Below is a press release about the Methods paper ‘ Environmental-mechanistic modelling of the impact of global change on human zoonotic disease emergence: a case study of Lassa fever‘ taken from the University College London.
The multimammate rat transmits Lassa virus to humans. ©Kelly, et al.
A model that predicts outbreaks of zoonotic diseases – those originating in livestock or wildlife such as Ebola and Zika – based on changes in climate, population growth and land use has been developed by a UCL-led team of researchers.
“This model is a major improvement in our understanding of the spread of diseases from animals to people. We hope it can be used to help communities prepare and respond to disease outbreaks, as well as to make decisions about environmental change factors that may be within their control,” said lead author
Professor Kate Jones, UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment and the Zoological Society of London. Continue reading
Vanessa Adams in the field with gamba grass in the Batchelor region, NT.
©Amy Kimber (NERP Northern Australia Hub)
Invasive weeds cause environmental and economic harm around the world. Land managers bear a heavy responsibility for the control of infestations in what is often a time-consuming and costly battle.
Fortunately, an increasing number of
research-based solutions are giving land managers an advantage. This includes tools to determine the distribution of weeds and also the development of modelling approaches to predict their spread.
Understanding the current and future distribution of an invasive species allows managers to better direct their limited resources. However, the direct and strategic management of weeds is tricky and that’s why population models (in particular spatial dispersal models that can be applied without much data) are needed to inform and facilitate action on the ground.
Posted in Uncategorized |
Tagged Andropogon gayanus Kunth, biodiversity, conservation, Demographic Spread Models, Demography, Ecological Management, ecology, Gamba Grass, Invasive Plants, Invasive Species, Invasive Weeds, Litchfield National Park, Marxan, Policy, Population Models, Spatial Dispersal Models, Spread Models, Weed of National Significance |
Citizen Science: A Growing Field
Thousands of volunteers around the world work on Citizen Science projects. ©GlacierNPS
As you read this, thousands of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds are collecting information for over
1,100 citizen science projects worldwide. These projects cover a broad range of topics: from volunteers collecting samples of the microbes in their digestive tracts, to tourists providing images of endangered species ( such as tigers) that are often costly to survey.
popularity of citizen science initiatives has been increasing exponentially in the past decade, and the wealth of knowledge being contributed is overwhelming. For example, almost 300,000 participants have submitted around 300 million bird observations from 252 countries worldwide to the eBird program since 2002. Amazingly, rates of submissions have exceeded 9.5 million observations in a single month! Continue reading
Posted in Conservation and management, Methods papers |
Tagged Bayes Theorem, Bayesian, Biological Monitoring Projects, Biomonitoring, Breeding Bird Survey, Calibration Model, Celebrate Urban Birds Program, citizen science, Citizen Science Data, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, CUBS, Data Collection, eBird Program, Ecological Management, False Negatives, False Positives, NAAMP, North American Amphibian Monitoring Program, Policy, Sampling Bias |
The quirky nature of decision making
Two heads are often better than one in decision making. Several heads might have an even higher probability of being better than one. However, people in a group often have different modes of thinking or problem solving, alternate reference frames, subjective biases and varying levels or domains of expertise. How do we harness these messy thought processes and channel them for effective decision-making for biodiversity management?
© Henry Martin (The New Yorker Collection/The Cartoon Bank)
Posted in Journal updates, Methods papers |
Tagged Anonymity, conservation, Delphi Technique, Management Support, Methods in Ecology and Evolution, modelling, Nibedita Murkherjee, Participatory Approach, Policy, Structured Collaboration |