COMPADRE & COMADRE: new R functionality for pressing ecological needs

Demography is central to ecology, evolution and conservation science. Matrix population models are popular demographic tools due to their solid mathematical foundations and biological applications. For example, matrix models can be analysed to examine how populations change over time, which life stages are most vulnerable to environmental changes, and potential impacts of different management actions.

In the last decade, we have been collecting, standardising, error-checking, complementing matrix population models from published resources with additional ecological, biogeographic and phylogenetic information. This info is available open-access through the COMPADRE (plants) and COMADRE (animals) databases: www.compadre-db.org

With the help of an NSF grant for Advances in Bioinformatics and the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, we are developing new features in the databases that will greatly help researchers and educators access these data and apply them to their own work. In addition, we have developed two R packages for interacting with the databases and derive key demographic properties and life history traits (e.g. variance of life expectancy, rate of senescence) for comparative approaches.

We will be showcasing the databases and their functionality on Sunday 16th December, 2-6pm, Executive Room 6, at the BES Annual Meeting in Birmingham. If you have not yet registered to attend this workshop, you can do so at the main registration desk in the conference centre from 1pm. The cost for this workshop is £25. Bring your brain, laptop, and the latest versions of R and RStudio in it.

Iain Stott will also be running a workshop on Tue 18th 1.45-2.45pm in Hall 8a on “Population modelling… minus all that wretched coding” that uses the demographic databases: https://iainmstott.shinyapps.io/ShinyPop/

The BES Annual Meeting will showcase some of the research that COMPADRE & COMADRE are being used for:

comp. databaseThe COMPADRE & COMADRE team

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