Cory Merow Workshop: An introduction to demography with links to species’ ranges

ESC 110 See map

In this hands-on workshop, we will explore the basic tools of demography to infer attributes of species’ populations. These models have been critical for understanding plant and animal population dynamics, population viability, evolutionarily stable strategies, interspecific competition, and range dynamics, among many other applications. Building on common matrix modeling approaches, participants will receive a practical introduction to integral projection models and learn how to organize and analyze provided data sets in order to construct and interpret models. Though they may sounds a bit daunting, these models will be accessible to anyone familiar with regression modeling. We will perform a variety of common demographic analyses, including calculating population growth rate, stable stage distributions, lifespans, passage times, and sensitivity/elasticity analysis. We will conclude by showing how these analyses can be linked to environmental covariates to predict species’ ranges. Participants should arrive with R installed on their computers.