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R as a ruler? How to calculate distances between geographical objects

08 Apr, 2019

When working in Ecology, it is often necessary to produce maps and calculate distances between objects such as sampled stations, species distribution ranges or geographical features. A tutorial on this blog describes many techniques to create maps with different packages in R, such as sf and raster. In this post, I will go further and use these tools to calculate distances in our spatial environment. How to define a distance?... Read More

Creating empty data frames with dfTemplate() and dfTemplateMatch()

03 Feb, 2019

Creating a data frame is fairly simple but when you need to create a large empty data frame with columns that have different classes it takes several command lines. A few days ago, I decided to write a function to simplify this operation and I came to realize that such a function would actually be very useful to ease the row binding of data frames whose column names partially match.... Read More

Ubuntu + Windows 7 - dual partition

09 Dec, 2018

Long story short, I recently had access to a Dell Studio XPS 8100 with Windows 7 on it. I was told that the computer was not working well and so was allowed to tweak it. The computer was actually working well so I simply decided to add a partition Ubuntu. Ubuntu is based on Debian and arguably more beginner-friendly than the latter. Roughly speaking: Ubuntu = Debian Testing + software to simplify its use There are a couple of articles online that are opposing these two Linux distributions, which makes no real sense to me.... Read More


The overarching goal of this blog is quite straightforward: tackle challenges and opportunities provided by this new era of open-access and computationally intensive research in the field of ecology. You will therefore find a collection of blog posts that reflect this: code snippets, ecological insights, new and exciting computational tools, opinions on various field of ecology and programming, etc.

In the interest of full disclosure, we also have a hidden agenda for this blog. As a group revolving almost exclusively around academia (for more about us) - and as such, some might say out of touch with reality - we have to write a lot, which can be quite hard (cough read procrastination cough). This blog is therefore also our attempt at significantly stepping-up our writing game!

Wordcloud created with the wordcloud2 R package; silhouette image available on PhyloPic (Lepidochelys olivacea); full R script available on .