Always wanted to get into size spectrum modelling? - mizerHowTo is the tool for you

Image: mizerHowTo tutorial

Do you ever wake up in the morning thinking, size spectrum theory is neat, but so hard to use? Well, if you do, you are not alone! At the size ecology lab we are working on making size spectrum theory accessible and widely used which is why we build R packages (which are also neat and super easy to use).

One of these R packages is called Multi-species sIZE spectrum modelling in R (mizer) and is available online for the creation of size spectrum models and project size spectra through time, but how do we even use this thing for a start?

To teach you how to use size spectrum models in your everyday life, four scientists (Julia L. Blanchard, Ken H. Andersen, Gustav Delius and me) have started putting together a neat little bundle of code aiming to help you create your first ever size spectrum model from real life data. This R package is called mizerHowTo and is meant to be a self-taught course. It contains examples and interactive apps that allow you to play with mizer, hoping that you will be able to make it work with your species.

To launch the package, we trialled the course material with the SPECTRE audience, a reading group for people passionate about size spectrum theory. If you wish to join said group, do not hesitate to contact Maria Grigoratou ( SPECTRE is a global size spectrum community and during our live sessions here in Tasmania we attracted eager students from all over the world, from the West coast of the USA to India. People brought their own data sets to apply the mizer framework to with a bit of help from our tutorials.

The students skilfully adapted what they had learned in the mizer tutorials to their own data and, after merely two weeks, were presenting their results using our framework with great success. I was really impressed by such progress and it gave me hope for the future of our mizerHowTo package.

If you would like to find out more, we will be presenting at the annual World Fisheries Congress in Adelaide in September (register here). Or feel free to check out the mizerHowTo tutorial on github.

Romain Forestier
Romain Forestier
Research Data Scientist