Tuesday, March 4, 2008

R for Paleontologists

Quite by accident, while searching for the answer to another question I had about R (a powerful open source statistical language), I ran across a nice set of PDFs from a short course called, "Data Analysis in Paleontology for R." Gene Hunt, curator of Ostracoda at the Smithsonian, ran this nearly two years ago. The PDFs contain slides on topics ranging from the basics of loading data to running a PCA or correcting for phylogeny. As an added bonus, each includes some short exercises to practice your new-found skills. Click this text to follow the link, and then look under "Resources." The slides are posted as five separate PDFs.

I have now switched to R for nearly all of my statistical analysis needs, and have been immensely satisfied so far. Expect a post on this sometime in the next few weeks (hopefully).


Anonymous said...

Hi Andy,

Thnx for this link and info! :)
As a student (micropaleontology - foraminifera) I was looking for some good (free & OSX ) statistic programs.
I found 'R', but I couldn't get the hang of it.
I guess 'coding' isn't my thing.
Until now that is.

Thnx again, and keep up the posts, I really enjoy them!



Andy said...

Thanks - glad to hear that it's useful! I might also recommend PAST, if you have access to a PC. . .

Coding certainly isn't my thing either, but R has absolutely been worth the patience of learning a few commands on the terminal. Good luck!

Anonymous said...


Well, at uni we use PAST and C2. And I think they are wonderful little applications! It's odd that there are so few paleontology-applications out there.

Oh well, for the work I'm doing R is adequate.
But I'd like to see some OSX C2-like application.