Distance Sampling Workshops 2019

Advanced workshops participants

This is the site for the Distance Sampling Workshops given in St Andrews, 19th - 30th August, 2019. The course is in three parts:

  • Introduction to R for Distance Sampling, 19th - 20th August
  • Introduction to Distance Sampling, 21st - 23rd August
  • Advanced Distance Sampling, 26th - 30th August

Course materials


Introduction to R for Distance Sampling

Day Time Activity
Monday 08:45 Registration open
Monday 09:00-17:00 Welcome and setup
Data types
Using R in context
Control structures
Tuesday 09:00-17:00 Basic functions
Introduction to statistical modelling

Introduction to Distance Sampling

Day Time Activity
Wednesday 08:45 Registration open
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:30 Welcome
Estimating animal abundance
Distance sampling
Goodness of fit
Thursday 09:00 - 17:30 Point transects
Survey design
Multiple covariate distance sampling
Friday 09:00 - 17:00 Indirect methods and multipliers
Field methods
Wrap up

Advanced topics in Distance Sampling

Day Time Activity
Monday 08:45 Registration open
Monday 09:00 - 17:00 Welcome
Review of distance sampling
Density surface modelling
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00 Density surface modelling
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00 Density surface modelling
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00 Mark-recapture distance sampling
Distance sampling simulation and survey design
Friday 09:00 - 17:00 Research topics

Refresher of distance sampling concepts

The introductory distance sampling course (previously delivered in St Andrews) is now online for free.


Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptops to use during the workshop practicals. R will be used. To ensure your computer is setup correctly prior to the workshop please check the instructions below.

The course will use R, RStudio and various R packages to be installed from CRAN. The following steps should setup your computer for the workshop:

  1. Install R from the R website
  2. Install RStudio from the RStudio website
  3. Open RStudio and install R packages using the following commands:
# install necessary packages from CRAN
install.packages(c("optimx", "numDeriv", "Rsolnp", "pander", "dplyr",
                   "mrds", "Distance", "dsm", "DSsim", "dssd",
                   "ggplot2", "rgdal", "knitr", "plyr", "raster", "reshape2", "viridis",
                   "bitops", "rmarkdown", "tweedie", "shapefiles", "remotes"))

# install newer versions of the Distance packages from
# github
remotes::install_github("DistanceDevelopment/mrds", type="CRAN")
remotes::install_github("DistanceDevelopment/Distance", type="CRAN")
remotes::install_github("DistanceDevelopment/dsm", type="CRAN")
remotes::install_github("DistanceDevelopment/dsdata", type="CRAN")

There may be quite a lot of packages downloaded in this process, including many not listed here because the packages listed depend upon many other packages. It’s best to run these one line at a time, in case R needs confirmation between steps.