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Research at St Andrews

Len Thomas


Len Thomas
Postal address:
The Observatory
Buchanan Gardens
St Andrews
United Kingdom


Direct phone: +44 (0)1334 461801

Research overview

I am a statistician based in the Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling (CREEM) and School of Mathematics and Statistics (where I am joint head of the Division of Statistics). My research is motivated by ecological applications, particularly related to widlife conservation.

There are currently four main strands to my work:

  • Development of methods and software for estimating the size, density and distribution of wild animal and plant populations. I mostly work on a group of related methods called distance sampling. A particular recent focus has been on the use of passive acoustics (i.e., recording sounds) to estimate the size of whale and dolphin populations.
  • Use of computer intensive methods to fit and compare stochastic models of wildlife population dynamics. I mostly work on algorithms called particle filters.
  • Inferences from animal-borne tags. This includes reconstructing animal tracks from noisy data about animal location, and inferring behavioural state from tag measurements.
  • Development and application of methods for quantifying human-caused disturbance (particularly underwater sounds) on animal behaviour, and also the consequences of this disturbance for the animal populations.

For more information, please see my personal homepage.

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