Books, Papers, Publications

50th anniversary of the Cormack-Jolly-Seber model


Just over 50 years ago, three papers appeared which independently described the fundamental approach for analyzing capture-recapture data. It is now called the Cormack-Jolly-Seber model. This anniversary is celebrated in the second issue of Statistical Science, 2016, guest edited by Steve Buckland and Byron Morgan. It features transcribed interviews with George Seber and Richard Cormack. In addition there are eight research papers that demonstrate how the capture- recapture area is still developing, with applications to genetics, social and medical areas, as well as ecology.

steve    rachel     byron

Shown in the photographs are Steve presenting a copy of the issue to Richard, in St Andrews University, Rachel Fewster, a co-author of two of the papers in the issue, presenting a copy to George, in the University of Auckland, and Byron presenting two copies to George Jolly’s two daughters Heather Hannah and Fiona Davies. A third copy goes to their brother David Jolly, who lives in Saudi Arabia.


Modelling Population Dynamics Book

Model Formulation, Fitting and Assessment using State-Space Methods

Authors: Newman, K., Buckland, S.T., Morgan, B., King, R., Borchers, D.L., Cole, D., Besbeas, P., Gimenez, O., Thomas, L.

This book gives a unifying framework for estimating the abundance of open populations: populations subject to births, deaths and movement, given imperfect measurements or samples of the populations. The focus is primarily on populations of vertebrates for which dynamics are typically modelled within the framework of an annual cycle, and for which stochastic variability in the demographic processes is usually modest. Discrete-time models are developed in which animals can be assigned to discrete states such as age class, gender, maturity,  population (within a metapopulation), or species (for multi-species models).

The book goes well beyond estimation of abundance, allowing inference on underlying population processes such as birth or recruitment, survival and movement. This requires the formulation and fitting of population dynamics models. The resulting fitted models yield both estimates of abundance and estimates of parameters characterizing the underlying processes.


Analysis of Capture-Recapture Data

A book written by two members of SE@K has been published this month. The book was co-authored by Rachel McCrea and Byron Morgan.

To put the text into perspective: an important first step in studying the demography of wild animals is to capture them temporarily and tag them in some way so that each specimen is uniquely identifiable. Data collected at that time can be compared with later data if and when the animals are recaptured. Thus researchers can study different forms of capture-recapture data and begin to make good estimates of mortality, population size, and so on.

McCrea and Morgan’s text covers many modern developments of capture-recapture, and related models and methods, and places them into historical context; presenting both classical and Bayesian methods. A range of real data sets motivates and illustrates the material, made available via the companion website