The conservation decisions team has a new team leader!

That is now official, I am the new team leader of the conservation decisions team and we will be hiring this year! So stay tuned if you are looking for a wicked postdoc position in adaptive management/computational sustainability!


New paper out: Growing biodiverse carbon-rich forests

Congratulations to JB Pichancourt and team: An excellent work in an excellent journal! Feel free to contact JB directly if you require additional information on our paper.Pichancourt, JB; Firn, J,; Chades, I.; Martin T.G. 2013. Growing Biodiverse Carbon-Rich Forests. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12345

Regrowing forests on cleared land is a key strategy to achieve both biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation globally. Maximizing these co-benefits, however, remains theoretically and technically challenging because of the complex relationship between carbon sequestration and biodiversity in forests, the strong influence of climate variability and landscape position on forest development, the large number of restoration strategies possible, and long time-frames needed to declare success.Through the synthesis of three decades of knowledge on forest dynamics and plant functional traits combined with decision science, we demonstrate that we cannot always maximize carbon sequestration by simply increasing the functional trait diversity of trees planted. Continue reading New paper out: Growing biodiverse carbon-rich forests

My ICCB talk is available online

A small post from Baltimore, I gave my talk this morning and I have been asked for the slides. I had many interesting feedback for this talk. I will try to account for as many as I can. Thanks!


Eliciting expert opinion and the 4-point estimates method

I’m currently involved in 3 projects where data is not available but we still need to provide guidance to managers on what action will be most efficient. In such cases, we have no choice but eliciting information from experts. There are many ways of proceeding, and you can find relevant information on google, but I still find that the details of how exactly doing it isn’t written anywhere. I feel that there is a big part of non-written way of proceeding that would benefit many of us. So if you are an expert in expert elicitation, please write us a guide – e.g. not another review!

For example we had trouble using 4-point estimates* data, and explaining to our experts what the confidence value represented. We did explain it many times, but we still get errors when we analyze the data. I do feel sorry for our experts that constantly have to rethink their values.

Beta distribution corresponding to the 4-point estimates
Beta distribution corresponding to the 4-point estimates

With internship student Martin Peron, we have developed a program to fit beta distribution to 4-point estimates. We are hoping to submit this program to MATLAB exchange very soon (and GNU Octave). So stay tuned if you are looking for such a program!

* 4 point estimates: best guess, min, max and confidence that the true value of the parameter we are estimating lies in this interval.

Good news

I had good news yesterday.

1) I received a Julius Career Award to help me doing my research on adaptive management over the next 3 years and in particular a 6-month sabbatical.

2) We made substantial progress on our research project where we are trying to find the best social network for a given ecological network. We spent the day brainstorming and programming with Sam Nicol, Shaun Coutts and Angela. Jesse Hoey has been very helpful too and kindly updated SPUDD for the purpose of this study. I feel that this project has the potential to be a kick-ass paper. It feels great to do some cool fresh science!

3) I’m also the new Team Leader of our Conservation Decisions team. I hope I can keep managing my time efficiently so that I can produce good science and mentoring to the team.

I’m off to ICCB in 15 days (Baltimore) and then France for more adaptive management research!