Thursday, February 26, 2015

Fossilworks Intensive Workshop in Analytical Palaeobiology

About the workshop
An intensive training workshop focusing on methods used by analytical palaeobiologists has been held since 2005. As in previous years, the 2015 workshop will held at Macquarie University in Sydney. The sessions will run from 21 June to 11 July.
Topics will include community palaeoecology, diversity estimation, speciation and extinction, phylogenetics, phenotypic evolution, and geometric morphometrics. Both simulation modelling and data analysis methods will be employed. Training will combine lectures and practical exercises. 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 include John AlroyAlistair EvansMichal Kowalewski, and Pete Wagner.
There is no fee for registration, but no expenses will be subsidised this year due to lack of institutional support for the workshop. Participants will be advised on the availability of budget accommodations with cooking facilities near the campus. Participants are encouraged to solicit travel funds from their home institutions or other organizations.

How to apply
Participants should be in the early stages of their own research in palaeontology or any related area and should have a background in basic statistics. The ability to understand rapidly spoken English is essential. Although the workshop is open to all undergraduates and advanced graduate students, first or second year graduate students are particularly encouraged to apply. Applications from professionals who have completed their studies will be considered but are not given first priority. We strongly encourage applications from women and members of underrepresented groups.

Applications should be submitted in PDF format to John Alroy ( Applications should be mailed by midnight on Saturday, 28 February 2015 as reckoned in the Pacific time zone. A cogent explanation must be given for submitting an application after the deadline. 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 to what extent 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.

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