Report on fisheries bycatch risk to marine mammals in New Zealand

My work on estimating maximum population growth rate for New Zealand marine mammal populations has recently been published as part of a report produced by Proteus Wildlife Research Consultants for the New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries. This report provides an assessment of the risk to marine mammal populations from fisheries in New Zealand waters, and can be found here.

Online Courses in 2022

The dates have now been set for the two online courses I am running in 2022 for the Center for Wildlife Studies:

Bayesian Statistics in Ecology (6-30 September) This course provides an introduction to Bayesian data analysis. There is an emphasis on the flexibility this provides in the types of models that can be used, and plenty of hands-on experience using rjags in RStudio.

Model Averaging in Ecology (3-30 October) This course is based on my book and provides an up-to-date overview of the topic, from both the Bayesian and frequentist perspective, including methods such as bagging and stacking. There is emphasis on both understanding the theory and using the methods in RStudio.

Single-fit Bootstrapping paper

Tim Jowett and I have just published a paper on single-fit bootstrapping, which provides a simple means of calculating a confidence interval for a non-linear function of model parameters. The idea is not new, but we thought it should be more widely known, as it is simpler and more reliable than a Wald interval based on the delta method. You can find the paper here, and the slides from a talk on this topic is here.

Modelling the population dynamics of tītī

I am part of a research group led by Phil Lyver at Manaaki Whenua (Landcare) that is working with the Rakiura Tītī Islands Administering Body on the population dynamics of tītī (sooty shearwater). Our most recent work has recently appeared in the following papers:

David Fletcher, Jamie Newman, Sam McKechnie, Corey Bragg, Peter Dillingham, Rosemary Clucas, Darren Scott, Sebastian Uhlmann, Phil Lyver, Andrew Gormley, Stewart Bull, Kayne Davis, Renata Davis, Riki Davis, Tane Davis, Lania Edwards, Jane Kitson, Tina Nixon, Michael Skerrett, and Henrik Moller. Projected impacts of climate change, bycatch, harvesting, and predation on the Aotearoa New Zealand tītī (Ardenna grisea) population. Marine Ecology Progress Series 670 (2021): 223-238.

Sam McKechnie, David Fletcher, Jamie Newman, Corey Bragg, Peter Dillingham, Rosemary Clucas, Darren Scott, Sebastian Uhlmann, Phil Lyver, Andrew Gormley, Rakiura Tītī Islands Administering Body, and Henrik Moller. Separating the effects of climate, bycatch, predation and harvesting on tītī (Ardenna grisea) population dynamics in New Zealand: A model-based assessment. PloS one 15.12 (2020): e0243794.

Power Analysis for a new Method of Trapping Mammalian Pests

I recently provided advice on the precision to be expected from a trial of a new method of luring mammalian pests (feral cats, possums, and stoats, for example), to be carried out in Hikaroroa Reserve, near Karitane, NZ. This work was carried out for Thomas Hayward of Mammalian Corrections Unit (Dunedin, NZ), and was valuable in assessing the number of traps, and number of days trapping, that would be required to obtain a precise estimate of the increase in the kill-rate from using the new method.

New Project with Manaaki Whenua (Landcare Research)

I am delighted to be part of the five-year research project “Te Weu o te Kaitiaki – Indigenous Regeneration Pathways” that has just been funded by the Aotearoa New Zealand government. The proposal for this research was co-led led by Phil Lyver and Johanna Yletyinen of Manaaki Whenua (Landcare Research). It will use te ao Māori worldview and whakapapa frameworks alongside the integration of value and ecological networks to re-imagine biocultural solutions that simultaneously restore ecological systems, reinforce identity, reconnect people to place, enhance community wellbeing, and deliver sustainable economic growth for communities.

Online Course on Model Averaging

There is now an online course to go with my book on model averaging. This course provides an up-to date overview of the topic, from both the Bayesian and frequentist perspective, including methods that are popular in machine learning, such as bagging and stacking. Recent developments, published since the book came out in 2018, are also covered, including confidence distributions, the frequentist analogue of posterior distributions. There is emphasis on understanding the theory underlying the methods and on experience using the methods in RStudio.

Cost: US$200 (+ applicable taxes) for 30 days access. You can find more information and registration details here