The Ecological Forecasting Initiative and the ESA Statistical Ecology Section are hosting Dr. Tal Avgar and Brian Smith for the March call in the Statistical Methods Seminar Series. Dr. Avgar is an Assistant Professor of Movement Ecology in the Department of Wildland Resource and Ecology Center at Utah State University. Dr. Avgar's research focuses on the ecological and evolutionary causes and consequences of animal movement behaviour. The premise behind Dr. Avgar's research is that quantitative understanding of the processes underlying animal movement behaviours is essential, not only as means to identifying ecological needs and interactions at the individual level, but as a mechanistic key to emerging population and community patterns.
Brian Smith is a PhD student, co-advised by Tal Avgar and Dan MacNulty, studying the space-use ecology of northern Yellowstone elk and the feedbacks between space-use and demography. Brian is particularly interested in how density-dependent habitat selection interacts with predation risk and how animals balance this tradeoff between “many mouths to feed” and “safety in numbers”. His goal is to find insights from individual behavior that scale up to population- and community-level patterns.