Distributional ecology is a growing field of science dedicated to characterize species distributions based on their ecological niches. Based on early work from Joseph Grinnell and G. Evelyn Hutchinson most of tools in this field consider the environmental characteristics where species are found to model their niches via correlative approaches. Currently, this methods are used widely and their applications include disease risk mapping, climate change risk predictions, conservation biology, among others. Physiological data suggests that Grinnellian niches are convex in nature and they may probably have an ellipsoidal form when multiple dimensions are considered. However, among the available software in the field, algorithms to model ecological niches as ellipsoids in the environmental space are scarce. Several analyses, not currently available, can be performed assuming ellipsoidal niches, especially if recent literature is considered. This project aims to develop an R package of specialized tools to perform multiple analyses of ecological niches using ellipsoids. A broad community of researchers and students will find this open source tools useful in performing their analyses.

Student

Marlon E. Cobos

Mentors

  • Luis Osorio
  • Narayani Barve
  • Vijay Barve
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2019