Workshop: SOCPROG by Professor Hal Whitehead

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Workshop: SOCPROG and the analysis of animal social structure using individual identifications
(by Professor Hal Whitehead)

This workshop is for those interested in the analysis of animal social structure in populations within which at least some individuals are individually identifiable, whether through natural or artificial markings, tags, genetics, vocalizations or other means.

Presenter: Professor Hal Whitehead (Dalhousie University, Canada)
Host: Murdoch University’s Cetacean Research Unit

Time and Location
Murdoch University, Western Australia: February 8th – 10th, 2011

The cost of attendance for external participants is $AUS 550. The cost for Murdoch University students is $AUS 300. Lunch, tea and coffee will be provided.


This course is designed for postgraduate students conducting studies in the broad field of biological – with a special emphasis interest in analyzing animal social structure.As there is limited space available at the workshop, we encourage applicants to sign up early. Applicants will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis.

Workshop details
SOCPROG is a series of MATLAB programs written by Professor Hal Whitehead for analyzing data on the social structure, population structure and movements of identified individuals. The programs are designed to be easy to use, most input is done through graphical user interfaces (i.e. windows with things to click on), and most things can be done without any knowledge of MATLAB (although this helps for custom options, figuring out errors, making your own extensions, etc.). There is also a compiled version of SOCPROG, so you don’t need access to MATLAB (although you have more options if you do). The programs are also designed to be flexible so you can tailor the analyses to your data and hypotheses. The program is free and can be downloaded from: Professor Hal Whitehead’s website.

Professor Hal Whitehead has also written the book: Analyzing animal societies: quantitative methods for vertebrate social analysis. University of Chicago Press (2008).

The book is intended to provide a conceptual and analytical guide for the study of animal societies, i.e., the background to effectively use SOCPROG and related programs.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own data sets on social structures of animal populations with identified individuals (in SOCPROG format).

The 1st day of the workshop will consider general issues in the analysis of animal social structure (based upon the book “Analyzing animal societies”), and on the 2nd day the focus will be on the practical use of SOCPROG. On the 3rd day, we will look at participants’ own data sets, trying to get as much insight as possible. If time permits, we will consider SOCPROG’s functionality for examining population sizes, and movements.

Workshop issues:
What is Social Structure?
Observing Interactions and Associations: Collecting Data
Organizing Data
Describing Relationships: Methods Available
Building Models of Social Structure: Methods Available
Comparing Social Structures: How Can we do this?

SOCPROG: what it does
SOCPROG: how to get and install it
SOCPROG: inputting data
SOCPROG: restricting data; setting associations and sampling periods
SOCPROG: displays of associations
SOCPROG (and other programs): network analyses
SOCPROG: tests of social hypotheses
SOCPROG: temporal changes in social structure
SOCPROG: multivariate methods, and incorporation of genetic data

SOCPROG: movement analyses
SOCPROG: population analyses

Presenter: Professor Hal Whitehead


Please contact: Lars Bejder

Murdoch University
Cetacean Research Unit
Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research

Some Accommodation Options:
Murdoch University Village on Campus has several visitors units but would need to book early

Fremantle is about 20 minutes drive or 30 minutes by bus to Murdoch University.

Esplanade Hotel Fremantle
Terrace Central B&B Hotel
Backpackers Inn
Pirates Backpackers

Perth CBD is about 20 minutes drive or 30 minutes by train/ bus to Murdoch University
Novotel Perth Hotel Langley
Ibis Perth
Comfort Hotel
Good Earth Hotel
Sullivans Hotel

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