Owain Barton

My scientific background is in spatial ecology and conservation. Utilising data collected from a variety of sources (e.g., citizen science, camera traps, remotely-piloted aircraft systems, passive acoustic monitoring devices) I have developed statistical models (e.g., species distribution, individual-based, occupancy, n-mixture, regression models) to address a range of research questions pertinent to conservation and wildlife management. I have conducted both applied and methodological research, which has included predicting the spread of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in Wales, UK, assessing spatiotemporal patterns of resource use in fallow deer (Dama dama) and enumerating a population of endangered hog deer (Axis porcinus) in Cambodia.

Currently, I am working in the Merrill Lab as part of a large collaborative team of scientists, provincial biologists and expert computer coders to develop the Alberta Wildlife Population Model. Our goal is to develop an integrated population model (IPM), that incorporates biological and socioeconomic factors to accurately forecast the spread of chronic wasting disease in mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) across Alberta. Specifically, my role is to build on the work by previous lab-member, Dr Philip Walker, to develop a sub-module of the IPM that estimates the extent and spatial distribution of deer movement across the landscape. I will then use the IPM to evaluate the efficacy of potential harvest strategies to control disease spread, which will guide adaptive management of the mule deer population going forward.