Fantastic Beasts and How to Count Them Inaugural Lecture by Professor Len Thomas
Professor Len Thomas of the School of Mathematics and Statistics will deliver his Inaugural Lecture on “Fantastic beasts and how to count them”.
Our natural world is full of fantastic beasts, but many are under threat from human-caused changes to their environment. Effective conservation of wildlife populations relies on our answering four Ws: what (current population size), where (spatial distribution), when (trends over time) and why (causes of trends). In this lecture, Len will show how statistical research and technological advances are used to enable better answers. Fantastic beasts showcased will include punk monkeys (critically endangered cottontop tamarin), mysterious breath-hold champions (beaked whale species, mostly unknown conservation status) and panda-eyed porpoises (critically endangered vaquita). Human-caused stressors range from the obviously bad (Deepwater Horizon oil spill) to those that are more nuanced (e.g., marine wind farms). The lecture will not involve any magic. It will, however, be followed by a reception in Lower College Hall, to which all are welcome.