Paleonet: Urgh!

P. David Polly pdpolly at
Fri Jan 8 15:37:19 GMT 2010

Hi John,

Rebecca tells me she's supposed to be in France from middle of July, so I can't go anywhere then.  :-\    Can I help you find someone to do it?  In addition to Mark, I can think of the following people:

Anjali Goswami.  Excellent with morphometrics and a great teacher, but like me she uses Mathematica rather than R most of the time.

Murat Maga.  He was a student in the course a few years ago.  He's bloomed into a great morphometrician and uses R proficiently.  I don't know his experience as a teacher, but he seems like he would be a good one.  He has a postdoc now, but it may be a "job" (lab technician kind of thing that might make him less flexible for being away).  His details are:   A. Murat Maga, PhD, Senior Fellow, University of Washington, Dept. Pediatrics, Division of Craniofacial Medicine, 1959 NE Pacific St. HSB RR234, Seattle, WA 98195. (206) 616-9703  maga at

Andrea Cardini.  He is a collaborator of mine, not a paleontologists but still a very good morphologist who has mixed with paleontologists and paleoanthropologists a lot.  I've seen Andrea give short courses in morphometrics and he's really good at it. I'm not positive if he works with R or not, but I think he does have some experience with it.  He is at Museo di Paleobiologia e dell'Orto Botanico, Universitá di Modena e Reggio Emilia, via Università 4, 41100, Modena, Italy.  alcardini at

Nancy Budd.  She's great, but probably too busy to do it.

Will Harcourt-Smith.  He's a paleoanthropologist, formerly of London (Paul O'Higgins group), now of New York (eric Delson's group).  Will's great with morphometrics, really great.  and should be a good teacher, but he's out in the field a lot during the summer.  william.harcourt-smith at

Thos are the first people who come to mind, but I'm sure there are others.

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: John Alroy 
  To: PaleoNet at 
  Sent: Thursday, January 07, 2010 7:11 PM
  Subject: Paleonet: 2010 Analytical Paleobiology Training Workshop

  Applications are invited to participate in the analytical paleobiology workshop's 2010 edition.

  About the workshop

  Since 2005 the Paleobiology Database has conducted a five-week intensive training workshop in analytical methods. In 2010 the workshop will be held at Macquarie University in Sydney. It will begin on 7 July, following the Third International Paleontological Congress, and continue through 10 August. It will be supported primarily by the Paleontological Society and NESCent.

  Topics will include biochronology, community paleoecology, diversity curves, speciation and extinction, phylogenetics, phenotypic evolution, and morphometrics. Both simulation modelling and data analysis methods will be employed. Training will combine lectures and labs. Participants will be given hands-on instruction in programming using R and taught to use other analytical software. In addition to the workshop coordinator, each week a new instructor will be present. The instructors are expected to be John Alroy, Gene Hunt, Tom Olszewski, David Polly, and Pete Wagner.

  There is no fee for registration, and participants will be housed for free in accommodations off campus. Participants are encouraged to solicit travel funds from their home institutions or other organizations. If such funds are not available, a significant fraction of airfare costs will be reimbursed. Participants are responsible for meal costs. There are no other charges of any kind, and no other major expenses are likely.

  How to apply

  Participants should be in the early stages of their own research in any area related to paleontology. They should have a background in basic statistics, and the ability to understand rapidly spoken English is essential. The workshop is open to all undergraduates and advanced graduate students, but first or second year graduate students are particularly encouraged to apply. Applications from professionals who have completed their studies will be considered. We strongly encourage applications from women and members of underrepresented groups.

  Applications should be submitted in PDF format to John Alroy (alroy at The review process will begin on Monday, 15 February 2010, and applications received by midnight Pacific time at the end of that day will receive priority. Applications should consist of a one page statement. Do not include separate documents such as a curriculum vitae. No form needs to be filled out.

  The statement should include a brief description of current research plans, a list of degrees earned stating the year of graduation in each case, a brief list of relevant classes taken, and an account of the applicant's previous use of statistics and knowledge of programming. Applicants who do not employ English as a primary language should describe their experiences learning and speaking it. Applicants are encouraged to explain why the topics addressed by the workshop are of special interest to them, and which of these subjects are taught at their home institutions.

  Applications must be accompanied by a recommendation letter, also in PDF format, written by the applicant's academic advisor and e-mailed separately. Obtaining a recommendation from anyone who is not an advisor must be explained. It is important that the recommendation give details about the applicant's personal character and abilities, not just credentials and descriptions of research projects. Recommendation letters also should be received by the end of the due date.

  John Alroy

  The Paleobiology Database
  National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
  University of California, Santa Barbara
  735 State Street, Suite 300
  Santa Barbara, CA 93101-3351
  e-mail: alroy at


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