Learning about Ecological models: Camila's Bremerhaven double season

 “Would you travel to Bremerhaven, Germany for that investigation?” this was the question my director Ricardo Sahade asked me in 2015. Enthusiastic to participate in a huge project (IMCONet) and exchanging knowledge with people in an international polar research institute, the AWI, I said YES! In July of that year, I traveled from the winter of Córdoba-Argentina to the summer finding a very nice (also rainy) city. During the secondment time in 2015 I had the oppotunity to work with Kerstin Jerosch, Frauke Scharf and Doris Abele learning about species distribution models (SDM) using biomod2 package of R and ArcGIS. Our aim was to model the distribution of benthic organism such as ascidians, sponges, sea stars, mussels; in Potter Cove. With this, I learned a lot about the dynamic of Potter Cove and concepts to take into account for ecological models and how to improve them.

For getting better results, in May of 2016 I came again to AWI for modeling  an important variable that might affect the distribution of benthic organism and which we want to included as predictor into the SDM: the particulate suspended matter. It was a challenge to compile all the information available for this and for other environmental variables but I could make it because the project data are available in the geo-databank PANGAEA.  There is still a lot of  work to do, and we could find that some ways weren’t the correct ones for spatially modeling suspended particulate matter in Potter Cove. Science is like this, try and failure.

In AWI I could attended different courses in the POLMAR School like:  Compositional Data Analysis, Self & Time Management, Multivariate analysis of Ecological Data with R, Introductory Course in Marine Sciences: Biogeochemical oceanography and climate, Introduction to Arc GIS pro, Introduction to Phyton and using Modules in Statistics and Data Visualisation. But something to highlight  and that means a huge challenge to me was the German course with Andrea Bleyer, which I attended one and sometimes two days per week during almost 9 months.

Improving skills and getting new ones, share time and feel confortable in a different culture, have a bit more of summer in a year, but also cold winter in the next one, making friends with colleagues and wishing more of this academic exchanges could be a perfect summary of my double stay thanks to IMCOnet project AWI & National University of Córdoba.

Liebe Größ, Tschüss!

Camila Neder