# Boolean qualitative modelling on Christmas Island

Conservation managers often want us to predict how species will respond to different management options when we don’t have enough data to parameterise a dynamical model. Previously, we found that a popular Qualitative Modelling technique involving probabilistic analysis has philosophical problems and produces contradictory results. We proposed a new method, based on Boolean analysis, that remedied these problems (Kristensen et al. 2019 Meth Ecol Evol). … Continue reading Boolean qualitative modelling on Christmas Island

# Extended Tea Bag Index to measure microbial- and termite-driven decomposition in the tropics

Our new paper about using the Tea Bag Index in the tropics, headed by Aloysius Teo, has just come out in Pedobiologia. The Tea Bag Index (TBI) was designed by Keuskamp et al. (2013) as a standardised and cheap method to quantify microbial-driven decomposition by measuring the mass loss of tea within tea bags. It can be used by scientists and citizen-scientists alike. However, we … Continue reading Extended Tea Bag Index to measure microbial- and termite-driven decomposition in the tropics

# Example debugging mixed Python C++ in VS Code

Visual Studio Code has the ability to debug mixed Python with C++ extensions. In this blog post, I give an example of how to get it working. I’m going to do the example from scratch in five steps: Make virtual environment. Chances are that, if you’re doing this kind of thing, you’ll be wanting to use a virtual environment too. Write code. My toy example … Continue reading Example debugging mixed Python C++ in VS Code

# Extinction of undiscovered butterflies + tutorial

Meryl Theng just had a new paper published in Biological Conservation, where she estimated that 46% of Singapore’s butterfly species have been extirpated since 1854. The special thing about this estimate is that it includes all species that existed, including species that went extinct before we had a chance to discover them. The trick to estimating undiscovered extinctions is the SEUX model. There is a … Continue reading Extinction of undiscovered butterflies + tutorial

# New solutions for Parker sperm competition model

Parker et al. (2013) created a general model for sperm allocation under a trade-off between male investment of resources $$R$$ into pre-copulatory effort (e.g. search time) $$T$$ versus post-copulatory effort (e.g. ejaculate) $$U$$. Their model is interesting because it encompasses a range of different scenarios of female remating and the type of competition between males. For female remating scenarios, the risk model has females mating … Continue reading New solutions for Parker sperm competition model

# Playing with a new model for fugitive coexistence

I recently read a paper by Kawecki (2017), which presents a new mechanism for something analogous to fugitive coexistence. The paper has a really great literature overview, which I won’t be able to do justice here. In short, fugitive coexistence is when an inferior species persists on a patchy landscape by being a better coloniser: when a local extinction occurs, they are quicker to arrive … Continue reading Playing with a new model for fugitive coexistence

# Typo in qualitative modelling paper

There is a typo in our recent paper to MEE, Dealing with high uncertainty in qualitative network models using Boolean analysis. Example 2 of Box 1 should read “y = water/wine” not “y = wine/water”. Many thanks to Anubhav Gupta at University of Zurich for emailing us to let us know. Continue reading Typo in qualitative modelling paper

# Pretty diagram of directory structure

In a recent project, I wanted to create a diagram of a repository for the appendix of a paper, including comments to highlight key files and explain how the folders were organised. I found this answer on Stack Exchange by user Gonzalo Medina, which I tweaked to produce the diagram below. The code is below: Continue reading Pretty diagram of directory structure

# Why does it matter to conservation decision-making if alternative Qualitative Modelling methods produce contradictory predictions?

Previously, I have written about how the probabilistic approach to Qualitative Modelling (QM) (e.g. Raymond et al. 2011) can lead to contradictory predictions of species response to a management intervention, and how this is similar to the paradoxes of the Principle of Indifference that we find in the philosophy literature. A reviewer of our new manuscript (Kristensen et al. 2019) asked us an interesting and … Continue reading Why does it matter to conservation decision-making if alternative Qualitative Modelling methods produce contradictory predictions?

# Relationship between species discovery and extinction probability

What is the relationship between a plant’s historical probability of having being discovered and its probability that it went extinct? All else being equal, species with low abundance are less likely to be collected, and low abundance is both theoretically (e.g. McCarthy et al., 2014) and empirically cited as a good predictor of extinction probability. The empirical relationship has been observed both in general (McKinney, … Continue reading Relationship between species discovery and extinction probability