Dr Yoni Gavish

Dr Yoni Gavish


I'm a spatial ecologist working on mapping the current and future distribution of habitats, species, communities and ecosystem-services across spatial and temporal scales. My research integrates multiple sources of information and modelling frameworks, to provide as accurate as possible maps at scales relevant to policy, while quantifying the associated uncertainty.

In my research I use machine-learning models as building blocks of larger analytical pathways to predict hard to measure properties with readily available data such as species occurrences and earth observation data. My guiding principle is to incorporate as much ecological realism as possible by accounting for multiple processes and scaling effects. For land-use/land-cover mapping, I’m interested in ways by which the pre-defined hierarchical structure of most classification schemes can be incorporated into the modelling framework. For Species Distribution Models (SDMs) my research focuses on machine-learning based workflows that incorporate the effects of dispersal limitation and biotic interactions when projecting the probability of occurrence in space and time. For ecosystem services mapping I’m using trait data and culturomics based indices to stack SDMs maps, while weighting species by their ability to supply various ecosystem services. For IUCN red-listing, I’m interested in the usage of upgraining and downscaling models to provide a better estimate of the area of occurrence at the resolution required by IUCN guidelines. I’m also interested in theoretical and empirical aspects relating to the scaling of biodiversity, and in exploring biodiversity patterns in fragmented landscapes.

As climate and land-use change, the two main driving forces of the current biodiversity crisis, can only be understood within a spatio-temporal framework, I believe producing informative maps and ensuring these maps are available for the general public is of the greatest priority. Thus, I am dedicated to further developing the ways by which these maps can be stored, searched and delivered in an open, transparent and reproducible manner.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>