Prof Len Thomas

Prof Len Thomas
Professor of Statistics


My main research areas are: (1) Development of methods and software for estimating the size, density and distribution of wild animal and plant populations. I mostly work on a group of related methods called distance sampling. (2) Use of computer intensive methods to fit and compare stochastic models of wildlife population dynamics. Here, I mostly work on algorithms called particle filters. For more details about my work, including links to my publications, please see my personal home page.

source: symbiosis


Recent publications listed in research@st-andrews
Taylor, BL, Rojas-Bracho, L, Moore, J, Jaramillo-Legorreta, A, Ver Hoef, JM, Cardenas-Hinojosa, G, Nieto-Garcia, E, Barlow, J, Gerrodette, T, Tregenza, N, Thomas, L & Hammond, PS 2017, 'Extinction is imminent for Mexico’s endemic porpoise unless fishery bycatch is eliminated' Conservation Letters, vol 10, no. 5, pp. 588-595. DOI: 10.1111/conl.12331
Harris, CM, Thomas, L, Falcone, E, Hildebrand, J, Houser, D, Kvadsheim, P, Lam, F-PA, Miller, P, Moretti, DJ, Read, A, Slabbekoorn, H, Southall, BL, Tyack, PL, Wartzok, D & Janik, VM 2017, 'Marine mammals and sonar: dose-response studies, the risk-disturbance hypothesis and the role of exposure context' Journal of Applied Ecology, vol Early view. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12955
Marques, TA, Thomas, L, Kery, M, Buckland, ST, Borchers, DL, Rexstad, E, Fewster, RM, Mackenzie, DI, Royle, JA, Guillera-Arroita, G, Handel, CM, Pavlacky, DC & Camp, RJ 2017, 'Model-based approaches to deal with detectability: a comment on Hutto (2016a)' Ecological Applications, vol 27, no. 5, pp. 1694-1698. DOI: 10.1002/eap.1553
Jaramillo-Legorreta, A, Cardenas-Hinojosa, G, Nieto-Garcia, E, Rojas-Bracho, L, Hoef, JV, Moore, J, Tregenza, N, Barlow, J, Gerrodette, T, Thomas, L & Taylor, B 2017, 'Passive acoustic monitoring of the decline of Mexico's critically endangered vaquita' Conservation Biology, vol 31, no. 1, pp. 183-191. DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12789
McDonald, TL, Hornsby, FE, Speakman, TR, Zolman, ES, Mullin, KD, Sinclair, C, Rosel, PE, Thomas, L & Schwacke, LH 2017, 'Survival, density, and abundance of common bottlenose dolphins in Barataria Bay (USA) following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill' Endangered Species Research, vol 33, pp. 193-209. DOI: 10.3354/esr00806
Schwacke, LH, Thomas, L, Wells, RS, McFee, WE, Hohn, AA, Mullin, KD, Zolman, ES, Quigley, BM, Rowles, TK & Schwacke, JH 2017, 'Quantifying injury to common bottlenose dolphins from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill using an age-, sex- and class-structured population model' Endangered Species Research, vol 33, pp. 265-279. DOI: 10.3354/esr00777
Hohn, AA, Thomas, L, Carmichael, RH, Litz, J, Clemons-Chevis, C, Shippee, SF, Sinclair, C, Smith, S, Speakman, TR, Tumlin, MC & Zolman, ES 2017, 'Assigning stranded bottlenose dolphins to source stocks using stable isotope ratios following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill' Endangered Species Research, vol 33, pp. 235-252. DOI: 10.3354/esr00783
Savage, A, Thomas, L, Feilen, KL, Kidney, D, Soto, LH, Pearson, M, Medina, FS, Emeris, G & Guillen, RR 2016, 'An assessment of the population of cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) and their habitat in Colombia' PLoS One, vol 11, no. 12, e0168324. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0168324
Tyack, PL, Bailey, H, Crocker, D, Estes, JE, Francis, CD, Harwood, J, Schwacke, L, Thomas, LJ & Wartzok, D 2016, Approaches to Understanding the Cumulative Effects of Stressors on Marine Mammals. National Academies Press, Washington DC. National Academies Press, Washington DC. DOI: 10.17226/23479
Fleishman, E, Costa, DP, Harwood, J, Kraus, S, Moretti, D, New, LF, Schick, RS, Schwarz, LK, Simmons, SE, Thomas, L & Wells, RS 2016, 'Monitoring population-level responses of marine mammals to human activities' Marine Mammal Science, vol 32, no. 3, pp. 1004-1021. DOI: 10.1111/mms.12310
Ellison, WT, Racca, R, Clark, CW, Streever, B, Frankel, AS, Fleishman, E, Angliss, R, Berger, J, Ketten, D, Guerra, M, Leu, M, McKenna, M, Sformo, T, Southall, B, Suydam, R & Thomas, L 2016, 'Modeling the aggregated exposure and responses of bowhead whales Balaena mysticetus to multiple sources of anthropogenic underwater sound' Endangered Species Research, vol 30, pp. 95-108. DOI: 10.3354/esr00727
Harris, CM, Thomas, L, Sadykova, D, De Ruiter, SL, Tyack, PL, Southall, BL, Read, AJ & Miller, P 2016, The challenges of analyzing behavioral response study data: an overview of the MOCHA (Multi-study OCean acoustics Human effects Analysis) project. in AN Popper & A Hawkins (eds), Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life II. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, vol. 875, Springer Science and Business Media, pp. 399-407, Third International Conference on the Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life, Budapest, Hungary, 11-16 August. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-2981-8_47
Hildebrand, J, Baumann-Pickering, S, Frasier, K, Trickey, J, Merkens, K, Wiggins, S, McDonald, M, Garrison, L, Harris, D, Marques, TA & Thomas, L 2015, 'Passive acoustic monitoring of beaked whale densities in the Gulf of Mexico' Scientific Reports, vol 5, 16343. DOI: 10.1038/srep16343
Marques, TA & Thomas, L 2015, A description of LATTE outputs. CREEM Technical Report, no. 2015-2, University of St Andrews.
Williams, R, Wright, AJ, Ashe, E, Blight, LK, Bruintjes, R, Canessa, R, Clark, CW, Cullis-Suzuki, S, Dakin, DT, Erbe, C, Hammond, PS, Merchant, MD, O'Hara, PD, Purser, J, Radford, AN, Simpson, SD, Thomas, L & Wale, MA 2015, 'Impacts of anthropogenic noise on marine life: publication patterns, new discoveries, and future directions in research and management' Ocean and Coastal Management, vol 115, pp. 17-24. DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2015.05.021
Marques, TA, Shaeffer, J, Moretti, D & Thomas, L 2015, Procedure description: using AUTEC’s hydrophones surrounding a DTAGed whale to obtain localizations. CREEM Technical Report, no. 2015-1, University of St Andrews.
Laplanche, C, Marques, TALO & Thomas, LJ, Accompanying Marine Mammals into the Abyss: The Benefits of Electronic Tag Data for Undersea Tracking, 2015, Web publication/site, Blog post on the Official blog of Methods in Ecology and Evolution.
Gimenez, O, Buckland, ST, Morgan, BJT, Bez, N, Bertrand, S, Choquet, R, Dray, S, Etienne, M-P, Fewster, R, Gosselin, F, Merigot, B, Monestiez, P, Morales, JM, Mortier, F, Munoz, F, Ovaskainen, O, Pavoine, S, Pradel, R, Schurr, FM, Thomas, L, Thuiller, W, Trenkel, V, de Valpine, P & Rexstad, E 2014, 'Statistical ecology comes of age' Biology Letters, vol 10, 20140698. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2014.0698
Marques, TA, Buckland, ST, Borchers, DL, Rexstad, E & Thomas, L 2014, Distance Sampling. in M Lovric (ed.), International Encyclopedia of Statistical Science. Springer, pp. 398. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-04898-2_214
New, LF, Clark, J, Costa, D, Fleishman, E, Hindell, M, Klanjšček, T, Lusseau, D, Kraus, S, McMahon, C, Robinson, P, Schick, RS, Schwartz, L, Simmons, S, Thomas, L, Tyack, PL & Harwood, J 2014, 'Using short-term measures of behaviour to estimate long-term fitness of southern elephant seals.' Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol 496, pp. 99-108. DOI: 10.3354/meps10547

Contact Details:

Prof Len Thomas
The Observatory
Buchanan Gardens
University of St Andrews
St Andrews
KY16 9LZ

tel: (44) (0) 1334 461801
fax: (44) (0) 1334 461800
room: 208


Personal Homepage
Centre for Research into Ecological & Environmental Modelling
School of Mathematics & Statistics
National Centre for Statistical Ecology
Scottish Oceans Institute

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The Secretary
Scottish Oceans Institute
Institiud Chuantan na h-Alba
Gatty Marine Laboratory
East Sands St Andrews
KY16 8LB

tel: +44 (0) 1334 463472
fax: +44 (0) 1334 463443