Statistical Rethinking: A Bayesian Study Group

  • Start Date: May 03, 2023
  • End Date: September 06, 2023
  • Time: 9am - 11am Pacific
  • City: online
  • Venue: Zoom
  • Instructor: Dr. Joseph Thorley
  • Note that there is a 2-week break mid-Aug

Course Description

This opportunity is for anyone working with data who wants to further their understanding of Bayesian analysis in the context of biological systems. With Dr. Joe Thorley’s guidance and support, students will spend four months immersing themselves in Bayesian modeling in this weekly two-hour interactive session reviewing one chapter of Statistical Rethinking (2nd Edition) by McElreath (2020), and watching McElreath’s accompanying online lectures (an average of 1 hour each). More information on Statistical Rethinking is available here, and the first lecture can be viewed here. (All prerecorded lectures have been updated since last year’s iteration of this study group.)

This will be an incredible opportunity to take your knowledge and skills to the next level in a way that the material truly “sinks in” due to the long timeline (16 sessions) and design of this course.

Session recordings will be made available to students for up to four weeks after each session in case students miss a session or wish to review content.

  • There will be 16 sessions in total that will take place on Wednesday mornings from May 3rd – Sept 6th
  • There will be a 2-week summer break: Aug 9th & 16th


See here for all study group materials. A password has been provided to registrants via email.

What to expect

  • Reflections from participants on latest material
  • Overview of latest material including analytic demonstrations and how it relates to biology. Q & A with Joe and group discussion on any material to date.
  • To get the most out of this study group, participants should plan for a minimum of ~2hrs/week to review course materials on their own time (outside of the online sessions with Joe.) This makes for a weekly minimum commitment of ~4 hours per week to get the most out of this learning opportunity.


Participants should have taken at least one university level statistical course and have some practical experience fitting statistical models. Statistical analysts, modelers or statisticians who wish to deepen their understanding of statistics from a Bayesian perspective will have interest in this course.


Our Instructor

Dr. Joseph Thorley, R.P.Bio. is a Senior Computation Biologist at Poisson Consulting Ltd. He has been programming in R and C++ for over 20 years and has co-authored over 25 peer-reviewed papers. He consults for industrial, governmental, conservation and first-nations organizations. Prior to forming Poisson Consulting in 2007, he worked for the Scottish Government as a fisheries biologist for three years.

Preparation and what to bring

All course materials will be provided as part of your course fees.

Participants will need a stable internet connection and your own working computer equip with video camera and a speaker/mic adequate enough to clearly communicate via the Zoom video conferencing platform. More info on system requirements for Zoom can be found here.

There are no prerequisites or mandatory pre-reading before the course commences, although participants will be expected to read a chapter and watch an average of 1 hour of video a week to keep up with the course (allocate about 2hrs for this/week).

There is no software to download other than Zoom. Analytic demonstrations will be provided but not supported, although users are free to attempt to run code examples in their own time.



Registration now full. To request a spot on the cancellation list, please email  We’ll notify you both if a spot opens up and when the registration for the next course opens.

Cancellation policy and other contingencies:

  • Our regular cancelation policy will apply.
  • If students are unable to attend the sessions, they will have access to the session recordings for up to four weeks after the delivery of each session.

Member: $575

Non-Member: $620


  • Phone 250-837-9311
  • Fax 250-837-9311
  • Email

Mailing Address

  • P.O. Box 2568
  • Revelstoke, British Columbia V0E 2S0
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