the past, I along with most of my colleagues, would recommend the excellent Fowler, Cohen & Jarvis (Practical Statistics for Field Biologists, OUP) to undergraduate students grappling with basic statistical analysis. However the ubiquity of Excel and the growing popularity of the free but powerful statistical package R make that book look a bit dated today.

Statistics for Ecologists using R and Excel is an excellent replacement covering most of the standard tests I would expect an ecologist or marine biology student at the Centre for Environmental and Marine Sciences to be able to deal with by the end of their 1st year. The reader is led gently through each test in both Excel and R with the assistance of screen shots of relevant examples. I particularly like the emphasis on the basics (planning, data recording, exploring data (looking at numbers and graphs) and reporting results. There is some particularly good advice on transforming data. Most of the tests you expect to see are covered: t-tests, correlation, ANOVAs, regression and the non-parametric equivalents. The author is plainly an ecologist with lots of teaching experience rather than a mathematician! Another feature that I like is the fact that you don't have to flip backwards and forwards through the pages to attempt each test - all of the information you need for each one is in each section. The only criticism I have of the book is that Multi Variate Analyses are not mentioned.

I recommend this text to any undergraduate or tutor that teaches statistical analyses to environmental scientists, field biologists, ecologists or marine biologists
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Not_A_Bot_12 on January 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really 3.5 stars out of 5.

I came to this book after the author commented on another review and mentioned this book. I purchased the Kindle version and it displayed pretty well on the Windows Version of Kindle. I am not an ecologist, but I understand other than the examples the content applies to other fields.

With books directed at Advance College Students/Graduate Students there are really two audiences. The students who have required advanced knowledge/aptitude for math and computer programming and everyone else. This book is directed at everyone else. It is a gentle introduction to R, Excel and Statistics. With that said statistics will always be a harder topic, so don't expect miracles after you have read this book. As you are reading take good notes. I ended up with 2 pages and highlighted a few sections I will come back to in future.

With a Research Methods class/book you want to make the topic presented to be understandable enough that student wants to continue their education (yes there are also those who prefer the weed out approach). This book succeeds at making the subject understandable enough that the reader can continue with their studies.
Based on the somewhat low Kindle price at least make this book recommended from me for the right audience. It was a good refresher from my intro methods class and provided some R basics that the advance books mention once and quickly ignore. Also the author doesn't go too far with showing how complex an R command or the R Syntax can be. It was nice for the author to highlight if tests are for parametric data or not. Surprisingly some books really ignore this or hide the information in statistic jargon. There was also information on transforming data that you don't see in intro books .
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By Jane Wright on July 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book...comprehensive and applicable to an ecologist perspective. I highly recommend this book for beginner R users. Well worth the money.
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By Sudipto Chatterjee on May 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For Ecologists who would like to learn the basics of R and use the Excel package as well. Recommended for graduates and postgraduates.
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