I am a wildlife ecologist with a passion for polar and marine ecosystems. I love to tackle difficult problems and much of my work involves developing quantitative methods that help empiricists answer challenging ecological questions. I am currently working for the Ocean Tracking Network and my current research focuses on understanding the movement strategies used by marine animals to find resources and cope with the dynamics of their habitat.
Aurelie Cosandey Godin
Bycatch commonly refers to the part of the catch that is not a legal target of the fishery; it may be retained and landed but is often discarded (dead or alive). High levels of bycatch are predominant problems in fisheries and are a main cause of population declines in several species of sharks and skates around the world. One of the first steps in addressing bycatch issues are to identify and prioritize key conservation and management areas. These priority areas are often referred to as hotspots and are locations where bycatch patterns indicate abnormally high risk. Details information on bycatch patterns and their drivers can help establish effective spatial management, such as time-area closures, gear restrictions and catch quotas that are spatially explicit. The goal of my doctoral research is to analyze elasmobranch (sharks, skates, rays) bycatch hotspots and their relationships to environmental and operational factors in Canadian waters. A central focus of my research is also to apply new statistical modelling techniques better adapted to bycatch datasets.This work is funded by World Wildlife Fund Canada, who is currently running a Shark Conservation Project in Atlantic Canada.
After completing my BSc Honours with Dr. Mills Flemming in the spring of 2014, I was lucky enough to start my MSc with her the following fall. I am interested in movement ecology and the environmental factors that drive it, specifically in marine systems. While technological advancements for tracking animals and measuring ocean characteristics mean that increasingly more information is available to study movement ecology, these sorts of information (e.g. animal tracks, sea surface temperature, and bathymetry) are often available on different temporal and spatial scales. My MSc work will be devoted to developing and testing statistical methodologies for relating animal movement to these different sources of information. I am excited to take on this challenge under the guidance and unwavering support of Dr. Mills Flemming.
After graduating with a B.Sc. in Marine Biology with a minor in Statistics in May 2018, I was lucky enough to start my Master’s in Biology with Joanna Mills Flemming and Jeff Hutchings. My focus is on integrating fine-scale spatial information into the Nova Scotia Inshore scallop stock assessment using geostatistical methods. I have long been interested in fisheries science and Dr. Mills Flemming gave me the opportunity to focus on the statistical side of it through spatial statistics. Furthermore, I hope to expand these spatial approaches to other problems associated with fisheries science such as analyzing bycatch trends in space.
After a two-year postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Joanna Mills Flemming within the CANSSI Collaborative Research Team Advancements to State Space Models for Fisheries Science.
(Sofie) Yuan Yan
I joined Joanna’s group for the CANSSI-CRT project “Towards Sustainable Fisheries: State Space Assessment Models for Complex Fisheries and Biological Data” since January 1st, 2019 after I obtained my Ph.D. in Statistics, 2018 from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). My research focus is spatio-temporal data modelling, especially for non-Gaussian data.
I completed both my BSc and MSc under the supervision and guidance of Joanna Mills Flemming at Dalhousie University. While completing my MSc, I accepted a position at Statistics Canada as a Methodologist (mathematical statistician). I am now a specialist in sample survey methodology and data management with experience in health and justice statistics. My areas of expertise are in data analysis, administrative and sample survey data, spatial analysis and spatial modeling, dietary intake software and nutritional data, frame selection and maintenance, sample size determination and allocation, record linkage, disclosure control, editing and imputation, complex sample weighting, estimation, non-response adjustments and variance estimation. I also instruct two introductory level statistics courses and was recently promoted to a Senior Methodologist position.
SarARA mENG LI
I took STAT 2080 with Dr. Mills Flemming in the winter of 2017. The course was very well-designed and everything was explained clearly. Throughout the course, she has not only taught us the essential approaches to conduct statistical analyses, but also illustrated the typical way of thinking as a statistician. This summer, I was very lucky to work with her and see first-hand what was it like to carry out study independently. I have learnt so much from reading papers, learning statistical softwares, and attending the graduates’ weekly get-together. I appreciate this wonderful experience as it has expanded my horizon and inspired me to learn more in the following year.
Professor Mills Flemming was very organized, and each of her classes were well laid out. She tries very hard to make sure the class understands the concepts and is always very open to questions.
I obtained my Ph.D in Dynamic population in December 2018 from the French National Agency for Wildlife and the University of Montpellier (France) about the population dynamic of a diving duck, the Common Pochard, in Europe. In January 2019, I started my postdoctoral fellowship with Joanna in collaboration with the Institute Maurice-Lamontagne (DFO Mont-Joli, Québec) thanks to the project “Towards Sustainable Fisheries: State Space Assessment Models for Complex Fisheries and Biological Data”. My research focuses on the Greenland Halibut, whose main goal is to better define its growth demographic parameter in order to integrate it into a stock assessment model.
After graduating from Dalhousie in 2006 with my MSc in Statistics, I began my career at Statistics Canada as a Methodologist (mathematical statistician). As a Methodologist, I work as part of a team to provide statistical service to clients working in many subject areas. To date, I have had the opportunity to work on the Census of Population, agricultural surveys and tax data projects. Dr. Flemming helped to prepare me for my career as a Methodologist. As a student of Dr. Flemming’s Longitudinal Data Analysis course, I was encouraged to work as a team with other members of my class to complete assignments and to understand concepts. As well, I had the opportunity to work on a consultation project with Dr. Flemming. This was a valuable experience that I have been able to draw on throughout my career.
My masters research with Dr. Flemming and the Ocean Tracking Network focused on two methodological challenges associated with analyzing data from these novel acoustic transceivers deployed on grey seals: (1) Quantifying changes in tag performance; (2) Analysing non-traditional survey data gathered by seals.Under Dr. Flemming’s guidance and supervision I have developed a strong foundation in statistical linear modeling (e.g., generalized linear models, mixed models, and generalized additive models) and the development of computer scripts for analyzing and visualizing high resolution scientific data. With this training I feel prepared to embark on the next step of my career, a PhD in Biology at the University of Glasgow. In Glasgow, I will be studying the underlying determinants of rabies persistence and evaluating how vaccination strategies can be optimized to eliminate infection.
Joanna took the time to ensure all students were keeping up and thoroughly explained concepts. Her notes were well organized and she was always available to help with assignment questions.
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