ResearchWorking linesSpatial modeling

Spatial modeling

Dr. Cañadas started applying the method of spatial mdoelling of cetaceans survey data in 2001, short after this method was born in the field of cetacean studies, thanks to the work of Sharon Hedley from CREEM (Center for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling) at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, in 1999. Ana Cañadas started working in this field precisely at the University of St Andrews when she started her PhD in 2000 under the supervision of Prof. Phil Hammond, and thanks to the support and advices from Sharon and other researchers from CREEM and SMRU (Sea Mammal Research Unit).

With this mehtod we aim to:

  • Investigate the spatial distribution and habitat preferences of several species of cetacenas, seabirs and the loggerhead turtle, based on the preferences shown for specific characteristics of the marine environment.
  • Evaluate the importance of "intrinsic" factors of the popualtions or groups in the habitat use, such as presence of calves, beahviour, etc.
  • Identify the areas with higher density, the most sensitive areas (e.g. those used more frquently for feeding or when ahving calves), and the areas with more important threats from human activities for each species and/or groups of species.
  • According to the previosu point, identify the areas that should be subject of some degree of protection (marine protected areas) and the msot needed, appropriate and feasible mitigation measures for each species / groups of species and area.

Up to now, this work has yielded several scientific publications and PhD, Master and Diploma Thesis.

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