Animal Demography Unit (ADU)
The Animal Demography Unit is built on three pillars. Digital Biodiversity. Some 16 million dated and georeferenced records of birds, butterflies, frogs, mammals and reptiles, stretching over decades, form the platform for research for understanding the factors influencing the animal distributions, and how they are changing through time, with climate change one of the potential explanations. Citizen Science. This database was almost exclusively collected by citizen scientists, trained to collect the records according to well-defined protocols. The ADU views these people as partners, and seeks to provide feedback that enables them to be “ambassadors for biodiversity” in their communities, able to explain how their participation in these projects contributes to conservation research and conservation policy. Statistical Ecology. This new discipline is on the interface between Statistics and Biology. It puts Statistics into Biology and Biology into Statistics. We aim to do our statistical analyses to the most rigourous standards, generating inferences that are well supported by the database. A strong theme is to undertaking modelling of changes in animal distributions using a broad set of explanatory variables, including those related to climate.