Paleonet: 2011 Paleobiology Database Intensive Workshop in Analytical Methods

John Alroy john.alroy at
Wed Jan 12 05:23:59 GMT 2011

Applications are now being accepted for the upcoming Paleobiology Database
workshop. Please forward the following information to your colleagues.
*About the workshop*

Since 2005 the Paleobiology Database has conducted a five-week intensive
training workshop in analytical methods. The National Science Foundation's
Division of Earth Sciences will provide primary funding for the 2011
edition. As in 2010, the 2011 workshop will held at Macquarie University in
Sydney between 27 June and 31 July.

Topics will include 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 but not given first priority. We strongly encourage applications
from women and members of underrepresented groups.

Applications should be submitted in PDF format to John Alroy (
john.alroy at Applications received by the end of Monday, *15 February
* 2011 (as reckoned in the US) 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
Future Fellow
Department of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Science
Macquarie University
Sydney, NSW 2109

"Clearly, full reality is unknown, but it is a fixed expectation across
models, thus a further simplification can be written as I(f, g) = C -
Ef[log(g(x|theta))], where the expectation of the logarithm of full reality
drops out into a simple scaling constant, C." (Anderson et al. 2000, p.
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