I think I'm OK with statistics. I can probably do 90% of statistics seen in most ecology journals. I'm not a statistician or a mathematician and I am hugely jealous of those that can do the remaining 10% that I don't understand and are able to write math/stat papers.
Some in this field are giants: Robert MacArthur, Simon Levin, Marc Kery, Andy Royle (and all those guys from Patuxent). When it comes to estimating species richness there are two names: Robert Colwell and Anne Chao.
Dr. Chao has a blog post here that is marvelous. The take-away: estimates of diversity are directly descended from Alan Turing. Great stuff.