BIOL 4001: Biostatistics

This course explores the nature of data and the challenges involved in collecting and handling it, this includes planning the collection of data necessary to examine a particular problem, manipulation of data, summarizing and describing a data set. It also covers the statistical approach for testing hypotheses, and performing data analysis using current statistical tools as a tool for description and hypotheses testing. Students will also interpret and evaluate statistical analyses used by others, design experiments, and analyze and interpret the results of experiments or observational studies.


Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Propose and prepare statistical analyses necessary for successful study design in biology
  • Describe and interpret descriptive statistics of data
  • Identify and explain the purpose and methods of inferential statistics
  • Assess the power of statistical analysis and scientific interpretation
  • Carry out data collection, construct hypotheses, analyze data, and apply statistical methods
  • Use recently developed statistical freeware packages for analysis of data
  • Critically evaluate scientific studies based on their study design and statistical analyses
  • Effectively interpret and communicate purpose and methods of inferential statistics to audiences familiar with basic science
  • Demonstrate an ability to work collaboratively
  • Objectively assess peer work

Course outline

  1. Introduction
  2. Describing, Displaying, Estimating Uncertainty in Biological Data
  3. Design of Experiments
  4. Proportions, Frequencies, and Contingency Analysis
  5. Linear Models
  6. Extend Linear Models
  7. Likelihood
  8. General Linear Models
  9. Bayesian Methods
  10. Computer Intensive Methods
  11. Multivariate Methods
  12. Meta-analysis

Required text and materials

Whitlock, M., & D. Schluter. The Analysis of Biological Data 2nd edition. Roberts and Company Publishers, 2015.
Type: Textbook: ISBN: 978-1-936221-48-6


To complete this course successfully, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the course overall and 50% or higher on the mandatory Final Project.

Quiz 1 5%
Assignment 1 6%
Quiz 2 5%
Assignment 2 7%
Quiz 3 5%
Assignment 3 6%
Assignment 4 6%
Discussions 10%
Final Project * 50%
Total 100%

* Mandatory

Open Learning Faculty Member

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication is through the Learning Environment’s “Mail” tool or by phone. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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