News & Events

R workshop: Modeling paleoenvironmental time series using generalized additive models w/G. Simpson

Tuesday, November 27, 2018, 9:00AM - 5:00PM


Gavin Simpson

University of Regina


SEEL 303

Gavin Simpson will be giving the INSTAAR seminar on Nov 26 and will be sticking around to offer a one-day R workshop on Tuesday, Nov 27. Please fill out this form to reserve your spot for the workshop. 

Lunch will be provided.

To address the increase in both quantity and complexity of available data, (paleo)ecologists require flexible, robust statistical models, as well as software to perform such analyses. This workshop will focus on how a single tool, the mgcv package for the R language, can be used to fit models to data from a wide range of sources.  

mgcv is one of the most popular packages for modeling non-linear relationships. However, many users do not know how versatile and powerful a tool it can be. This workshop will focus on teaching participants how to use mgcv for temporal and spatio-temporal data and advanced use of mgcv. The workshop will give participants an understanding of:  

  • practical elements of smoothing theory, with a focus on what smoothers are and why they would choose among the different types of smoother
  • model fitting, checking, and selection
  • the range of modeling possibilities using mgcv

Throughout, the focus will be on using and applying generalized additive models (GAMs) with real data.

Participants will be assumed to be familiar with the basics of R (loading/manipulating data, functions, and plotting) and regression in R (lm() and glm()). The organizer has extensive practical experience with (paleo)ecological statistics and modeling using mgcv.