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The Centre for Statistics in Ecology, Environment and Conservation (SEEC) invites you to ISEC2022 in Cape Town, South Africa, 27 June – 1 July 2022 – the first International Statistical Ecology Conference (ISEC) to be held in Africa!

Abstract submission and registration are now open and we would like to welcome all of you to join this exciting event.

Hurry, abstract submission closes soon on 9th December!

Statistical ecology is an inherently interdisciplinary field. The goal of statistical ecology is to use the most powerful statistical tools to address the most important questions in ecology. ISEC is a biennial meeting of researchers at the interface between ecology and statistics. One of the most important facets of ISEC is that it brings together statisticians interested in ecological problems and ecologists with interests in quantitative methods. At ISEC2022 we have an exciting list of speakers that bridge these two disciplines, as well as training opportunities for attendees, a forum for interdisciplinary collaboration, and fun social activities.

Image credit: Chris Oosthuizen

Talks, posters and workshops at ISEC2022 will cover a broad range of themes within statistical ecology such as abundance estimation, animal movement, big data, biodiversity, capture-recapture, citizen science, community dynamics, disease ecology, distance sampling, epidemiology, evolutionary ecology, fisheries, individual-based models, integrated population models, metapopulation dynamics, multispecies models, occupancy models, population dynamics, spatial ecology, species distribution models, and survey design. Given the breadth of fields covered at the conference, you’re sure to learn something new at ISEC2022!

ISEC2022 is planned as a hybrid conference. We would love to see you in Cape Town in person, but we understand that not everyone will be able to travel. This does not mean that you have to miss out! We’ll make sure that it is easy for online participants to take part in conference activities.

Venue

Cape Town, where the conference is hosted, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and provides easy access to South Africa’s biodiversity riches and the experiences of a lifetime! South Africa is one of the most biodiversity rich countries in the world and custodian of three Global Biodiversity Hotspots, including the Cape Floristic Region (in and around Cape Town) and the Succulent Karoo (within 2 hours drive). The Maputoland-Pondoland-Albany hotspot and the Savanna game parks are easily accessible with domestic flights (<2hrs).

Plenary speakers

We have an exciting line up of plenary speakers:

Dr Iadine Chadès, CSIRO Brisbane, Australia

Talk: Decision analysis and adaptive management for conservation

Dr. Chadès is a Principal Research Scientist with the CSIRO. She is interested in solving globally important decision problems in conservation, health and biosecurity. Dr Chadès has pioneered the use of Artificial Intelligence tools such as Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes (POMDP) to solve optimal adaptive management problems (AAAI Best paper award). She regularly publishes in AI and Ecology. At CSIRO, Dr Chadès leads the activity “Decisions” of the AIML Future Science Platform. She is a chief investigator with the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence SPECTRUM (Supporting Participatory Evidence generation to Control Transmissible diseases in our Region Using Modelling).

Dr. Beth Gardner, University of Washington, USA

Talk: Spatial capture-recapture

Dr. Beth Gardner is an Associate Professor at the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington. She is also the Director of the Centre for Quantitative Sciences and  runs the Quantitative Ecology Lab, which develops innovative methods to study wildlife, plant, and fisheries populations around the world.  She is specifically interested in developing models and methods to estimate demographic rates, distributional patterns, and habitat relationships for wildlife populations — including spatial capture recapture models and hierarchical models for distance sampling and occupancy. Her work and teaching are driven by an underlying interest in helping to improve quantitative approaches in ecology and to provide valuable information for decision making for conservation and management.

Dr. Olivier Gimenez, CNRS Montpellier, France

Talk: Statistical ecology, hidden Markov models and the management of large carnivores in Europe

Dr. Olivier Gimenez is a senior (euphemism for not so young anymore) scientist at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in the beautiful city of Montpellier, France. He struggled studying maths, obtained his PhD in applied statistics a long time ago in a galaxy of wine and cheese far away from South Africa, his habitation in ecology and evolution so that he could stop pretending to understand what his colleagues were talking about, and more recently embarked in sociology studies because hey, why not. Lost somewhere at the interface of animal ecology, statistical modelling and social sciences, his (so-called) expertise lies in population dynamics and species distribution modelling to address questions in ecology and conservation biology about the impact of human activities and the management of large carnivores. He would be nothing without the students and colleagues who are kind enough to bear with him.

Dr. Joseph Ogutu, University of Hohenheim, Germany

Talk: Hierarchical Bayesian state-space modelling of age-and sex-structured wildlife population dynamics

Dr Joseph Ogutu works within the Biostatistics Unit at the Institute of Crop Science, University of Hohenheim. They work on the analysis of large genomic and phenotypic datasets, particularly in animal and plant breeding applications. Their focus is the adaptation and further development of methods based on the mixed model framework. The objective is to assess and exploit the association of phenotypic traits with genomic data (markers such as SNPs etc.) and expression profiles.

Public lecture

In addition to the four plenaries available to conference attendees there will also be a public lecture open to all members of the public. We have two prominent speakers lined up for the lecture: Dr. Harriet Davies-Mostert & Dr. Luthando Dziba. The lecture will focus on the importance of data and statistical ecology for conservation of ecological systems.

Dr. Harriet Davies-Mostert, Endangered Wildlife Trust, South Africa

Dr Harriet Davies-Mostert is the Head of Conservation at the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT). She is responsible for: driving the integration of sound science into the conservation operations of the EWT; ensuring that biodiversity data and research are effectively incorporated into conservation action; coordinating the ongoing development of the EWT’s conservation strategy (goals and targets) and working with staff to develop and measure useful indicators of progress; fostering EWT’s partnerships with academic and research institutions; and developing internal capacity to produce scientific publications. Dr. Davies-Mostert is a Member of the Executive Management Team of the EWT.

Dr. Luthando Dziba, South African National Parks, South Africa

Dr. Luthando Dziba is a Managing Executive responsible for Conservation Services at South African National Parks (SANParks). Dr. Dziba also serves as the Co-chair of the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel of the UN Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Before joining SANParks, Dr. Dziba managed the Ecosystem Services research area at the CSIR and this included three research groups that employed more than 50 scientists working on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Coastal Systems as well as Earth Observation. Dr. Dziba also served as the Head of the IPBES Technical Support Unit for the Africa Regional Assessment and later as the co-chair of the Africa Assessment. Dr. Dziba has an interest in mainstreaming ecosystem service science into development planning and policy.

Workshops

The conference is preceded by 2 days of excellent workshops held on the 25th & 26th June. There are still spaces available for the workshops and you can register here.

Saturday, 25 June 2022
WORKSHOP 1: Modelling environmental DNA data 09:00 – 17:00 (Hybrid format)Dr Eleni Matechou, Uni of Kent UK Alex Diana, University of Kent UK
WORKSHOP 2: Tidy Data Manipulation and Animal Movement Modelling in R 09:00 – 17:00 (In-person only)Devin Johnson, NOAA-NMFS, USA Josh London, NOAA-NMFS, USA Brett McClintock, NOAA-NMFS, USA
WORKSHOP 3: Hierarchical modeling with NIMBLE 13:00 – 17:00 (Virtual only)Prof Perry de Valpine, UC Berkley, USA Chris Paciorek Daniel Turek
 
Sunday, 26 June 2022
WORKSHOP 4: Bayesian Analysis of Capture-Recapture Data with Hidden Markov Models in NIMBLE 09:00 – 13:00 (Virtual only)Olivier Gimenez, CNRS, FR Daniel Turek, Williams College, USA
WORKSHOP 5: Advances in quantifying space-use and habitat-selection of animals 09:00 – 17:00 (Hybrid format)John Fieberg, U of Minnesota, USA Tal Avgar, Utah State University, USA Johannes Signer, U of Göttingen, DE Brian Smith, Utah State Uni, USA
WORKSHOP 6: Hidden Markov models for animal movement and other ecological data 09:00 – 17:00 (Hybrid format)Roland Langrock Sina Mews Théo Michelot Richard Glennie Timo Adam

Get in touch

Image Credit: Tim Kuiper

For more information on ISEC2022 visit our website at https://www.isec2022.org/

Keep up to data by following the official ISEC Twitter account @ISEC_stats_ecol or follow our Facebook page @ISECstatsecol

To learn more about SEEC go to http://www.seec.uct.ac.za/ or on Twitter at @SEEC_UCT