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Jeffrey Kerby


Current position: Postdoc, Department of Biology - Ecoinformatics and Biodiversity, Aarhus University, Denmark

During his AIAS-COFUND Fellowship, Postdoc Jeffrey Kerby worked on the project 'The many scales of Artic ecological dynamics: confronting contradictions and gaps with new tech'.

Project description

The Arctic is warming at twice the global average, a dynamic amplified by rapid declines in regional sea ice cover.  Despite compelling signals of biome-scale terrestrial responses, fundamental knowledge gaps about the rate, magnitude, and drivers of these dynamics in the tundra remain widespread.  

At AIAS, I will explore how scale, and its pervasive influence on pattern, influences regional and local measures of plant and animal response to climatic and/or biotic disturbances.

With emerging satellite datasets and AI approaches, one aspect of my project will examine weather-mediated and time-delayed linkages between marine cryosphere and terrestrial ecological dynamics across candidate regions of tundra. 

At the landscape level, variability in the life history progression of individual plants ultimately drives broader-scale dynamics.  I will investigate the structure of and landscape controls on this variability using collaborative datasets derived from drones and time-lapse cameras.  Using computer vision approaches, these image sets will be mined for data comprising tens-of-thousands of individual-level plant life cycles.  These in turn will allow for investigation into new, yet fundamental, questions about plant life-history variation through space.  

Short bio

I’m an ecologist and geographer interested in how plant and animal life history strategies perform under climatic or biotic contexts that are not analogous to any in the evolutionary past of these organisms. I use photography and emerging technology to generate novel datasets that, ideally, allow me to ask simple but previously intractable questions about the basic and applied ecology or Arctic and alpine species.  

Project title:

The many scales of Arctic ecological dynamics: confronting contradictions and gaps with new tech  

Area of research:

Ecology & Geography

Fellowship period:

1 Feb 2020 - 31 January 2023