Course Syllabus


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Semester & Location:

Summer 2022 - DIS Stockholm

Type & Credits:

Elective Course - 3 credits

Major Disciplines:

Mathematics, Biology, Engineering


Two mathematics courses, and two courses in basic science (biology, chemistry, physics), at university level

Faculty Members:

Maria de la Paz Celorio, Ph.D. (for contact please use the Canvas Inbox)

Academic support 
Time & Place:

8:30-9:50 am and 1:10- 3:00 pm E-509, some sessions will be subjected to change

Course Description

This is an introduction to statistical methods for the analysis of biological data. Emphasizing both a conceptual understanding and analysis of real data sets, the course covers biological experiment design, methods of data collection, and analysis of small and large data sets with examples drawn from microbiology, medical research, and ecology. To conduct statistical analyses, you are introduced to R and R-Studio. 

The course is structured as follows:

Module 1: Data summarization and hypothesis testing

  • Basic statistical measures-measures of central tendency
  • Probability and sampling distribution
  • Hypothesis testing involving two samples

Module 2: Experimental design and data analysis

  • Importance of appropriate experimental designs in life sciences
  • Analysis of variance
  • Correlation and linear regression

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

- Describe experimental designs utilized within biological sciences or related fields

- Identify and propose suitable experimental designs to test given hypotheses within biological sciences or related fields

- Identify and utilize appropriate statistical tests to analyze datasets and draw conclusions

- Utilize R to conduct statistical analysis utilizing real datasets

- Critically analyze the validity of chosen statistical analyses from published scientific studies



Maria de la Paz CelorioPh. D. in Plant Biology from the University of California, Davis, with more than 15 years of research experience and counting. During her years as postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Chemical Ecology (Jena, Germany) and at Stockholm University, she contributed to the understanding of gene-expression plasticity in butterflies and genetic differentiation of populations of wild fish using genome-wide data. Has taught courses and led practical laboratories on biotechnology, statistics and population genetics for American and Swedish students. 



  • Glover, Thomas and Kevin Mitchell (2015) An Introduction to Biostatistics, 3rd edition. Waveland Press
    • Chapters 1, 3-8, 10
  • Ruxton, Graeme D. and Nick Colegrave (2017) Experimental Design for the Life Sciences, 4th edition. Oxford University Press
    • Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8

Field Studies

Students participate in two field studies which have the purpose of highlighting the importance of Statistics in our lives on a daily basis.  Students will generate their own datasets, conduct statistical analysis and draw conclusions.

Guest Lectures


Approach to Teaching

We use various teaching methods, including interactive lectures, class discussions, workshops,  and group exercises. Students take an active role in their learning by actively engaging in discussions and group work. 

Expectations of the Students

  • Students should participate actively during lectures, discussions, group work and exercises.
  • Laptops are needed and used for note‐taking, fact‐checking, or assignments in the classroom, but only when indicated by the instructor. At all other times laptops and electronic devices should be put away during class time.
  • Reading must be done prior to the class session. 
  • Students need to be present, arrive on time and participate to receive full credit. The final grade will be affected by unexcused absences and lack of participation. The participation grade will be reduced by 10 points (over 100) for every unexcused absence. Remember to be in class on time!
  • Classroom etiquette includes being respectful of other opinions, listening to others and entering a dialogue in a constructive manner.
  • Students are expected to ask relevant questions in regards to the material covered.


To be eligible for a passing grade in this class, all of the assigned work must be completed.

Students are expected to turn in all the assignments on the due date. If an assignment is turned in after the due date, the grade of the assignment will be reduced by 10 points (over 100) for each day the submission is late.


Active participation. Includes attendance, preparation for lectures and other sessions, active participation in learning activities and class discussions 

Exams. Exams to evaluate understanding of material covered in class

Assignments:  Assignments related to field studies and to analysis of scientific publications, quizzes related to reading material

Final project: At the end of the semester, students will work on a project where they apply the knowledge acquired in class to analyze a data set generated either by them or taken from biological, biomedical or ecological sciences. Students will utilize R to complete this project. 

Active participation






Final project



Academic Regulations 

Please make sure to read the Academic RegulationsLinks to an external site. on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on:


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Course Summary:

Date Details Due