Summer school: Path analysis in ecology

 (ECL 805)

May 1 to 5th, 2023

UdeS        Laboratoire d'écologie fonctionnelle                                  

 

Course description

Cost

Room reservations on campus

Obtaining credit

Information you will need before registering

How to register

Documents and R functions to obtain before the course


 

Course description

 

 

ECL 805 Analyse des pistes en écologie II (Path analysis in Ecology)

This course is for both Master's and PhD students

(Please note this is the course code you will need to enter it when registering)

 

Ecologists often pose cause-and-effect hypotheses involving several variables in systems for which controlled randomised experiments are not possible.  When this occurs one must use a set of statistical methods called "structural equations modelling" or "path analysis".  In this intensive five-day course you will learn the basics of these methods and how to apply them in your ecological research.  Theoretical sessions will be interspersed with practical sessions using the free R software.  You are encouraged to use your own data sets whenever possible.   This course is listed as a doctoral level course, but MSc and post-docs can also take it.  A maximum of 30 people can take this course and priority will be given to graduate students.  The course begins at 9AM  and runs  until 5 PM each day except for the last day, which will end at noon.

 

 

The course content follows Shipley, B. 2016. Cause and correlation in biology: A user's guide to path analysis, structural equations, and causal inference with R,  Cambridge University Press (2nd edition). You must have a copy and can order it from Cambridge University Press or from Amazon.

 

Since this summer school targets an international audience, the language of instruction is English but questions in French are welcome. 

 

Course prerequisites: 

(1) Priority is given to graduate students (MSc, PhD) and post-docs and the total number of spaces is 30.  People other than graduate students can resister for the course if space is available.

(2) You must have a basic knowledge of statistical analysis (inferential tests, correlation, regression and linear models)

(3) You must have a basic knowledge of the R statistical software

(4) You must have a portable computer with R installed before the start of the course, including the following libraries: lavaan, ggm, piecewiseSEM and CausalToolbox (this last one is available from Github): https://github.com/BillShipley/CauseAndCorrelation

 

Subjects covered (including practical sessions for each)

  • Experimental methods, control of variables and their relationship with SEM

  • The concept of d-separation and the logic of the dsep test

  • Extensions of dsep models to more complex data types: glm, mixed models, phylogenetic corrections; the piecewiseSEM library

  • Covariance algebra; Structural equations; Free/fixed parameters; ML chi-square; the logic of SEM

  • The lavaan package in R for SEM; fitting, testing SEM; decomposing effects

  • The concept of latent variables; measurement models; fitting with lavaan

  • Types of latent variables and their importance for ecology

  • The full SEM model; robust methods; Monte Carlo chi-square; approximate fit indices

  • Multigroup models; phylogenetic corrections

  • Exploratory methods

 

The content of this course is also available as an online course for individuals, available at any time, at this address.  Note that the online version is not associated with the Université de Sherbrooke and you cannot obtain a university credit for the online version.

 

 

Costs

 

 

Students registered at the University of Sherbooke: the course is included with your normal registration and course credit is automatically assigned.

Students registered in another Quebec University: you must register via the CRÉPUQ.  The course will be included with your normal registration, and the course credit is automatically assigned at your university .

Other students: Your course is paid by the Science Faculty; you don't  pay! 

 

 

Room reservations on campus

 

A maximum of 10 dormitory rooms are available, each with a single double bed, are available for rent during the course.  If you want to reserve one of these rooms, then fill out this WORD file and send it to me at Bill.Shipley@USherbrooke.ca.

 

Obtaining credit

 

These courses are part of the course offerings of the Biology Department of the University of Sherbrooke. 

Students registered in another Quebec university should register via the CRÉPUQ: https://mobilite-cours.crepuq.qc.ca/4DSTATIC/FRAccueil.html and this will automatically register the credit at their home university.

Students from universities outside Quebec must find out from their home institutions if these credits can be recognised and, if so, how to arrange the transfer.  To obtain an official transcript for this course from the Université de Sherbrooke, go to: : http://www.usherbrooke.ca/etudiants/services-universitaires/demandes-de-documents-officiels/.  You are responsible for arranging the transfer of credits.

 

Information you will need before registering

 

(1) Graduate students already registered at the Université de Sherbrooke: Register in the normal way via your fiche d'inscription, then inform me of this via email: Bill.Shipley@USherbrooke.ca

 

(2) Graduate students from other Quebec universities: Register via the CRÉPUQ: https://mobilite-cours.crepuq.qc.ca/4DSTATIC/FRAccueil.html, then inform me of this via email: Bill.Shipley@USherbrooke.ca.

 

 (3) All other people:  assemble the necessary documents below, fill out this registration form and send it, along with scanned copies any other documents (passport page, CAQ etc.) to Bill.Shipley@USherbrooke.ca

 

Personal information:

  • Family name

  • First name

  • Citizenship

  • City and country of birth

  • Mother's maiden name

  • Father's name

  • Mailing address

  • Email address

 

 If you are registered as a student in a Canadian university outside of Quebec:

  • Canadian citizen and Quebec resident : permanent code number and a copy of your birth certificate.

  • Canadian citizen from another province : copy of your birth certificate

  • Permanent resident: recto-verso copy of your permanent resident card and a copy of your birth certificate.

  • Permanent resident who is now a Canadian citizen : recto-verso copy of you citizenship card and a copy of your birth certificate.

  • Foreign citizen: a copy of your passport and a copy of your student permit.

  •  

If you do not have the status of a student in Canada:

  • Canadian citizen: a copy of your birth certificate

  • Permanent resident of Canada: a recto-verso copy of your permanent resident card, a copy of your birth certificate and a copy of your : CSQ (certificat de sélection du Québec), if applicable.

  • Permanent resident who is now a Canadian citizen: a recto-verso copy of your citizenship card and a copy of your birth certificate.

  • Foreign citizen: a copy of your passport

 

If you want to reserve a room in the student residences for the duration of the course, then fill out this form and send it to me at Bill.Shipley@USherbrooke.ca.

 

The deadline for registration, including receipt of all necessary documents, is April 1st.

Documents and R functions to obtain before the course

I will send each student a set of zipped files containing the documents, PowerPoint presentations, and R Studio files approximately two weeks before the start of the course.  Make sure to tell me if you have not recieved them!