I am a statistician based in the Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling (CREEM) and School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of St Andrews. My research work is motivated by ecological applications, particularly related to widlife conservation.
Some Recent Research
Beaked whale densities after Deepwater HorizonBeaked whale click waveforms
We have been working on methods for estimating animal abundance from passive acoustics for over a decade (see DECAF web site). In this recent paper, we adapt current methods to estimate the density and trends of deep-diving beaked whale species at 5 sites in the Gulf of Mexico during and after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Does naval sonar disturb whales?Blue whale diving
Experiments designed to answer this question are difficult and expensive. We have been working with the scientists involved to develop methods that make better use of existing data (see MOCHA web site), and we recently published a brief overview of this work.
We have also coordinated a review of the state of knowledge on sonar effects, with recommendations for future research priorities, available as a technical report.
PCoD: Population Consequences of DisturbancePCoD concept diagram
Does human-caused disturbance to individual animals cause population-level changes in species abundance? Finding out requires modelling across multiple scales, from short- to long-term and from individual to population. We have recently published a short overview of our work in this area.
In situations where formal data are lacking, we suggest an "interim" approach using expert knowledge to parameterize a simplified model. In the paper below, we apply this approach to investigate the possible effect of UK offshore windfarm construction .