I'm working as an undergrad in a tissue culture lab, and I have the most experience with statistics out of everyone in the lab. However, most of the knowledge I have in statistics is from my math courses which are mainly theoretical.

Does anyone have good recommendations for books on biological experimental design, data analysis, and statistical error? I'd prefer that they be specific to biology, but if there are some good general books with applications that works for me as well. I just want to get a feel for any specific knowledge I will need.


1 Answer 1


There are many books that teach statistics and R together. I would personally not recommend these books. Learn the fundamentals and just google what command already exist in R to perform the analysis you need to do.

I would recommend Experimental Design and Data Analysis for Biologists by Quinn and Keough. It is general, applied and pleasant to read.

As you already have good basis in statistics, you won't need an intro textbook but for other users (and because I personally work with one of the authors) I would like to mention The Analysis of Biological Data by Schluter and Whitlock.

  • $\begingroup$ The Quinn/Keough book looks perfect! Thank you. Ideally I'd also like a book that deals with more molecular-based exampels, but combining the book with our research and some of the papers we're drawing from will probably cover that. $\endgroup$
    – user35338
    Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 19:35
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know this literature well enough to give you advice unfortunately. You might want, to ask it in a separate question. In the above question, you are asking for books on biological experimental design, data analysis, and statistical error?. In another post you could ask for a book on "statistical modelling in molecular biology". You might want to be specifiy exaclty what kind of analyses you are interested in (biophysics, detection of selection from genotypic data, epigenetic data, transcriptomic data, ....) $\endgroup$
    – Remi.b
    Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 19:42

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