Biometric Research is a consulting firm specializing in the development and application of innovative modeling and analyses for enhanced natural resource management outcomes. We help our clients design effective research and monitoring programs, and get the most out of their data to better support their research and management needs.
Our areas of expertise are, ecological research and monitoring design, likelihood estimation, Bayesian modeling, population modeling, and stochastic simulations. Based in Albany, Western Australia, we conduct research for universities, government agencies and private firms worldwide.
Developing an adaptive management framework for invasive predator control and native fauna conservation in Western Australia.
Client: Government of Western Australia, Department of Parks and Wildlife, Forest and Ecosystem Management.
We have broken this project into distinct steps to keep it tractable. The first phase was to establish an annual analysis and reporting cycle for the Western Shield monitoring program. For this I have developed modeling methods that can accommodate and unify the various data types collected by different collaborating field offices and have began the process of developing useful management and reporting metrics. The second step will be to use the model to evaluate the efficacy of various invasive predator baiting methods employed by the program.
Managing redfin perch in Lake Purrmbete – modeling impacts of fish reductions on population size and structure
Client: Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport, and Resources, Victoria, Australia.
This project was a modeling exercise to determine optimal removal strategies for controlling redfin perch in Lake Purrumbete. Redfin perch have because quite abundant and appear to be stunted in the lake, which has reduced the quality of the multi-stock salmonid fisheries of the lake. I developed a population model and evaluated removal strategies that targeted different size classes of redfin perch at different levels of exploitation at different temporal periodicities. Brett Ingram evaluated potential costs of different methods to achieve removals.
Ingram, B.A. and Gwinn, D.C. (2017) Managing redfin perch in Lake Purrumbete – modelling impacts of fish reduction on population size and structure. Recreation Fishing Grants Program Research Report. (in internal review).
Gwinn, D.C. and Ingram, B. (2018) Optimizing fishery characteristics through control of an invasive species: strategies for redfin perch control in Lake Purrumbete, Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research. (in press)
Informing environmental flow policies for the lake-side vegetation of Hattah Lakes of Hattah-Kulkyne Park, Victoria.
Client: Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Victoria, Australia.
The broad objectives of this work are to quantify the response of the lake-side vegetation community of the Hattah Lakes system to a one-in-eight year environmental flow event, with the ultimate goal of informing future flow prescriptions. My role is to develop the analytical means to do so. For this I have developed a multi-taxa assessment model that we have used to describe the assemblage response at the taxa-specific and community level. This model will be the foundation of future analyses aimed at predicting the community response to various flow scenarios.
Moxham, C., Kenny, S.A., Beesley, L.S., and Gwinn, D.C. (2018) Large-scale environmental flow results in mixed outcomes with short-term benefits for a semi-arid floodplain plant community. Freshwater Biology. (accepted)
Moxham, C., Kenny, S. and Gwinn, D. (2016). The Living Murray Hattah Lakes Intervention monitoring: understorey vegetation program: annual report. August 2016. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research Unpublished Client Report for the Mallee Catchment Management Authority. Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Heidelberg, Victoria. (link)
Moxham, C., Gwinn, D. (2016).The Living Murray Hattah Lakes Intervention Monitoring: vegetation response models.Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research Unpublished Report for the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority. Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning,Heidelberg, Victoria. (link)
Hierarchical models for informing Atlantic reef fish stock assessment.
Client: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, North Carolina, USA.
Investigating the use of multiple sampling gears in combination with hierarchical model structures to produce indices of abundance that inform the stock assessment of marine reef fish in the mid-Atlantic. Traditionally, baited chevron traps have been used for fishery-independent index development along the southeast coast of the US. In recent years, these traps have been fitted with cameras to increase our understanding of the efficacy of these indices; however, it was quickly recognized that camera counts of fish can serve as an additional fisheries index. More recently, the desire has been to develop analytical methods to integrate both of the trap catches and camera counts into a single integrated fishery index. Developing these modeling methods is my primary role. (more information can be found here and here)
Gwinn, D. C., N. M. Bacheler, and K. Shertzer (2017) Integrated data from chevron traps and video cameras into a standardized index of abundance for vermilion snapper (Rhomboplites aurorubens). SEDAR 55-WP 07. SEDAR, North Charleston, SC. 59 pp.
Gwinn, D.C. 2015. Emerging tools for population monitoring: applications to fisheries science. Invited seminar presented at NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center, Beaufort, North Carolina, USA. (link)
Coggins, L.G., Bacheler, N.M., and D.C. Gwinn (2014). Occupancy models for monitoring marine fish: a Bayesian hierarchical approach to modeling incomplete detection with a novel gear combination. PLoS ONE 9(9):e108302. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108302
Gwinn, D.C. and J. Lyon. 2014. Emerging tools for population monitoring: some fishy case studies. Invited seminar presented at the Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Melbourne, Australia. (link)
Management triggers for the Barrow Island marsupial monitoring.
Contributed to the refinement of the Barrow Island faunal monitoring program. Developed preliminary population viability analysis for Golden Bandicoots to set biological meaningful triggers for management. Evaluated statistical options for approximating 80% statistical power for detecting when management triggers have been exceeded. Click here for more information.
Kuskokwim River Chinook salmon fishery stock assessment.
Client: Auburn University, Alabama, USA.
Investigating under what circumstances drainage-wide Bayesian state-space run reconstruction models provide accurate and precise estimates of Kuskokwim River Chinook salmon abundance and productivity. Assessing model performance under various monitoring designs and various hypotheses about the spatial patterns and variation in sub-stock productivity.
Catalano, M.J., Staton, B.A., Farmer, T., Gwinn, D.C., and Fleischman, S. (2016)
Evaluating assessment strategies for Kuskokwim River chinook salmon. Arctic-Yukon-
Kuskokwim Sustainable Salmon Initiative, Project Final Product. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.11129.06240
Large-scale monitoring of Murray cod.
Client: Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Victoria, Australia.
Forster, A. 2011. Enhanced Murray cod recreational fisheries outcomes across the Murray-Darling basin through improved collaboration and alignment of management and research activities. FRDC Project Report No. 2009/060, Fisheries Research Development Corporation.
Developing novel methods for estimating patterns in abundance for Murray cod in the Murray-Darling river basin. Evaluating multiple Bayesian approaches to estimate Murray cod abundance while accounting for incomplete detection. Investigating the application of fishery independent and dependent data for future monitoring programs and various model structures to incorporate both data types in to a unified analysis.
Gwinn, D.C., Todd, C.R., Brown, P., Hunt, T.L., Butler, G., Kitchingman, A., Koehn, J.D., and Ingrim, B (in prep) Monitoring a threatened fish species under budgetary constraints: the potential to leverage existing sampling programs.
Sillago, T., Clunie, P., Butler, G., Koehn, J.D., Gwinn, D., and Todd, C. (in prep) Can citizen science by recreational fishers help fisheries management?
Informing environmental flow policies for fish in the Murray-Darling River system.
Client: Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Victoria, Australia; Charles Darwin University, Northern Territories, Australia; and University of Western Australia, Western Australia, Australia.
Evaluated relationships between fish spawning, recruitment and multiple flow and non-flow environmental factors. The key to this project was to apply our models to predict the outcomes of competing flow management options for the Murray-Darling River system. These options included flow releases with different antecedent flow conditions, with different current flow conditions and during different water temperatures. (click here for more information, JAE blog)