School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Event items

Data synthesis for ecological evidence

Dr Rebecca Spake, Postdoc in Applied Biogeography, School of Geography and Environmental Sciences, University of Southampton

Date/Time: 13 November 2020, 13:00

Venue: Zoom

A major sustainability challenge is determining where to target restoration, conservation and management actions to best effect. Achieving this understanding is difficult, given that the effects of most actions vary according to wider environmental conditions; and this context dependency is typically poorly understood. Meta-research methods, which synthesise disparate data sources spanning published case studies to national monitoring initiatives and remotely-sensed data, have great potential to help understand these context-dependencies. In this talk, I will describe our analytical framework that uses standardised, national monitoring data to identify the scales and contexts wherein a given action exerts particular effects on ecosystems, describing its application in Britain and Japan. I will also describe the challenges of synthesising case studies that are conducted at variable scales, and how biases can become inflated when they are combined using meta-analysis.

The seminar will be hosted by Dr Marion Pfeifer, who invited Rebecca’s seminar to the CHANS course. Marion is a Reader in Landscape Ecology and Management at the School of Natural and Environmental. Her group’s research centres on tree restoration, forest health and sustainable intensification of agriculture, in particular in the developing tropics.

Dr Spake works at the University of Southampton. Her research interests lie in landscape sustainability and ecological synthesis. She focusses principally on forest ecosystems, given their importance to tackling the climate and extinction crises

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