SMS scnews item created by Uri Keich at Mon 23 May 2011 1534
Type: Seminar
Distribution: World
Expiry: 3 Jun 2011
Calendar1: 3 Jun 2011 1400-1500
CalLoc1: Carslaw 173
Auth: uri@purix (assumed)

Statistics Seminar: David Warton -- Unifying methods for species distribution modelling using presence-only data in ecology

David Warton School of Mathematics and Statistics and the Evolution & Ecology Research
Centre , University of New South Wales 

Location: Carslaw 173 

Time: 2pm Friday, June 3, 2011 

Title: Unifying methods for species distribution modelling using presence-only data in
ecology 

Abstract: Technology has enabled rapid advances in data analysis across multiple
disciplines - with the collection of new types of data posing new challenges, and with
the development of new methods for analysing data rapidly increasing our analytical
capacity.  An important example is species distribution modelling using presence-only
data - geographic information systems (GIS) enable the study of environmental variables
at a spatial resolution far higher than previously possible, and new methods of data
analysis are rapidly being developed for studying how such environmental variables
relate to species occurrence (or "presence-only") records.  

In this talk, we show that three different methods of analysis, from the ecology,
machine learning and statistical literatures, are all equivalent.  This advance offers
new insights on how to overcome the methodological weaknesses of the two most widely
used methods for species distribution modelling using presence-only data -
pseudo-absence regression and MAXENT - via the use of a point process model
specification.  An example issue that can now be addressed more effectively is
understanding the role of spatial resolution in species distribution modelling.  The
increased functionality available via point process models will be discussed, and
finally, a new method for accounting for observer bias proposed.


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