Download International Experience Funding Report Achievements from course: Name: Paul Sesink Clee

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International Experience Funding Report
Name: Paul Sesink Clee
Course Start: March 16, 2015
Course End: March 20th 2015
Submission Date:
Achievements from course:
The Spatial Analysis in R course offered by PR~statistics, took place at the Scottish Center for
Ecology and the Natural Environment (SCENE) on Loch Lomond that is affiliated with the
University of Glasgow. The week consisted of a mixture of lectures and practical laboratory
applications of the skills covered. This course was aimed to help ecologists that implement a
variety of field-collected data such as plot, grid, and transect data, in statistical frameworks.
We used the open-source program R to run analyses on simulated data that encompassed a
wide range of possible data types in order to cover all students’ datasets.
From the lectures and lab practicals, I was able to get a much better handle on the data that I
have collected for my dissertation research. I am looking at creating distribution models of
infectious diseases in a variety of taxa
across Africa. The skills that I obtained
through this course have already
propelled my research forward and have
opened up a world of new possibilities for
analysis. I feel much better prepared to
continue with my own research and to
help colleagues of mine with their
research goals.
International aspects:
This course was attended by students, post-docs, and professionals from across the UK and
Europe. Although I was the only attendee from the US, I felt welcomed by everyone there.
People came from a spread of different backgrounds including basic ecology, epidemiology,
pathology, and behavioral biology across taxa ranging from bacteria, plants, birds, and
I felt challenged helping other students with their specific research questions which made me
think about things that I do not normally focus on in my research. I was also able to collaborate
with people who work with similar study systems to mine and implement similar techniques.
This was especially helpful in discussing different techniques and methods for analysis that I
had not heard of while sharing techniques with which I am already familiar with other
Courses like this are offered in the US as full semester courses occasionally, but this course was
appealing as a summary one-week course with opportunities to discuss specific questions
applied to our own research to the group. Due to time constraints with data analysis and field
work, I would not be able to spend a term taking a similar course elsewhere, and this course fit
the bill perfectly. I was able to learn more than I expected I would in just one week while at
Additional benefits:
During this course I have made beneficent connections with ecologists from all across the UK
and Europe. I hope that these connections will blossom over time and lead to strong
collaborations in future research and projects. I was also able to speak with the organizer of
the course, Oliver Hooker, who is also a graduate student, and will be speaking with him in the
coming months about bringing courses such as this one to the United States.