Spatial-temporal analysis of marine wildlife

T. A. Nelson, D. Duffus, C. Robertson, K. Laberee, L. J. Feyrer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The growth of marine monitoring programs and improved ease of spatial data collection has increased the availability of fine-scale marine data sets which can be combined with advanced spatial analysis and GIS to address innovative research questions. Analysis of both space and time is often required, but few spatial-temporal analysis methods are available. Here we demonstrate combining an advanced spatial analysis approach, kernel density estimation, with a novel temporal analysis method, the space time string, to quantify spatial-temporal patterns in marine wildlife. Using a data set on gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) foraging from Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia, Canada, we identify spatial-temporal trends in foraging and relate them to prey population dynamics. Results suggest two types of between year spatial-temporal patterns: prey in equilibrium and severe disturbance. By demonstrating the theory, implementation, and interpretation of advanced methods, we provide marine researchers with approaches applicable to a variety of research questions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1537-1541
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Coastal Research
Issue numberSPEC. ISSUE 56
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Gray whale
  • Spatial analysis
  • Spatial-temporal patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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