14By Charles M. Francis, Richard J. Barker, Evan G. Cooch

This joint Special Feature (published in MEE and the open access journal Ecology and Evolution) brings together a series of papers presented at the EURING 2013 technical conference that, collectively, cover many of the latest developments in the analysis of data from marked individuals to estimate demographic parameters, such as survival, recruitment, nest success, density, population size and movement.

The European Ringing Association (EURING) technical conferences were established to advance the field of ecological modelling by bringing together biologists with statistically challenging problems related to the analysis of data from marked animals and statisticians with the expertise to help develop appropriate models for analysis of those data. The initial impetus of the conferences was to develop improved methods for analysis of data derived from the millions of birds that have been ringed or otherwise uniquely marked since the early 20th century in Europe and elsewhere in the world. Since then, these conferences have evolved to present leading edge statistical developments and applications relevant to many different types of work on marked animals, as well as other fields that benefit from mark-recapture type methodologies such as occupancy modelling.

The latest of these conferences, held in Athens, Georgia, USA, from April 28 to May 4 2013, continued the tradition of bringing together biologists and statisticians to advance the field. The papers presented, of which 31 are here included in the proceedings, covered a range of topics and included both development of new statistical approaches and application of established methods to specific biological data sets. The conference consisted of a mixture of plenary papers, presenting a broad overview of a topic, invited oral presentations and poster presentations.

The proceedings have been published in two journals, MEE and the open access journal Ecology and Evolution, and are collated in this Special Feature. The key themes represented in these proceedings include advances in statistical methods, spatially-referenced data, experimentation and hypothesis testing, integrating data from different sources, occupancy models, and future directions.

Click here to read the full Special Feature.