Alan E. Gelfand


James B. Duke Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Statistical Science

My research interests continue to be in the area of spatial and spatio-temporal analysis, primarily with application to environmental and ecological processes. Spatial analysis offers the opportunity to include information on the data collection locations to help explain responses collected at those locations. A customary assumption is that responses will tend to be more similar as locations are closer to each other. A similar assumption is typically made in time. Spatial data in the form of responses can be collected at point-level or at areal-scale where the responses are random but the locations are fixed. Alternatively, the locations where events occur can be random, yielding a spatial point pattern. Arguably, the most challenging setting is when both the locations and the responses at the locations are random.

With regard to the above, my current research focuses on space-time problems including:

  1. species distributions and species interactions. There is spatial bias in the data collection with regard to where ecologists expect to find species and how much effort they expend
  2. understanding marine mammal movement behavior in three-dimensions over time, both baseline and in response to received noise from naval vessels
  3. understanding changes in extreme heat behavior over space and time, particularly with application to future climate scenarios.