MSc thesis at the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Group

Looking for a MSc/Bsc thesis or internship during the online-only period? Please see TIP.

The MSc-thesis offers the challenge to demonstrate your ability to set up and to carry out a scientific research project in a self-responsible and independent manner. This challenge includes to:

  • provide an adequate delineation and definition of your research topic,
  • build a sound theoretical framework for orientation of the research,
  • generate proper research questions and/or testable hypotheses,
  • develop methodology fit for hypothesis testing,
  • collect data in a systematic and verifiable manner,
  • analyse the data critically and correctly,
  • present the results in a comprehensible manner,
  • draw sound conclusions based on a comprehensive discussion of the results,
  • show the contribution of your results to the development of the research topic.

A thesis project using R

The majority of the students working on their thesis at WEC will come into contact with the programming language R. With R you can do more advanced data processing, statistics and visualization than with, for example, SPSS and Excel. Also, it is free and open-source. Here, we provide some information on how to gain experience with R.

We encourage students who want to do their thesis at WEC to follow at least one of the below-mentioned WU courses. If this is not possible, then take the time the work through the R tutorial and/or the R online course before you start with your WEC thesis.

WU courses

  • REG-33806 Data Science for Ecology: using R for data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence.
  • FEM-31806 Models for Ecological Systems: using R to create and evaluate simulation models.
  • CSA-34306 Ecological Modelling and Data Analysis in R: using R to fit statistical models to your data and for visualization.
  • MAT-50303 R for Statistics: using R for hypothesis and statistical significance testing.

R tutorial

  • Learning the basics of R and RStudio step-by-step with this tutorial, including an interactive tutorial using R itself with the swirl-package: http://emethods.nl/rintro/
  • Learning to use R for statistical test: http://emethods.nl/r/

Online course

  • A free online course in which you learn the basics and more advanced skills of working with R for data analysis: https://www.coursera.org/learn/r-programming

Free books


R for data science
Fundamentals of data visualization

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