Reading list

Here is a list of extra reading that may be interesting and provide further insight into particular topics. This is by no means a complete bibliography and we welcome any additions!


Canonical books and papers:

The sperm whale data

Estimation of sperm whale abundance in the North Atlantic by NOAA:

Introduction to distance sampling

Field methods, survey design etc

Other stuff

Response distributions

  • Papers about using the Tweedie distribution
    • Shono, H. (2008). Application of the Tweedie distribution to zero-catch data in CPUE analysis. Fisheries Research, 93(1-2), 154–162.
    • Foster, S. D., & Bravington, M. V. (2012). A Poisson–Gamma model for analysis of ecological non-negative continuous data. Environmental and Ecological Statistics, 20(4), 533–552.
  • Comparison of negative binomial and quasi-Poisson
    • Ver Hoef, J. M., & Boveng, P. L. (2007). Quasi-Poisson vs. negative binomial regression: how should we model overdispersed count data? Ecology, 88(11), 2766–2772.


  • Within mgcv the ?smooth.terms manual page lists all spline bases available in mgcv (and therefore dsm)
  • Paper on ts/shrinkage smoothers
    • Marra, G., & Wood, S. N. (2011). Practical variable selection for generalized additive models. Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, 55(7), 2372–2387.
  • Tensor product space-time model of Hawaiian songbirds
    • Camp, RJ, DL Miller, L Thomas, ST Buckland and SJ Kendall (2020). Using density surface models to estimate spatio-temporal changes in population densities and trend. Ecography
  • Soap film smoothing
    • Wood, S. N., Bravington, M. V., & Hedley, S. L. (2008). Soap film smoothing. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series B (Statistical Methodology), 70(5), 931–955.
    • Scripts to help in setting-up a soap film

Selecting basis size

Checking and validation


Multiple smooths and model selection



Practical advice