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Bayesian Integrated Population Analysis workshop, Oct 2015 Cape Town SA

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Satellite workshop to the 2nd World Seabird Conference 2015 in Cape Town


Bayesian integrated population modeling (IPM) using BUGS and JAGS


Instructors: Michael Schaub & Marc Kéry, Swiss Ornithological Institute, Res Altwegg, University of Cape Town, Sarah J. Converse, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.

Date: 19–23 October 2015

Venue:  Kirstenbosch Research Centre, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Cape Town, South Africa

Computers: Bring your own laptop with latest R and WinBUGS, JAGS or OpenBUGS

Costs: 600 USD (reduced fees will apply to delegates from African countries)


Integrated population models (IPM) represent the powerful combination, in a single Leslie-type of model, of different data sources that are informative about the dynamics of an animal population (Besbeas et al. 2002; Schaub et al. 2007). Typical IPMs combine one or more time-series of counts with another data set that is directly informative about survival probabilities, such as ring-recovery or capture-recapture. However, many other sources of demographic information may be envisioned instead or in addition, including age-at-death data, occupancy or replicated point count data. Currently, for non-statisticians the only practical manner to develop and fit an IPM is using BUGS software (WinBUGS, OpenBUGS, JAGS).


This intermediate-level course is a practical and hands-on introduction to developing and fitting integrated population models using BUGS software. It is based on the successful book by Kéry & Schaub, Bayesian Population Analysis using WinBUGS (Academic Press, 2012), a copy of which is included in the course fee. The course also provides a thorough introduction for ecologists and wildlife managers of a very wide variety of models fit using BUGS software and as documented in the BPA book.


Contents include the following topics:


Basic introduction

  • Hierarchical models as an overarching theme of population modeling, including IPMs
  • Bayesian analysis of hierarchical models
  • Introduction to BUGS software in the context of generalised linear models (GLM) and traditional random-effects models

Ingredients of IPMs

  • State-space models
  • Cormack-Jolly-Seber and ring-recovery models for estimating survival probabilities
  • Multistate capture-recapture models for estimating survival and transition probabilities
  • Site-occupancy models and binomial mixture models


  • Theory
  • Various case studies which differ in complexity and in the data types that are combined

In this intermediate-level workshop 80% of the time is spent on lecturing and 20% on solving exercises. No previous experience with program WinBUGS, or Bayesian statistics, is assumed. However, a good working knowledge of modern regression methods (ANOVA, ANCOVA, generalised linear models) and of program R and at least some basic knowledge about capture-recapture and/or occupancy models is required.


For more information, contact: Res Altwegg (Res.Altwegg@uct.ac.za) or Michael Schaub (michael.schaub@vogelwarte.ch)



The attached file contains more information and a registration form.


Bayesian Integrated Population Analysis Course Oct 2015 Cape Town Application Form.doc

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