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Scientific analysis

Making better decisions

Robust data analysis is important to underpin decision making. Real world data are often noisy and trends are rarely obvious, yet through careful analysis it is possible to pinpoint key issues and answer fundamental questions. Data analysis is one of Footprint Ecology’s core skills and is integral to much of our work.

Data and statistics

We work with a range of datasets, including species, habitat, environmental and visitor data. One of our largest single datasets is from over 100 sensors which are deployed on the Dorset Urban Heaths to monitor access. This network of sensors has recorded hourly data for over a decade now; amounting to over 8 million records.

The scientific approaches used vary considerably for different projects and we use appropriate statistical testing for each, ranging in complexity from chi-squared tests to complex multivariate models. Our staff are adept in a range of software such as Excel, Microsoft Access, Minitab, R and SPSS. Data often have a spatial element and we also work with a range of GIS software.

Academic-level science

To further strengthen the robustness of our work we often work with academic institutions. Our working relationship with partners at academic institutions includes Cambridge University, Bournemouth University, Exeter University, Manchester Metropolitan University and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. We have also worked with scientists at the RSPB and the BTO. Our data analysis on larger projects has involved a range of publications, journals and presentations at international conferences.

Peer reviews

We also undertake peer reviews and welcome reviews of our own work. Peer review provides a mechanism whereby important work can be assessed, scrutinised and checked by others. One way of achieving this is by publishing articles in peer-reviewed journals - work undertaken by Footprint Ecology and its staff has been published in journals such as PlosOne, Ibis, Biological Conservation, Journal of Applied Ecology, the Habitat Regulations Journal, Landscape and Urban Planning, and Conservation Evidence.

We also are happy to provide an independent assessment of the work of others, and have occasionally been commissioned to do so. Footprint Ecology staff also freely give their time to peer review for journals and have undertaken peer reviews for Journal of Applied Ecology, Bird Study and Oryx.

Contact us to discuss your project

We’re always ready to talk about your requirements, so please do get in touch today

Tel: +44 (0)1929 552444