Biomeasurement: A Student's Guide to Biological Statistics (3rd edition)

Dawn Hawkins
  • The why and how of biological statistics, and the perfect companion for an introductory course in statistics for the life sciences.
  • Explains why statistics are needed, how to choose and carry out statistical analyses, and how their results can be interpreted.
  • Focuses on the application of statistics as a valuable research tool, avoiding detailed treatment of the mathematical basis of statistics.
  • Places emphasis on explanation so that students are guided through the key concepts and techniques in a steady, progressive way.
  • Enables students to build confidence in handling actual data through the use of real data sets.
  • Illustrates the use of the techniques presented in published research work through 'Literature Links', highlighting the importance of statistics in real-world science and demonstrating how to report results in a professional manner.
  • The Online Resource Centre features additional resources for students and teachers to enhance the educational value of the book.

New to this Edition:

  • The book now supports R through 'help sheets' and screencasts on the Online Resource Centre.
  • The chapter introducing the Generalized Linear Model has been enhanced with further guidance on model choice.
  • A new chapter on binary data expands on the existing coverage of the Generalized Linear Model by introducing the reader to logistic GLMs.
  • More emphasis has been placed on interpretation of results from a biological perspective through greater consideration of effect size.
  • Author screencasts outline key statistical techniques and walk students through the use of statistical analysis packages, SPSS and R.
  • New activities have been added to the Online Resource Centre.

Statistical analysis allows us to attach meaning to data that we have collected; it helps us to understand what experimental results really mean, and to assess whether we can trust what experiments seem to be telling us. Yet, despite being a collection of the most valuable and important tools available to bioscientists, statistics is often the aspect of study most feared by students.

Biomeasurement offers a refreshing, student-focused introduction to the use of statistics in the study of the biosciences. With an emphasis on why statistical techniques are essential tools for bioscientists, the book develops confidence in students to use and further explore the key techniques for themselves. 

Beginning by placing the role of data analysis in the context of the wider scientific method and introducing the student to the key terms and concepts common to all statistical tools, the book then guides the student through descriptive statistics, and on to inferential statistics, explaining how and why each type of technique is used, and what each can tell us in order to better understand our data. It goes on to present the key statistical tests, walking the student step-wise through the use of each, with carefully-integrated examples and plentiful opportunities for hands-on practice. The book closes with an overview of choosing the right test to suit your data, and tools for presenting data and their statistical analyses.

Written by a talented educator, whose teaching has won praise from the UK's Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, Biomeasurement is sure to engage even the most wary of students, demonstrating the power and importance of statistics throughout the study of bioscience.
Online Resource Centre
The Online Resource Centre to accompany Biomeasurement features:

For students:
· Screencast walkthroughs for SPSS and R.
· Online glossary and flashcard glossary.
· Data sets, for use in statistical analysis software packages.
· Help sheets offering concise guidance on key techniques and the use of statistical analysis software packages.
· Interactive calculation sheets to help students carry out key statistical tests quickly and easily in Excel, without the need for other software.
· Full-text versions of Literature Link articles from OUP Journals.


1: Why am I reading this book?
2: Getting to grips with the basics
3: Describing a single sample
4: Inferring and estimating
5: Overview of hypothesis testing
6: Tests on frequencies
7: Tests of difference: two unrelated samples
8: Tests of difference: two related samples
9: Tests of difference: more than two samples
10: Tests of relationship: regression
11: Tests of relationship: correlation
12: Generalized Linear Model I: General Linear Model
13: Generalized Linear Model II: Logistic Model
14: Choosing the right test and graph


Dawn Hawkins, Reader, Department of Life Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University, UK

"Biomeasurement and its companion website are a near perfect combination for an introductory course in biostatistics." - Basil Jarvis, The Biologist

"I will be recommending this book both for undergraduate biomedical science as well as post grad. The reason why I think it's good for both is that students still seem frightened and to a large extent incapable of coping with biological data and I believe as stated in the book it's because of the underlying maths involved. This book still gives you the basic maths functions but shows you how you can effectively ignore them and concentrate on the data analysis. It does this by giving worked examples using biological data and showing you why and how you use certain tests and what the results mean. It mainly uses SPSS within the book but to bring the book up to date it has an Online Resource Centre showing how R can be used instead of SPSS." - Roy Stewart, Nottingham Trent University