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Penguins, satellites, math, and a bit of adventure

Heather Lynch
Stony Brook University | Associate Professor, Department of Ecology & Evolution
Seminar date:
Monday, June 3, 2019 - 12:00
HCK 132

Sub-meter resolution satellite imagery is a transformational technology that radically expands our ability to study the spatial ecology of colonial seabirds. In this talk, I will describe my lab’s efforts to combine satellite imagery and drones with direct field surveys to study the distribution and abundance of penguins and other wildlife in Antarctica. While we now have unprecedented capacity to track penguin populations in Antarctica, the volume of information now available poses some unexpected ‘big-data’ challenges. I will discuss advances in data fusion that allow us to integrate multiple streams of data in a spatial explicit way that is easily scaled from individual breeding populations to biologically-relevant meta-populations to areas of interest for Southern Ocean fisheries management. My talk will emphasize that direct field measurements and remote sensing approaches can and should be integrated in a synthetic model of population abundance and distribution that exploits the strengths of each and provides real-time information relevant to both basic research on penguin dynamics and applied questions important for resource management.

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