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Oulu University, Linnanmaa campus, Finland

November 4-6th, 2014


Use of statistical mixed model methods has increased drastically in addressing different biological problems, especially in the field of ecology. The idea of the workshop is to present main statistical tools that have been developed recently to solve different mixed models problems, approached from the vantage point of ecologists. These tools include very popular software packages: MCMCglmm, ANIMAL-INLA, and alternative REML / BLUP and Bayesian tools.

As a joint effort of Thule Doctoral Program and Finnish Doctoral Programme in Stochastics and Statistics, we are organizing a workshop on Animal Models with Applications in Ecology. The workshop will provide PhD students in Ecology and Statistics and other related fields with up-to-date know-how on the use of mixed model methods and practical guidance for analyzing participants’ own data. Other Ph.D. students and scientists outside these doctoral programs are welcome to participate in the course.

Animal models are a form of mixed-effect models that are used, for example, to study organisms’ ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions. The method can be used to quantify the heritability of a trait, thus revealing its evolutionary potential. Animal model methods have for long been used in animal and plant breeding, as they can point out individuals with high breeding values.

The workshop will take place at University of Oulu, Linnanmaa campus, Oulu, Finland at November 4-6, 2014. The preliminary program of the course is enclosed. The course includes lectures, short presentations, group discussions on related articles, and computer class exercises.

Teachers of the course are:

To register to the course, please contact Panu Välimäki ( The last day to register is Friday, September 5th extended until Tuesday, September 30th, 2014. The number of participants is limited to 40 persons. There is no participation fee, but the participants have to cover their own travel and accommodation costs.

Persons in charge of the course: Prof. Mikko J. Sillanpää (Department of Biology, University of Oulu) and Prof. Markku Orell (Department of Biology, University of Oulu).


You are warmly welcome in Oulu!


The organizing team


Prof. Mikko Sillanpää,

Prof. Markku Orell,

Doc. Seppo Rytkönen,

PhD Panu Välimäki

PhD Emma Vatka


Preliminary program (Note, this is under construction)

Student info

Course material



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