IMCC4 Session Focus: Increasing the utility of predictive models


Dear Marine Section Members and IMCC4 Attendees,

You are invited to a combined symposium and focus group on how to improve the usefulness of predictions derived from statistical models of marine biodiversity.

Increasing the utility of predictive models: Understanding model transferability Sunday, 31 July from 08.30 am to 1.00 pm in Salon G


Prediction maps of fish species richness (S) at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia, obtained from both models developed in the Great Barrier Reef (scenarios A–G) and from local models. Figure taken from Sequeira et al. (2015). Transferability of predictive models of coral reef fish species richness. Journal of Applied Ecology, 53(1): 64-72.

In the face of global environmental change and scant conservation resources, it is critical that models of biota distribution, abundance or species richness be broadly applicable. The session will therefore concentrate on the issue of spatial and temporal transferability, i.e. the process of building a model in a given area (or time period) and projecting it into another for inference.

In the first half of the session (symposium SY42), a series of keynote presentations will be given to summarise the current state of knowledge on model transferability, illustrating this with practical examples of both transferred models that have performed well and others that have not done so well. The second half (focus group FG43) will take the form of a round-table discussion during which participants will be able to share their experience, recent findings, and formulate questions to identify the fundamental obstacles and opportunities to making transferability a central part of model development and testing.

Results from the focus group will provide the foundation for a written publication in the open-access journal Frontiers in Marine Science, to which participants will be encouraged to contribute.

There are no registration fees, however light refreshments and finger food will be provided so please RSVP to so that we can cater for the right number of participants.

Looking forward to seeing you there,

Symposium and focus group organisers.


Dr. Katherine Yates – University of Salford

Dr. Ana Sequeira – University of Western Australia

Dr. Phil Bouchet – University of Western Australia

Dr. Julian Caley – Queensland University of Technology

Prof. Kerrie Mengersen – Queensland University of Technology

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