CREEM Research Day 2021
Viviana Brambilla, Cher Chow, Maria Dornelas, and Garrett Fundakowski attended the CREEM Interdisciplinary Research Day hosted by the University of St Andrews’ Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling (CREEM). The theme for the Research Day was ‘Exploring Interdisciplinary Research in Ecology’. The aim of the event was to share and discuss the challenges being faced by researchers from different disciplines that use digital technology to address ecological questions, as well as identify and explore opportunities for interdisciplinary research collaborations.
Representatives from the lab gave two 10-minute talks entitled “Reefs in 3D” and “360 adapted remote underwater videos for reef fish surveys” that outlined challenges the team currently faces and proposed ways that other technologies and collaborations could enhance our research. Specifically of interest to the team is automated image classification using machine-learning algorithms that can highlight and identify individual corals and fishes in each respective data stream. Other challenges discussed included statistical analysis of spatial patterns on Reef Record coral demography data as well as accounting for possible pseudoreplication of fish in RUV surveys.
The day ended with enlightening discussions between researchers from different departments within the university that highlighted the importance and the need for continued dialogue and networking to facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration to further harness the power of technology for addressing ecological questions.