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June 9, 2020

Novel statistical model pieces together biodiversity puzzle

Thousands of species are in decline worldwide and thousands more are of unknown status, possibly going extinct unnoticed, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

But as species dwindle, data about them are on the rise. Citizen science projects like iNaturalist and technologically-advanced data collection sites like the National Science Foundation’s National Ecological Observation Network could help scientists keep pace with record changes in biodiversity.

Elise Zipkin, associate professor in the Department of Integrative Biology, will use a 3-year NSF grant to unite diverse data sources like these into a novel and flexible statistical modeling framework, what she calls an Integrated Community Model, with the aim of assessing the status, trends and dynamics of biodiversity.

For full story, visit the College of Natural Science.

By: Val Osowski