[CEEDS seminar] Overcoming Challenges of Scale: Ongoing work in the UKCEH & BioSS partnership

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[CEEDS seminar] Overcoming Challenges of Scale: Ongoing work in the UKCEH & BioSS partnership.

Wednesday 23rd August, 14:00 - 15:15 pm


Combining data from different sources either to understand status, understand change or to attribute effects relies heavily on the scale and resolution at which the data were obtained or are available. Many analyses overlook the scale which observations (or model outputs) are representative of, called the “support”, implicitly assuming that this is constant. However, doing so may significantly impact the inference made and lead to incorrect conclusions. In this seminar, led by Pete Henrys, we will present work on the general issue of handling changes in both biological and sampling processes across spatial or temporal scales. In particular, previous workshops identified two specific questions as priorities for either developing new methodology or to make existing advanced models more accessible: 1) general methods for identifying the extent of the "zone of influence" of environmental and ecological predictors on processes of interest, in space, time, or space & time simultaneously; 2) models for handling changes of support in space and time, i.e. when system variables are observed at different locations or scales, in space or in time. In this seminar we will present a collaboration between UKCEH and BioSS that seeks to address these challenges, the motivating applications and the methodologies under development. 


There will be the opportunity to discuss these tools and their application in a broader context, such as other areas of ecological and environmental sciences. We will also welcome discussions about additional tools that could be developed in future.



  • Introduction Thomas Cornulier (BioSS)
  • Case Study 1: Zone of influence.  Addressing the challenges of predicting outcome at location (e.g. population size of breeding success at seabird colony) using lagged predictors in space and time (e.g. physical variables at sea over various time lags, like SST). This will be investigated using seabird data from the long-term Isle of May monitoring programme to model the population size of breeding success at seabird colony against physical variables at sea over various time lags, such as SST.
    • Scientific aims and problem definition – Kate Searle, Charlotte Regan and Maria Bogdanova (UKCEH)
    • General stats problem and method development – Dave Miller (BioSS & UKCEH)
  •  Case Study 2: Change of Support. Addressing the challenges of upscaling point observations to large grid cells level in order to compare with mechanistic model predictions.  This will investigate how large-scale models of chemical spatio-temporal variation can be linked to pointwise observations from sensor networks, whist respecting the change of spatial aggregation.
    • Scientific aims and problem definition – Pete Levy and Janice Scheffler (UKCEH)
    • General stats problem and method development – Fergus Chadwick (BioSS)
  • SummaryPete Henrys (UKCEH)

This seminar is open to all staff from UKCEH and Lancaster University. To join please click on the Zoom link: https://ukri.zoom.us/j/97766506134?pwd=T1hpU1RlNW52QlZ2c2RaQS8vd2d2Zz09

Password: 416343


Note, for CEEDS members based in Lancaster, coffee/tea and mini-cakes will be available from 15:30 in the LEC Atrium for those wishing to say farewell to Ce Zhang who has supported CEEDS from its early days.


For further information on CEEDS and to join our growing community, please visit our website: https://ceeds.ac.uk/