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INLA & SECR workshop

27 July 2016

The Centre for Invasion Biology (C·I·B) presented a one day workshop led by Charlotte Jones-Todd & Dr Ben Stevenson (University of St Andrews, UK). 

Integrated Nested Laplace Approximation (INLA) All data are collected in both space and time, however the focus for this workshop was on the analysis of data where: 1) the sampling location is known and pertinent---in order to describe and study the spatial structure, and/or, to account for the spatial auto-correlation---2) progression through time is of potential interest. Integrated Nested Laplace Approximation (INLA) is a relatively new Bayesian statistical inference method, designed for use with, but not solely restricted to the analysis of: longitudinal data, time series data, spatial and spatiotemporal geo-statistical data. One such application of the methodology considers long-term geo-statistical garden bird data, simultaneously modelling each of three species of birds---a predator, the prey and a sympatric species---and estimating the spatial correlation between and amongst each species over time.

Dr. Ben explains how individuals may require different capture probabilities for SECR models.

Spatial Capture Recapture (SCR) Wildlife surveys that aim to estimate animal abundance or density are typically spatial in nature: individuals are detected at various locations across a survey area. While traditional capture-recapture (CR) methods are often used to estimate animal abundance, they ignore this spatial component of the data that are collected. The development of spatial capture-recapture (SCR) methods has been one of the most notable advancements in ecological statistics over the last decade; these generalise traditional CR methods by using information about where individuals were detected. SCR provides researchers with a powerful means of estimating not only animal abundance, but also animal density, species distribution, animal movement, and changes in these over time. SCR methods can be applied to various kinds of detection data, including detection by physical trapping (single- or multi-catch traps), by some remote device (e.g., camera traps or microphones), and by some other evidence of presence (e.g., hair snares or dung surveys).

Right to Left: Charlotte & Ben relax after the course with MeaseyLab members Giovanni, Alex & Marike.


A winter moment

26 July 2016

There are days when it's worth looking out of the window......


Goodbye James!

13 July 2016

Prof James Vonesh from VCU has been in the lab for 18 months (see James' arrival blog post here). It's been an amazing time, and we've all really benefitted from his inputs into all of our work. There are certainly lots of great memories.

Today we celebrated James' visit with a tea party at the Centre for Invasion Biology, a lunch at the RideIn (thanks James!) and a walk in Jonkershoek. 

We're all really hoping that James makes it back some time soon.

  Lab  News


28 June 2016


Two lab members have presented their work at the Southern African Society for Aquatic Scientists meeting at Kruger National Park.


Ana presented her work on invasive crayfish distribution.

While Likho gave an account of her work on  Xenopus laevis phylogeography. 

  Lab  News  Xenopus

Greatly saddened by the loss of Brian Moss

12 June 2016

To Professor Brian Moss

Laurence Carvalho and Penny Johnes have written a great obituary for Brian that you can find here. There are more obituaries here and here. Read what Brian thought about his own mortality here

I was greatly saddened to hear of the death of Brian Moss, my first supervisor and employer at Liverpool University back in 1993. Brian started a Honours school in Freshwater Biology that I took in its first year in 1992-93. He drove us to his beloved Norfolk Broads for the field trip where he made us all learn about Phragmites australis  as a basis for all that was Norfolk. 

Once I'd graduated in 1993, Brian employed me to work for him with Ryzard Kornijow who was visiting for the summer from Lublin, Poland. I learned a huge amount that summer. Experimental design, zooplankton, algal filtering and absorption spectra, freshwater zoobenthic sampling, and the drive that Brian had to understand what was happening within the Cheshire Meres. We went on to publish two papers together, one of which only came out earlier this year (Kornijow et al 2016) and the other soon after we had done the work (Moss et al 1998). 

His own words on the issue are inspirational to all those he left behind:

"It has helped, I think, to be an ecologist. We understand element cycles; we realise that immortal populations would be a genetic disaster; we see, in our work, population cycles in which ‘d’ is just as important as ‘b’, not least because an ever-increasing human population simply means greater problems for the Planet. I have a strong feeling of being part of all that in a very natural way. ‘Doubtless’, as Max Ehrman wrote in his 1927 poem, Desiderata, ‘the Universe is unfolding as it should’."

Towards the end of the day by Brian Moss SIL News 68:1-2.

Thank you Brian. It was a great privalege to have known and worked with you.


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