Dr Xiaotian Zheng is a Research Fellow in the School of Mathematics and Applied Statistics at the University of Wollongong. He will give a presentation (“Antarctic Biodiversity Modelling With Uncertainty Quantification”) during Global Climate Change Week (GCCW) 2023 (A Joint NIASRA-SAEF Seminar)
Time: 14.00 - 15.00, Thursday, 19 October 2023
Location: Building 20, Room 3, University of Wollongong and Zoom*
*Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register and receive the Zoom link by e-mail if attending virtually.
Abstract: Understanding and predicting Antarctic biodiversity responses to climate change is critical for informing conservation planning and management in Antarctica. Biodiversity, with its multi-dimensional nature, interacts with climate change in complex ways. In this talk, we will consider changes in species composition along environmental distances over space, using generalised dissimilarity models. Throughout the talk, the biodiversity modelling will be illustrated using assemblage data for lichens from Bunger Hills, an ice-free area in East Antarctica. As one of the most species-rich vegetation groups, lichens are capable of surviving and thriving in the extreme conditions of Antarctica, and thus lichen diversity is pivotal to the structure and functioning of Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems. Due to its unique location, Antarctica remains a region with an extreme environment that limits accessibility to data. Here, we will quantify the uncertainty that arises from using coarse-resolution numerical climate data instead of in-situ measurements, and propagate the uncertainty to the analysis of lichen diversity. The presented work is in collaboration with Noel Cressie and Andrew Zammit-Mangion from the University of Wollongong, and David Clarke and Melodie McGeoch from La Trobe University.
Biography: Dr Xiaotian Zheng is Research Fellow in the School of Mathematics and Applied Statistics at the University of Wollongong. As part of the ARC-funded Securing Antarctica’s Environmental Future (SAEF) Special Research Initiative, his current research involves spatial biodiversity modelling and statistical downscaling for regional climate variables with uncertainty quantification. Before moving to Wollongong, Xiaotian received his PhD in Statistical Science from the University of California, Santa Cruz, during which his works won student paper awards from the American Statistical Association and the International Society for Bayesian Analysis. His research interests broadly lie in parametric and nonparametric statistical methods for complex and dependent data.
Acknowledgement: The project is funded through ARCRIEAS grant No. SR200100005, Securing Antarctica's Environmental Future.