ACDI Seminar Series: Decision making in the face of uncertainty and why stats is fun
ACDI SEMINAR SERIES: Decision making in the face of uncertainty and why stats is fun
Where: Environmental and Geographical Sciences, Studio 5, Upper Campus, University of Cape Town.
Time: 1- 2pm
When: Wednesday , 26February 2014
Speaker:. Res Altwegg
Defensible decisions should be based on evidence. Yet, evidence is typically hidden in data that contain incomplete information and reflect the observation process in addition to the true environmental or biological process we are interested in. Extracting useful information from noisy data is the strength of modern statistical tools. I show a number of examples where non-standard statistical methods have led to insights that could not easily have been gained with traditional methods. These examples include migration phenology of barn swallows, time-series analyses of wader counts, and temperature-dependent selection on body size in mountain wagtails. I conclude with some ideas on how I hope to contribute to the African Climate Development Initiative over the coming years.
Bio: Res started out as an ecologist. He then became increasingly more interested in statistics, worked as a statistical ecologist at the South African National Biodiversity Institute for five years and finally moved to UCT's Department of Statistical Sciences in June 2013. In 2014, he was seconded to ACDI to take up a research chair. He works at the intersection between statistics, ecology and climate change, with a focus on understanding the impacts of climate change on ecological processes.