Estimating detection rates for biosecurity surveillance

IMG_9557_colourBiosecurity Surveillance: Quantitative Approaches is a second new book that I’ve contributed to. It starts with the basic concepts of biosecurity, motivations for surveillance and foundational probability theory, then works up to some very sophisticated approaches for risk mapping and survey design.

IMG_9559_colourIn Chapter 8 Georgia Garrard, Joslin Moore and I discuss methods for estimating detection rates and probabilities. Understanding what you’re missing is an important component of biosecurity surveillance and inference, and we’ve done some field experiments and statistical analyses to find out just that. We lay out our experimental designs and findings for hawkweed detection in the Aussie alps and serrated tussock detection in native grasslands. There are also general tips and tricks for designing such experiments, sample BUGS code, and a quick look at the literature on estimating detection and abundance.


Hauser, C.E., Garrard, G.E. & Moore, J.L. (2015) Estimating detection rates and probabilities, in Biosecurity Surveillance: Quantitative Approaches. Jarrad, F., Low-Choy, S. & Mengersen, K., eds. CABI, Wallingford Oxfordshire UK. pp 151-166.

Weed management across sweeping plains

IMG_9244_colourI’ve made a small contribution to the recently published book, Land of Sweeping Plains. The focus of this edited volume is the restoration and management of the native temperate grasslands of south-eastern Australia. It seeks to be much more than a prescriptive textbook, containing a high density of colour photographs, some poetry and artwork, and a discussion of social context and connection.

IMG_9245_colourThe break-out box I’ve written regards how we can select suitable weed management activities. I’ve drawn from the literature of structured decision making and cost benefit analysis to list the set of factors worth considering and how to combine them to rank alternatives.


Hauser, C.E. (2015) Prioritising weed management alternatives, in Land of Sweeping Plains. Williams, N.S.G., Marshall, A. and Morgan, J.W., eds. CSIRO Publishing, Clayton South VIC Australia.

Recommended Reading | April & May 2015

Captain Awkward gives great advice to students battling mental illness.

Congrats, you have an all-male panel!

This all-woman panel is just so sorry. [warning for graphic but cartoonish violence at the 2:45 mark]

Friend of QAEco Emily Nicholson has some great tips for sprucing up your CV after a career break.

Jenny Martin offers some explicit actions that institutions and individuals, men and  women, can take on to redress gender inequity in academia.

QAEcologists Stefano Canessa and Geoff Heard have a new paper out that models the trade-offs  in using a destructive sampling technique for occupancy surveys.

And finally, this month we’ve lost a wonderful quantitative ecologist in Niclas Jonzén. As a PhD student in the Possingham lab, Niclas was the post-doc I hoped to become – thoughtful as well as clever, generous with his skills, and endlessly enthusiastic about his own and others’ research.