Title: Making better conservation decisions

Abstract: Conservation actions are urgently needed to safeguard species and the processes that sustain biodiversity. However, efforts to conserve biodiversity are complicated by the fact that existing information is incomplete and available resources are limited. In this seminar, I will discuss strategies for overcoming these challenges to develop cost-effective conservation plans. I will show how conservation plans can be improved by applying advanced algorithms, strategically collecting data, and employing cost-effective surrogates when high quality datasets (e.g. genetic data) are too costly. I will also elaborate on the importance of explicitly considering objectives and constraints when allocating conservation resources. By using cost-effective plans to inform decision making, conservation efforts stand a far greater chance at enhancing the long-term persistence of biodiversity.

BioSketch: Jeffrey Hanson is a postdoctoral scientist at Carleton University, Canada. His research focuses on solving the challenges that prevent us from creating cost-effective plans to conserve biodiversity. To make his research accessible, he also develops data processing and decision support tools (e.g., prioritizr, raptr, oppr, wdpar R packages). For more information, see his website: http://jeffrey-hanson.com.