Environmental and Ecological Modelling

Overview

We are involved in providing expertise within the Institute of Aquaculture, and to collaborating institutions on a variety of modelling techniques.

Trophic modelling describes how components of the ecosystem such as predatory fish and their smaller prey interact with each other and how their numbers can change over time in response to each other. By integrating aquaculture systems into trophic models we can assess the impacts of fish farming activities on the wider ecosystem.

Spatial statistical modelling is essential to interpret survey and telemetry data to understand how wild organisms are distributed and how populations are connected. This allows us to better predict the level of impact of harvesting wild organisms and the impact of aquaculture on the natural ecosystem. Using these techniques involves correctly designing survey techniques, whether visual counts of organisms or electronic tagging equipment.

Bayesian modelling allows us to assess contrasting hypotheses about how the ecosystem operates, especially when data is limited, or the collection of historic data was haphazard.

Growth and reproductive modelling of wild and captive species is essential to understand how much of a food resource an organism must consume, and how changes to the resources in an ecosystem alter the population sizes.

We also provide modelling expertise to the wider marine science and ecological community through the MASTS ‘Introduction to Data Analysis Using R’ and NERC ‘Introduction to Mathematical Modelling’ courses. These courses can also be delivered to outside organisations.

sustainable aquaculture