Meta-Analysis of Biological/Ecological Data


Organizing Institute

University of Bologna. The course is organised in conjunction between the Master Degree in Marine Biology, the PhD Course in Biodiversity and Evolution and the Erasmus Mundus Doctoral Programme on Marine Ecosystem Health and Conservation (MARES) with the Administrative support of Fondazione Flaminia


Location of the Course

Laboratori di Scienze Ambientali – Aula informatica, Università di Bologna, Via S. Alberto 163, Ravenna, Italy


Course Organizer Name

Prof. Laura Airoldi


Course Organizer Email and contacts

Phone +39 0544 937311

Fax: +39 0544 937303

Mobile: ++39 320 4386506


Course Teachers Names, CVs and Emails

Dr. Russell Thomson (Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies and Menzies Research Institute Tasmania,

Dr. Russell Thomson completed a Bsc (Hons) and PhD in mathematical statistics from 1990-1998. His PhD thesis topic was in population genetics and he completed post doctorates at Berkeley and Stanford Universities on this topic. He is currently working as a biostatistician and has a dual appointment at the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies and the Menzies Research Institute Tasmania. He has conducted numerous lectures and tutorials on statistical methods; including organising and presenting a statistical genetics course at the Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand; co-lecturing a course on Human Genetics at University of Tasmania; presenting a Workshop on statistical methods in R at the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies and presenting a course in Advanced Biostatistics at the University of Ferrara, Italy.


Dr. Joachim Claudet (National Center for Scientific Research, University of Perpignan,

Joachim Claudet is a Researcher at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in the CRIOBE lab, Perpignan, France. An ecologist, he specializes in marine protected areas, environmental impact assessment studies, coastal management and socio-ecological resilience of coastal systems. He also teaches international workshops on marine protected areas and meta-analysis in ecology.



Biostatistics, Meta-Analysis, Marine Ecology and Biology.


Starting Date

9th October 2012, for Basic Instruction in R.

10th October 2012, for Meta Analysis Course.


Ending Date

12th October 2012.


Total Course Duration (in hours)

24 hours (or 32 hours with Basic Instruction in R).


Cost per Participant (in Euros)

270 Euros  for meta analysis course or 360 Euros with additional day on Basic Instruction in R

The course will also be open to post-docs or researchers. In this case the cost will be 360 Euros or 480 Euros.

The fees include tuition, course material and coffee breaks.


Number of students

Minimum 15, maximum 30





Course Content Description

The course will give instruction on how to conduct a meta-analysis, where information is combined from multiple studies. The topics covered will include (1) why/why not conduct a meta analysis, (2) the power of a meta-analysis, (3) techniques for searching the literature, (4) comparing methodologies of studies, (5) calculating effect sizes and confidence intervals, (6) looking at publication bias, and (7) how to make your paper accessible to a meta-analysis.

The course will include both lectures and tutorials. In the tutorials, the participants will conduct a meta-analysis themselves. Instruction will be given in the best way to display the results of meta-analyses. There will also be an opportunity for the participants to bring their own analyses to the course, for instruction.

The statistical analyses will be conducted in the free Statistical Software, R.  Participants can choose to attend an extra day, prior to the beginning of the meta analysis course, for instruction in the basics of R.

The course will also include the critical appraisal on a number of publications that conduct meta-analyses. The course participants will contribute to a round table discussion on the methodology and presentation of meta-analyses.


Course Methodology

Group training. Mornings (9.00 – 13.00) will be occupied with theoretical presentations and discussions of papers. Afternoons (14.00 – 18.00) will be occupied with tutorial classes, where the class participants can also work on their own data.


Number of Credits

3 for the meta analysis only, 4 including the basic R training



The course will be limited to a maximum of 30 students and will target PhD students, post-docs and researchers interested in developing skills in the design and analysis of meta-analysis. A general familiarity with univariate statistics is expected and a good knowledge of the English language. A general familiarity with R is also expected, or participants can attend an extra day, prior to the beginning of the meta analysis course, for instruction in the basics of R.

Enrolment Deadline and details

Applications must arrive by e-mail to the e-mail address not later than 25 August, together with a short CV (max 1 page). Confirmation of acceptance, details for payment and logistics info will be given by 7 of September