My master’s research project is under the supervision of Dr. Mark Fast, and contributes to his sea lice research program at the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC). Thanks to the Canadian Excellence Research Chair’s (CERC) Early Career Development Grant, I was able to attend a 3 day workshop entitled, Exploratory Analysis using R, (2016) hosted by the Canadian Bioinformatics Workshop in Toronto, Ontario.
R is an open-source statistical analysis/computing software with a robust community worldwide. Despite having a challenging learning curve, once an individual becomes familiar with the unique programming language of R there are few limitations to how one can analyze and display a dataset. The first half of the 3 day workshop was dedicated to providing a comprehensive introduction to the R environment, while the latter half shifted the focus to utilizing our newly-acquired techniques for exploratory data analysis. My master’s project aims to describe sexual dimorphism and characterize genomic evolutionary rates of sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis). Since the majority of data generated from my research projects would be considered exploratory datasets, this workshop has provided tools essential to the analysis and interpretation of my results. Resources gathered from the workshop will be useful for any student at the AVC who is interested in learning R; these resources can be made available upon request.