Fellows Highlight: Matthew Clement- Improving Models to Estimate Changes in Bird Distribution

Monday, June 13, 2016
Matthew Clement

Matthew Clement

To better understand how birds will be impacted by a changing climate, researchers from the USGS, including NE CSC’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Matthew Clement of the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (also a USGS Mendenhall Fellow), improved statistical methods for estimating presence and abundance in the face of imperfect detection during point counts of the Breeding Bird Survey.

Climate change can affect the distribution of birds through direct and indirect effects, including insects, vegetation, and disease.  A paper stemming from the NE CSC project, “Avian Indicators of Climate Change Based on the North American Breeding Bird Survey”, led by James Nichols, shows results of improved modeling techniques used to predict range shifts of birds due to a number of factors. Appropriate ecological indicators of climate change can be used to measure concurrent changes in ecological systems, inform management decisions, and potentially to project the consequences of climate change on the area occupied and mean latitude of breeding birds’ range. The paper, “Estimating indices of range shifts in birds using dynamic models when detection is imperfect” is published online in Global Change Biology this month. 

Matt has taken a position with the Arizona Game and Fish Department and will be joining the NE CSC Fellows alumni roster. As a Biometrician for Arizona, Matt will assist with the development of research study plans and statistical analysis of research data in support of wildlife management activities and preparation of reports and publications. 


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