Activities & Events

  • BEGIN seminar – Dr Richard Streeter

    Date: 24 November 2020
    Time: 15:00-16:00
    Venue: The link for the event will be sent on the morning of the 24th to those that RSVP

    Please RSVP at begin.standrews@gmail.com until Mon 23rd of September to receive the link.
    All welcome!

    Using UAVs (drones) to assess spatial patterns of erosion in a high-latitude rangeland, Iceland

    High-latitude areas are experiencing rapid change: we therefore need a better understanding of the processes controlling soil erosion in these environments. In this talk I describe how drones were used as part of a spatiotemporal approach to investigate soil erosion in Svalbarðstunga, Iceland (66°N, 15°W), a degraded rangeland. We used three complementary datasets: (a) high- resolution unmanned-aerial vehicle imagery collected from 12 sites (total area ~0.75 km2); (b) historical imagery of the same sites; and (c) a simple, spatially-explicit cellular automata model. We found that there was no simple relationship between location along the environmental gradient and the spatial characteristics of erosion. The importance of abiotic processes to the growth of large erosion patches and their relative insensitivity to current environmental conditions makes it likely that the total eroded area will continue to increase, despite a warming climate and reducing levels of grazing pressure. I will also talk about how future research plans in this area will use UAVs.

    Biography

    Dr Richard Streeter is a Lecturer in Environmental Geography at the University of St Andrews. His research focusses on three main areas: volcanic ash (tephra); human-environment interactions over the Holocene, and spatial patterns of land-degradation over decades-centuries.

  • BEGIN seminar – Ms Sian Green

    Date: 15 September 2020
    Time: 15:00-16:00
    Venue: The link for the event will be sent on the morning of the 15th to those that RSVP

    Please RSVP at begin.standrews@gmail.com until Mon 14th of September to receive the link.
    All welcome!

    Using camera traps to monitor wildlife at local and national scales

    Remotely activated cameras, commonly known as camera traps or trail cameras are an increasingly popular method used in wildlife research. Camera traps cause only a low level of disturbance and can be used to help answer a range of ecological questions, from occupancy and population density to movement and animal behaviour. They can be used to answer such questions at a range of spatial scales, but appropriate survey design is imperative in order to provide reliable data. Camera distribution, placement and set up can all influence the data that is collected. In this talk I will describe two examples of how camera traps can be used to answer ecological questions at very different scales, one from a short-term study of a 14km wildlife corridor in Kenya, and the other from a long-term UK wide citizen science mammal monitoring project, MammalWeb. Within this I will discuss some of the challenges faced when using camera traps for research and monitoring as well as some of solutions currently being put forward.

    Biography

    Sian Green an IAPETUS DTP funded PhD student in the Departments of Anthropology and Biology at Durham University, supervised by Prof. Russell Hill and Dr. Philip Stephens. I am currently working with the citizen science project ‘MammalWeb’ and my research focuses on analysing methods for camera trap data collection and public engagement. Previous work includes research on the Mount Kenya Elephant Corridor while studying for an M.Res at Southampton University.

  • BEGIN seminar – Prof Ana Basiri

    Date: 29 July 2020
    Time: 15:00-16:00
    Venue: The link for the event will be sent on the morning of the 29th to those that RSVP

    Please RSVP at begin.standrews@gmail.com until Tue 28th of July to receive the link.
    All welcome!

    Extracting 3D maps of cities from blockage and attenuation of Positioning signals

    3-Dimensional (3D) models of cities are beneficial or even essential for many applications, including energy consumption modelling, emergency evacuation and responses, positioning and navigation (particularly for autonomous cars and drones in urban canyons), and Building Information Modelling (BIM). This talk discusses the crowdsourcing-based approach to create accurate 3D models from the blockage and attenuation of the free-to-use and globally-available data of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and other available signals such as WiFi. The effects of urban features, such as buildings and trees, on GNSS signals, i.e. signal blockage and obstruction, and attenuation will help to recognise the shape, size, and materials of urban features, through the application of statistical, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques. The spatio-temporal patterns will be used for creating and updating the 3D models of cities at a high level of detail (LoDs), i.e. approximating the façade and the building materials, e.g. windows, from which the signals are reflected or have gone through. The 3D models will feed into 3D-mapping aided GNSS positioning (and integrated with other signals e.g. WiFi) which can ultimately provide more continuous and accurate GNSS positioning in urban canyons and indoors.

    Biography

    Professor Ana Basiri holds a chair position in Geospatial Data Science at the University of Glasgow and is a UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellow, and the Editor in Chief of Journal of Navigation. Ana works on developing solutions that consider gaps, unavailability, and biases in crowdsourced data as a useful source of data. For this, she leads an interdisciplinary team and collaborates with world-leading academic and industrial partners, including Ordnance Survey GB, Uber, Alan Turing Institute, and engage with the public, policymakers and government. She has published more than 40 peer-reviewed journal papers and book chapters, chaired several conferences, and received several awards and prizes, including Women Role Model in Science by Alexander Humboldt and European Commission Marie Curie Alumni.

  • BEGIN seminar – Dr Yhasmin Moura

    Date: 23 June 2020
    Time: 15:00-16:00
    Venue: Online

    The link for the event will be sent on the morning of the 23rd to those that RSVP to begin.standrews@gmail.com.

    Please RSVP until Mon 22nd of June.
    All welcome!

     

    Resiliency, functioning and processes of tropical forests: A view from the above

    The Amazon rainforest covers about 40% of the South American continent and is the world’s biggest tropical forest. The Amazon alone holds about 10 per cent of the world’s known biodiversity in their terrestrial, fresh water and marine ecosystems. However, they remain subject to high levels of deforestation, fragmentation, selective logging and fires. The ongoing exposure of tropical ecosystems to these anthropogenic pressures has significant consequences to biodiversity, livelihoods of local and indigenous communities, and substantial concerns about the future of tropical forests as a component of the global climate system. In this seminar, Dr. Yhasmin will be presenting her previous and current research where she is working on the development of new approaches, based on earth observation data, to access carbon dynamics and climate sensitivity of Amazonian forests. On her presentation, she will cover some of her research focusing on the understanding of forest resilience, functioning and process of Amazon forests and how this changing ecosystem will face global climate change.

    Biography

    Yhasmin is a Remote Sensing researcher and a love reader, whose work is inspired by ecological and environmental functioning and how natural ecosystems will face the daunting task of assessing climate change. She holds a Royal Society Newton International Fellowship at the Centre for Landscape and Climate Change, University of Leicester – UK. Her project aims to unveil vegetation functioning and carbon dynamics over degraded and secondary forests in the Amazon.

  • BEGIN seminar – Dr Yhasmin Moura

    Date: 17 March 2020
    Time: 15:00-16:00
    Venue: School VI

     

    Resiliency, functioning and processes of tropical forests: A view from the above

    The Amazon rainforest covers about 40% of the South American continent and is the world’s biggest tropical forest. The Amazon alone holds about 10 per cent of the world’s known biodiversity in their terrestrial, fresh water and marine ecosystems. However, they remain subject to high levels of deforestation, fragmentation, selective logging and fires. The ongoing exposure of tropical ecosystems to these anthropogenic pressures has significant consequences to biodiversity, livelihoods of local and indigenous communities, and substantial concerns about the future of tropical forests as a component of the global climate system. In this seminar, Dr. Yhasmin will be presenting her previous and current research where she is working on the development of new approaches, based on earth observation data, to access carbon dynamics and climate sensitivity of Amazonian forests. On her presentation, she will cover some of her research focusing on the understanding of forest resilience, functioning and process of Amazon forests and how this changing ecosystem will face global climate change.

    Biography

    Yhasmin is a Remote Sensing researcher and a love reader, whose work is inspired by ecological and environmental functioning and how natural ecosystems will face the daunting task of assessing climate change. She holds a Royal Society Newton International Fellowship at the Centre for Landscape and Climate Change, University of Leicester – UK. Her project aims to unveil vegetation functioning and carbon dynamics over degraded and secondary forests in the Amazon.

  • Speed Talks organized by the Animal Movement and Spatial Ecology Discussion Group and BEGIN

    Date: 3rd of March
    Time: 10:00-12:00
    Venue: Corner meeting room at the Scottish Oceans Institute

    The Animal Movement and Spatial Ecology Discussion Group includes researchers from across the university interested in animal movement and spatial ecology.

    We invite you to our next meeting where we plan to share our work through speed talks and then to have coffee, tea and cakes.

    The speed talks can be from 30 seconds to 2 minutes with 1 or 2 slides and should be a quick overview of your work (at any stage) and are also an opportunity to raise something specific that you’d like to discuss with someone afterwards. The talks will be followed by informal discussions.

    The ‘corner meeting room’ of the new SOI building at East Sands is upstairs in the front right corner if you are looking out to the sea.

    What you need to do:
    1. RSVP to Rob Patchett (rbp3) by midday on Friday 21st (this Friday!) if you plan to attend so that we can arrange refreshments.
    2. Send Rob Patchett (rbp3) your slide(s) by Friday 28th (there will be a reminder next week).

    Thank you,

    Rob, James and Urska

     

  • BEGIN seminar – Dr David McArthur

    Date: 18 February 2020
    Time: 15:00-16:00
    Venue: School VI

    Understanding and promoting cycling using crowdsourced data

    Cycling is increasingly seen as a way of dealing with a variety of social problems: from dealing with the climate emergency to improving public health. Unfortunately, in the UK cycling is not a common mode choice. Governments have made money available to encourage more people to get on their bikes. A large portion of this money has been spent on new infrastructure. However, it hasn’t always been easy to evaluate whether this is effective due to a lack of appropriate data. In recent years, the proliferation of smartphones and activity-tracking apps such as Strava has made new, detailed mobility data available to researchers. In this talk, I will present some of the ways we have been making use of this data at the Urban Big Data Centre (UBDC).

    Biography

    David McArthur is Senior Lecturer in Transport Studies and Associate Director of the Urban Big Data Centre at the University of Glasgow. An economist by training, his current work looks at how new and emerging forms of data can be used to better understand cities; with a particular focus on the promotion of walking and cycling as modes of transport.

     

     

  • BEGIN seminar – Vanessa Brum-Bastos

    Date: 21 January 20120
    Time: 15:00-16:00
    Venue: School VI

    Movement analytics: using geospatial temporal data to understand behavior

    Movement analytics has been boosted in the recent years by the ubiquitous availability and quality of spatio-temporal data on people and wildlife. Movement ecology and human mobility are the two main application areas of movement analytics, the first one aims to understand wildlife behavior for conservation purposes mostly, whilst the second one looks at human movement to improve transportation and urban planning, particularly in the context of smart cities. Location-based services and GPS trackers are constantly creating massive data-sets on individuals’ locations at specific timestamps. These data-sets can be analyzed to extract movement patterns, which in conjunction with contextual data can lead to a further understanding of behavior.  In this seminar, Dr Brum-Bastos will present her work on the influence of the weather on human movement in Scotland – UK, bicycling ridership patterns in San Francisco – US and the impact of e-scooters in Tempe – US.

    Biography

    Vanessa Brum-Bastos is a Research Fellow at the School of Geography and Sustainable Development at the University of St Andrews. Currently, she works with Dr Urska Demsar on the project Uncovering the Mechanisms of Migratory Bird Navigation with Big Data Analytics funded by the Leverhulme Trust. Dr Bastos research focuses on the development and implementation of Context-Aware Movement Analysis (CAMA) to further understand behavior from movement data. More specifically, she is interested in combining movement data with environmental and socio-economic variables to understand how different factors can influence human mobility and wildlife behavior. This knowledge is critical for planning equalitarian sustainable transportation systems, as well as designing biodiversity conservation plans.

     

     

  • BEGIN seminar – Theoni Photopoulou

    Date: 17 December 2019
    Time: 15:00-16:00
    Venue: School VI

    Using time series models to make biological inferences from animal tracking data

    Animal location data can be thought of as time series of individual animal behaviour. This type of animal movement data can be effectively analysed using statistical models for time series to help understand what the animal is “doing”. One class of time series models that has become popular for analysing animal tracking data are hidden Markov models (HMMs). These models fall under the umbrella of state-space models, where we assume that the time series of observations is generated by an underlying “hidden” time series of system states, and that the observations and underlying states are linked in some way. The dependence structure between the observations and underlying, unobserved states allows us to make inferences about the unobserved time series, from the observed one. I will show examples of what we can learn about animal movement data using HMMs, based on two case studies from marine systems: acoustic detections of great white sharks and satellite locations of Weddell seals.

    Bio

    Theoni Photopoulou is a Newton International Fellow in the School of Biology. She has a background in marine ecology and statistics and splits her time between the Scottish Oceans Institute and the Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling.

     

     

  • GIS Day 11/11/19

    GIS Day @ St Andrews
    When: Mon. Nov 11, 2019
    13:00 – 15:00
    Where: SMC:T201 – Lecture Room 1, St Mary’s College, South Street

    Speakers:

    GIS in the energy industry (Joe Marple, Graduate
    Environmental Consultant, Xodus Group, Aberdeen)

    Mapping a PhD in bird navigation (Beate Zein, PhD
    Candidate, School of Geography & SD, St Andrews)

    From paper‐sheet to field data collection – ArcGIS for
    Developers (Fernando Benitez, Postdoctoral Researcher,
    School of Geography & SD, St Andrews)y

    Geospatial data in the wild: how small companies with big
    data approach GIS (Carson Farmer, Open Source
    Developer, Textile.io, Victoria, Canada)

    See also: http://www.gisday.com/

    GIS Day Poster 2019