Designation: Research Officer, Centre for Statistics in Ecology, Environment and Conservation (SEEC), and ACDI Senior Fellow Expertise: Species distribution modelling (particularly grasses); occupancy modelling population ecology; Bayesian methods decision analysis; spatial statistics and remote sensing.
Vernon is currently a research officer within SEEC. Prior to joining SEEC, Vernon held post-docs at the Centre for Invasion Biology at Stellenbosch University and at the University of Sheffield in the UK. Vernon also completed his PhD in grassland ecology at the University of Sheffield. Vernon has run courses on species distribution modelling in R on behalf of SANBI, the Centre for Invasion Biology and the South African Association for Marine Biological Research. He is also chair of the Alien Grass Working Group, an initiative of SANBI’s Directorate for Biological Invasions.
Vernon has strong expertise in fields such as species distribution modelling, occupancy modelling, population ecology, Bayesian methods, decision analysis, spatial statistics and remote sensing. His research Fellowship is focused on the effects of rainfall timing changes (seasonality, intensity and variability) on ecosystems and human livelihoods, centering on grasses, changes in broad-scale vegetation patterns, fire frequencies and agricultural potential. Underpinning this are observed changes in rainfall. Outputs of this research will help people make informed decisions and help them adapt to a changing climate.