Robust, rigorous, transparent, and statistically-sound ecology and environmental science research is central to achieving national and international sustainable development goals and has never been more important for our society. Unprecedented changes in our environment, climate and biodiversity are having an increasing impact on lives and societies around the world and have become key areas for policymakers, who's decisions are necessarily underpinned by the scientific research in these areas.
BioSS's Ecology and Environmental Science (EES) group statisticians collaborate on research and consultancy centred on the multi-disciplinary study of the Earth’s physical and biological environments, and how organisms live and interact with, and within, their habitats. This includes the impact and mitigation of climate change (environmental science), species distributions and biodiversity assessment and monitoring (ecology, geographical science), pollution monitoring (environmental chemistry, soil science, hydrology), soil and peatland health (soil science, geochemistry), land-use management and change (geographical science, agricultural ecology), forensics, and the relationships between humans and their environment (social science). For examples of work in this area please see the case studies below.
EES statisticians aim to drive open, statistically robust, ecology and environmental science research through collaborations with domain-expert scientists on world-class application-driven research projects, and through giving expert advice on both quantitative and qualitative analysis, and on both experimental and observational study design. Our projects range in scale from detailed experiments which investigate particular processes under controlled conditions, through to national monitoring schemes, which provide broadly-based information about our changing environment. BioSS's EES statisticians also play a key role in developing and interpreting a robust evidence base to underpin the policies and decisions taken by local and national decision-makers, including advising the Scottish government, and other stakeholders. Within BioSS, EES has particularly strong overlapping links with the research and consultancy work of the Offshore Renewables Group, and it is common for staff to work across both areas.
BioSS's work in this area is funded by RESAS and other sources, such as grants from the Natural Environment Research Council and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. We have strong ongoing links with the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, NatureScot, the Centre of Expertise for Waters, and the other SEFARI institutes.