Gateway to the Paleobiology Database

Paleobiology Database Intensive Workshop in Analytical Methods

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 ( 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.

2009 participants

Mark Bell University of Bristol
Katie Collins University of Wellington
Federico Degrange Museo de La Plata
Aaron House University of Cincinnati
Annie Lagomarcino University of Cincinnati
Kaitlin Maguire University of California, Berkeley
Felix Marx University of Bristol
Heike Mewis Museum für Naturkunde
Gary Motz University of Akron
Alejo Scarano Museo de La Plata
Amelinda Webb Yale University
Shawn Whiteman University of New Mexico

2008 participants

Tracy Aze Cardiff University
Karen Bacon University College Dublin
Diego Balseiro Universidad Nacional de Córdoba
Javier Echevarria Museo de La Plata
Liz Freedman Montana State University
Michelle Lawing Indiana University
Emily Lindsey University of California, Berkeley
Luis Felipe Opazo University of Plymouth
Juan José Rustan Universidad Nacional de Córdoba
Daniel Thomas University of Otago
Michael Tuite University of Virginia
Laura Wilson Universität Zürich

2007 participants

Andrea Cobbett University of Bath
Felipe de la Parra University of Florida
Kathy Hollis University of Colorado, Boulder
Philip Jardine University of Birmingham
Soïzic Le Fur Université de Poitiers
Graeme Lloyd University of Bristol
Murat Maga University of Texas, Austin
John Orcutt University of Oregon
Claire Samant Université de Poitiers
Susan Standen Case Western Reserve University
Susumu Tomiya University of California, Berkeley
Vera Weisbecker University of New South Wales

2006 participants

Ayse Atakul Middle East Technical University
Mara Brady University of Chicago
Andres Cardenas University of South Florida
Brad Deline University of Cincinnati
Jessica Gilner Florida Institute of Technology
Ann Goewert University of North Carolina
Stephen Goodyear University of Texas, Austin
Sarah Kolbe University of Copenhagen
Sarda Sahney University of Bristol
Krister Smith Yale University
Bryan Valencia Florida Institute of Technology
Richard Wilkinson Cambridge University

2005 participants

Jessica Blois Stanford University
Devin Buick University of Cincinnati
Sylvain Gerber Université de Bourgogne
Zack Krug Penn State University
Elise Nardin Université de Bourgogne
Mike Nowak Duke University
Matt O'Donnell Penn State University
Jocelyn Sessa Penn State University
Adam Tomasovych Universität Würzburg
Patrick Wall Syracuse University
Mike Weiser University of Arizona