Analysing Big Datasets while Answering Big Ecological Questions: #BESQuantMove2019

Post provided by LAURA GRAHAM and THEONI PHOTOPOULOU

Last week we heard about the importance of small conferences from Natalie Cooper. Hopefully she inspired you to look into smaller meetings going on this summer. If so, how about joining the Quantitative and Movement Special Interest Groups in Sheffield on 9 and 10 July for our back-to-back annual meetings?

This joint meeting will take advantage of shared strengths as well as shared challenges between the two groups and foster links between them. Both days will be a mix of keynotes, short contributed talks, poster sessions and discussion. Plus lots of all-important networking.

The meeting will be along the common theme of analysing big datasets while answering big ecological questions and the challenges associated with it. We welcome submissions of talks and posters. There will also be discussions on general issues with computation; integrating different datasets; and propagating uncertainty in ecological analyses.

The registration deadline is FRIDAY 7 JUNE – just three days away at the time of posting! Attendees will have the opportunity to attend one, or both annual meetings. A quick insider tip for registration: it’s cheaper to join the BES as a member and register for a BES member ticket, than to register for the non-BES member ticket.

Quantitative Keynote Speakers

Both days will have poster sessions: be inventive! Poster by Phillip Boersch-Supan at last year’s Quantitative SIG meeting.

On the quantitative day (Tuesday 9 July), we have talks from Methods in Ecology and Evolution Associate Editor Rachel McCrea and James Grecian.

Rachel is a statistician who works closely with ecologists to develop new methods. She will be talking about Challenges and importance of model assessment for complex ecological data sets.

James‘ research focuses on understanding how marine predators interact with their environment. He will be presenting recent research using space-time point process models to understand the response of harp seals to changes in Arctic sea ice cover.

Movement Keynote Speakers

On the movement day (Wednesday 10 July), we have talks from Samantha Patrick, Karine Heerah, Théo Michelot and Grant Hopcraft.

We are taking suggestions for a Sheffield-appropriate time keeper to take over from Hamish the Haggis from last year’s Quantitative meeting in St Andrews.

Sam is a behaviour ecologist studying individual differences in behaviour and how different strategies are maintained in populations. Her talk is titled The importance of within individual variation in foraging behaviour on fitness in a changing climate.

Karine is a marine ecologist with a special interest in seal movement and diving behaviour. She will be talking about Coupling spectral analysis and HMM to infer seabass behaviours and its environmental drivers.

Théo is a statistician who works on developing methods and software for analysing animal movement data.His presentation will be on Modelling animal movement and habitat selection across scales.

Grant is an ecologist working primarily on savannah ecosystems. His interests are broad spanning movement, migrations, biodiversity and the impact of climate change on both animal and human populations.

Student Keynote

There will be a student keynote talk on each day of the conference. One with a quantitative ecology  focus, one with a movement ecology focus. We’d like to invite any student presenters to put themselves forward for the student keynote. This is a great opportunity to share your research in a longer talk. It looks pretty good on your CV too!

You can find out more about both meetings and register for your place here.

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