The joint meeting between the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution (CSEE) and Ecological Society of America (ESA) was held in Montreal last week. We sent a small delegation to present research, lead workshops, and connect with ecologists across the continent. Here are some highlights from the experience.
ApexRMS participated in the delivery of two workshops at the conference. The first was a workshop in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy’s LANDFIRE Team on Forecasting Landscape Change Impacts Using State-and-Transition Simulation Models. Led by Colin Daniel and Bronwyn Rayfield, the workshop covered a conceptual overview of state-and-transition simulation models, creating and running models using SyncroSim and ST-Sim, scripting modelling workflows using rsyncrosim, and case study examples. Workshop slides are available here.
The second workshop was about transitioning into data science from ecology. In partnership with the Center for Urban Environments and co-organized by Sophie Brietbart and Alex Filazzola this workshop included a discussion on what is data science, job advice, a brief introduction to SQL, and interviews with data science specialists. All materials for the workshop can be found here, along with a YouTube highlight reel of the data scientists’ interviews.
In addition to the workshops, staff from ApexRMS also presented some of their recent research. Alex gave a talk on his work modelling urban species responses to climate change in what he termed “A Great Urban Shift” as cities are experiencing mass species turnover within our generation. A Shiny Application summarizing the results is available to see how climate change may impact cities and urban species in Canada and the US.
Colin and Bronwyn also presented a poster on their work with the U.S. Geological Survey’s LandCarbon program forecasting the effects of land cover change on ecosystem carbon across the U.S. They combined remotely sensed landcover data for the past 20 years with field measurements of carbon stocks and fluxes to develop an integrated, spatially explicit simulation model of landcover change and stock-flow carbon dynamics for the coastal wetland ecosystems in the Mississippi River Delta. The conference poster is available here.
We were able to connect with many individuals in academia, government, and NGOs. Some highlights include a dinner with ecological connectivity researchers, a mixer with the Society for Open, Reliable, and Transparent Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (SORTEE), and another mixer with the Ecological Forecasting Initiative. We are especially thankful to have been able to meet in person our two new interns who will be starting with us this fall – Carina Firkowski and Gabrielle Ednie.