Spatial population dynamics modeling
Most of stock assessments on which fisheries management advice are based ignore predation and competition, and treat spatial structure in a very rudimentary way. This course introduces students to the types of approaches used in conventional stock assessments (age-structured and production models) and how these models can be extended to explicitly take account of spatial information using the areas-as-fleets approach as well as spatial-explicit population dynamics models. It will also addresses how to model animal movement within spatial models, including advection, diffusion, and environmentally-driven options. The course also covers how spatial models can be used in a multi-species setting, and how available data can be used to parametrize spatial models. The final component of the class will illustrate the use of spatial models to support decision making within the framework of Management Strategy Evaluation, including spatial and multispecies harvest control rules, and modelling fleet movement accounting for biological and economic considerations. The course will include lectures covering theoretical aspects of spatial stock assessment methods as well as hands-on examples in R.