Workshop - Matrix Population Models for Wildlife Conservation and Management

Science Center Objects

Workshop - Matrix Population Models for Wildlife Conservation and ManagementUNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, GAINESVILLE 4-9 MARCH, 2019Venue: 219 Newins-Ziegler Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida


Matrix population models are standard tools for the study of life history and population dynamics of age- or stage-structured populations. These models have become popular in population biology and wildlife management because they are powerful, flexible, and can be applied to organisms with diverse life-histories and population structures. This workshop will review the construction and analysis of matrix population models, and their applications to wildlife conservation and management. We will discuss deterministic models and their generalization to include environmental stochasticity, demographic stochasticity, density-dependence, and spatial structure. We will also explore the practical application of matrix models using parameter estimates obtained from field data. We will emphasize a "bottom-up" approach that views models as tools to answer questions and modeling as an "art of simplification". The focus will be on the use of models to explore the conservation of plant and animal populations, and management of harvested populations based on tools from the theory of exploited populations.

The format of the workshop will be a combination of lectures (with ample examples), hands-on exercises, and analysis of participant's data. Computer lab exercises will use R, a free open-source coding language that provides the user with near limitless flexibility, and at the same time, the ability to use more constrained but easy to use "packages" in the R environment.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own data to explore during the workshop. Participants should also have a general interest in quantitative methods and will gain the most if familiar with basic population ecology, statistics and math (calculus and algebra). The workshop is intended to be both an introduction to population and community parameter estimation methods, and a gateway to advanced applications. Participants will have to bring their own laptops.

Regular workshop fee is $700 until 1 February 2019, and $800 thereafter. For students, workshop fee is substantially lower ($350 until 1 February 2019, and $400 thereafter).