DaSH session - Recent advances in biodiversity modelling - 4th March

01 Mar 2016

Hi DaSHers,

*Last week we had Damien Irving from CSIRO giving a presentation on How to write a reproducible paper which was was really well attended and prompted a long question and answer session, with lots of spin-off conversations over coffee. *

Upcoming session - 4 March 2016

This week we have Dr. Nicole Hill from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) on

Recent advances in biodiversity modelling techniques

Understanding the spatial distribution of species and their relationship with environmental factors forms a central tenant in ecology. Understanding biogeographic patterns has many applications, ranging from delineating spatial management units, prioritising conservation efforts, developing baselines for monitoring and predicting future change. Increasingly the types of questions being asked are moving from focussing on single species to examine biodiversity and patterns in multi-species assemblages. In response there have been a recent plethora of statistical techniques developed to address this need. Here I will talk about a subset of techniques that use latent variables or latent factors under their hood, briefly touching on how they work, showing some examples of how they have been applied and highlighting some exciting new directions for biodiversity and distribution modelling.

If there is time, the talk will include the use of presence-only data, a type of data that is becoming ever more accessible with the growth of online databases, for species distribution modelling. Also, we may run through a simple example outlining some of the issues with using this data, and some of the latest developments in this field.

NOTE: this will not be a heavy data/coding session!

Nicole is an ecologist who has worked on a broad spectrum of topics from ecotoxicology to biodiversity modelling. Her recent work focusses on quantifying and predicting marine biodiversity to enhance our understanding and management of marine systems and she currently leads a project that is applying novel statistical methods to model and map marine biodiversity in Antarctica.

When: from 0915 to 1015, 4 March 2016

Where: Flex space, on the ground floor at IMAS