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Species distribution modelling as a marine conservation tool

Semester 3

Modelling species’ distribution has widespread application in marine ecology and conservation. By combining data on the abundance/distribution/presence of a species with biotic and abiotic co-variable it is possible to model a predictive distribution of species of interest. This biogeographic output may in turn, be used to identify locations where species can exist, or how changes in environmental conditions may affect current distribution patterns.


The Syllabus will include:

  1. Introduction to species distribution modelling
  2. Species distribution modelling techniques: 
  • Data types and sources
  • Model types and sources

     3. Interpretation of model data for conservation purposes

This module utilises a case study approach to teach the theoretical and practical aspects of the topic.

Final Competencies

1  Demonstrate an understanding of the theoretical basis and limitations of species distribution modelling.

2  Employ appropriate species distribution modelling techniques.

3  Assess the efficacy a model in predicting species distributions.

4  Using a case study approach, apply models to address marine conservation questions.


Further course information can be found here: