PS statistics prides itself on the quality of its instructors. Experts in their field, many are involved in the development of new methods; author and contribute to ‘packages’ and have published scientific material in their field. Most importantly they are skilled and experienced in teaching and portraying the application of statistical theory and methods in a clear and easy to understand manner.

You can read about all of our course instructors below, listed alphabetically, click on the blue toggle to find out where they work, which courses  they teach and about their research interests.

Dr. Oliver Hooker

Director of course development

Works at: – PR statistics (Director)

Oliver obtained his PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Glasgow (July 2012 – June 2016). His PhD research was in the area of ecologically driven evolution and speciation in postglacial fish, and how these processes complicate the application and planning of successful conservation strategies, especially in species that exhibit high levels of phenotypic structuring. Oliver thesis was very broad with chapters published on various topics ranging from morphology and physiology to legislation. Some of his work includes studying anthropogenic influences on phenotypic structuring within populations of Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) as well as investigating the physiological mechanisms that may drive and/or maintain ecologically driven speciation. In particular Oliver is interested in furthering the understanding of how genetic isolation arises in sympatric polymorphic populations of Arctic charr and brown trout, (Salmo trutta).

Prior to his PhD Oliver attended the University of Hull from September 2009 – June 2012 where he achieved a first class degree (83% average) with honours in Marine and Freshwater Biology. He was awarded the departmental prize (for outstanding work) in both his second and third year. Oliver set up PR~statistics in April 2014 with the aim of providing specific training courses and workshops for people at varying stages of their academic career, delivered by experts in these fields.


6) Hooker, O. E., Van Leeuwen, T.E.  & Adams, C. E. (2015) Physiological costs of prey switching reinforce foraging specialisation. Journalof Animal Ecology. In press.

5) Adams, C. E., Bean, C. W., Dodd, J. A., Down, A.,  Etheridge, E. C., Gowans, A R. D., Hooker, O. E.,  Knudsen, R.,  Lyle, A. A., Winfield, I. J. & Præbel, K. (2016) Inter and intra-population phenotypic and genotypic structuring in the European whitefish, Coregonus lavaretus, a rare freshwater fish in Scotland. Journal of Fish Biology, 88(2), 580-594. [DOI 10.1111/jfb.12855]

4) Hooker, O. E., Barry, J., Van Leeuwen, T., Lyle, A., Newton, J., Cunningham, P. & Adams, C. E. (2016) Morphological, ecological and behavioural differentiation of sympatric profundal and pelagic Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) in Loch Dughaill Scotland. Hydrobiologia, 783(1), 209-221. [DOI 10.1007/s10750-015-2599-0]

Morphological, ecological and behavioural differentiation of sympatric profundal and pelagic Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) in Loch Dughaill Scotland

3) Van Leeuwen, T., Hooker, O. E., Metcalfe, N. & Adams, C. E. (2015) Differences in diet-induced flexibility in morphology and growth in a partially migratory species. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. [DOI 10.1139/cjfas-2015-0300]

Differences in diet-induced flexibility in morphology and growth in a partially migratory species

2) Hooker, O.E., Maitland, P. S., Bean, C. W. & Adams, C. E. (2015) Effectiveness of Local Biodiversity Action Plans to Identify Locally Rare and Endangered Fish in Scotland. Scottish Geographical Journal 1-11. [DOI 10.1080/14702541.2015.1077267]

Effectiveness of Local Biodiversity Action Plans to Identify Locally Rare and Endangered Fish in Scotland

1) Barry, J., Newton, M., Dodd, J. A., Hooker, O. E., Boylan, P., Lucas, M. C. & Adams, C. E. (2015) Foraging specialisms influence space use and movement patterns of the European eel Anguilla Anguilla. Hydrobiologia 1-16. [DOI 10.1007/s10750-015-2466-z]

Foraging specialisms influence space use and movement patterns of the European eel Anguilla Anguilla

Dr. Charlotte Brand

Course advisor

Works at: Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Exeter

Lotty obtained her PhD in Psychology at the University of St Andrews in January 2017. Her PhD research was in the area of cultural evolution, specifically investigating sex differences in social learning and how these differences may be underpinned by other factors such as risk-taking and confidence. Lotty became interested in bringing new statistical techniques to psychologists after developing her own skills in Bayesian analysis throughout her PhD, and after taking the Applied Bayesian Modelling course offered by PR statistics.

Lotty then went on to apply these methods to the emerging replication crisis in psychology, particularly the area of “stereotype threat”, and comparing traditional frequentist statistics with Bayesian techniques, as discussed here:

Lotty now works as a Postdoctoral Researcher with Alex Mesoudi, investigating the formation of social hierarchies, and the influence of prestige and dominance on social learning:

Twitter: @lottybrand22

Google scholar:


4) Brand C. O., Ounsley J P., van der Post D. J. & Morgan T. J. H. (2017) The use of informative priors and Bayesian updating:
implications for behavioural research.

3) Brand  C. O., Brown G. R. & Cross C. P. (2017) Sex differences in the use of social information emerge under conditions of risk. PeerJ Preprints

2) Brand C.,  Eguma R., • Zuberbuhler K. & Hobaiter  C. (2014) First report of prey capture from human laid snare-traps by wild chimpanzees. Primates. [DOI 10.1007/s10329-014-0419-1]

1) Brown, G. R., Cross C. P., Street S. E. & Brand C. O. (2014) Comment: Beyond “Evolutionary Versus Social”: Moving the cycle debate shift forward.  Emotion Review 1-2. [DOI: 10.1177/1754073914523050] 

Prof. James Curley

Full Bio:

Works at – Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at Columbia University 

Teaches – Social network analysis for behavioural scientists (SNAR)

Coming soon

Dr. Dale Barr

Full Bio:

Works at – Lecturer at the University of Glasgow
Teaches – Introduction to R for psychologists (IPSY)

Dale Barr obtained his PhD in Psychology at the University of Chicago (1999). His interests include psycholinguistics, cognitive science, research methodology and statistics.  He is Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Glasgow, where he has worked since 2010, and where he is director of undergraduate and postgraduate training in statistics.  Dale has been teaching statistics to undergraduates and postgraduates since 2002, and has been an avid R user and evangelist since 2007.  He has given workshops and invited talks all over Europe and North America on data wrangling, analysis of time-series data, mixed-effects modelling, and R programming.  He is Associate Editor of Behaviour Research Methods and has published papers on the analysis of eye-tracking data and random effects specification in mixed-effects modelling.

Dr. Luc Bussière

Full Bio:

Works at – Lecturer at the University of Stirling
Teaches – Introduction to R for psychologists (IPSY)

Luc’s research involves estimating fitness landscapes to test hypotheses about how historical selection has favoured diversification, especially for expensive phenotypic traits such as sexually selected ornaments. Because selection operates on many traits simultaneously, and because phenotypic traits often covary, determining which traits affect fitness is quite challenging, especially when using observational datasets from studies of wild populations. Consequently, Luc has had to learn a number of advanced inferential techniques.

Knowing the importance of mastering these methods, Luc has developed new graduate and undergraduate courses in statistics. These have provided students with valuable analytical skills for both data-rich biological research and industry. His course focus on the practical needs of modern ecologists and evolutionary biologists, and exploit his experience as a scientist, supervisor, editor and teacher.

Dr. William Hoppitt

Full Bio:

Works at – Lecturer in Zoology at the University of Leeds

Teaches – Animal behaviour data analysis using maximum likelihood
Will Hoppitt is a lecturer in zoology at the University of Leeds. His main research is focussed on social learning in animals (including humans), and the development of statistical methods for studying animal behaviour in field and naturalistic settings.
Will is interested in detecting and quantifying the influence of social learning in wild populations of animals, including cetaceans, primates and birds. He has had a key role in developing and Network-Based Diffusion Analysis, which enables us to study the pathways of information transmission in freely interacting groups of animals. He has also developed methods to infer the social learning mechanisms and strategies in groups of animals, using maximum likelihood and Bayesian techniques.
Will has over 5 years’ experience in teaching animal behaviour and quantitative methods to biologists at undergraduate and graduate level. He has authored >40 peer-reviewed publications and has co-authored a monograph on social learning focussing on the research methodology in the field, including statistical techniques.

Dr. Daniel Lakens

Full Bio:

Works at – Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at Columbia University 

Teaches – Designing reliable and efficient experiments for social sciences (DRES)

Daniel Lakens is an experimental psychologist working at the Human-Technology interaction group at Eindhoven University of Technology, and received his PhD from Utrecht University in 2010. He works how to researchers can design informative studies, reward structures in science, and applied statistics. His main lines of empirical research focus on conceptual thought, similarity, and meaning. Lakens is funded until 2022 by a VIDI grant from NWO on a project that aims to improve the reliability and efficiency of psychological science. He teaches an online MOOC ‘Improving Your Statistical Inferences’, and won a Teacher of the Year award at Eindhoven University of Technology in 2014. He has given over 40 workshops on open science and improving research practices, co-edited a special issue consisting of pre-registered replication studies with Brian Nosek that appeared in 2014, and convinced the Dutch science funder NWO to start a pilot project with grants dedicated to replication research.