Leveraging quantitative ecology for environmental management & decision-making
A lack of appropriate data is one of the most pressing problems in environmental decision-making and in regions that are difficult to access, these deficits are further magnified. Using king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) and Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella) as case studies, this seminar will demonstrate how novel quantitative approaches can be leveraged in data-poor systems to gain insights for environmental management and answer fundamental questions in ecology and conservation. In particular, these approaches allow for development of novel remote sensing methods to monitor populations in inaccessible regions, illustrate how phenology drives systematic misunderstanding of population dynamics, and how historical records can be used to reconstruct baseline population data. Furthermore, existing statistical methods may be adapted for use in evaluating controversial environmental policies at the national and international level, highlighting the potential of quantitative ecological approaches to guide decision-making.