Ulrike Schlaegel

State-space models for animal movement with application to GPS telemetry data from wolves in south-west Alberta, Canada.

In my PhD research project, I study state-space models and in particular their use in modelling animal movement. I aim to improve the accessibility of these models for biologists after analyzing their components and implemented methods. Moreover, I plan to explore the spectrum of state-space model applications. When state-space models were first applied in the analysis of movement paths of animals, they were mainly used to handle measurement errors in location observations. However, they also have great potential for describing environmental influences on movement patterns. State-space models provide a tool to uncover the connections between the internal state of an animal, its position in a heterogeneous landscape, environmental cues, and its behaviour. I will use state-space models to further develop wolf movement models. These models will provide insight into the wolves' behaviour, their responses to external factors, and their interaction with the environment.