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Population Ecology in Swirl: Estimating Population Sizes

Author(s): Mary E McWhirt, Emily Weigel1

Georgia Institute of Technology

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The students will learn to estimate population sizes and consider assumptions of mathematical models and their applicability to the ecology of an organism/population

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Version 2.0 - published on 12 Feb 2020 doi:10.25334/ABP7-GA97 - cite this




This lesson centers around estimating population sizes, in particular, different mark-recapture calculations and their associated assumptions. The students will complete a lesson in R to practice the basics of using R for calculations and to review mark-recapture equations. They will apply the methodology outlined in this swirl lesson to measuring the sizes of unknown populations. 


Learning objectives:

  1. Complete a prelab reading to familiarize themselves with the goals of the lesson and the background ecological information of estimating population size
  1. Practice coding elements necessary to do basic calculation operations in R; building vectors, matrices, and number sequences; and conducting mark-recapture calculations in R
  1. Apply the methods and coding learned through swirl to their own mark-recapture of unknown in-lab populations


Correction of minor typo and clarification text for yes/no answer.

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