I feel honoured to have won the professional development award granted by the Government of Australia to sponsor me to attend the five-week long (November 4th to December 9th) online course titled “Data Analysis in Ecology: Statistics for Ecology and Field Biologist” offered by the Department of Continuing Education at University of Oxford, UK.

We are living in the world of data science. Be it economic valuation of biodiversity and ecosystems, conservation of natural resources or sustainable development, the output of research largely depends on how the data were collected and analyzed. A good data analysis separates good research from substandard and trivial one. The knowledge of statistical principles and methods could enhance our understanding of the system being studied and impacts on the local community and stakeholders.

Currently I am involved in research on ecology and conservation of amphibians associated with forested montane freshwater streams. The endemic, found only in one particular locality and nowhere else in the world, frog species are associated with unique set of environmental conditions in northern mountainous areas of Pakistan. I am integrating conservation of wildlife with sustainable development and local com- munity aware- ness programs. By learning the use of descriptive and inferential statistics, using QED statistics and the R statistical programming language, to analyze the results from field surveys and experiments, I can greatly improve my ability to display and interpret the data and get scientific articles published in reputable periodicals as well as disseminate the quality information. I am indebted with thanks to the Government of Australia (Australia Global Alumni, Australia Awards Program) for this opportunity.

By Muhammad Rais (Pakistan)