Public engagement

The Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling (CREEM) is an interdisciplinary research centre that links the School of Mathematics and Statistics with the School of Biology and the School of Geography and Sustainable Development.

Wildlife conservation

The main focus of the research within CREEM relates to wildlife conservation, specifically developing new statistical methods and applying them to issues in wildlife ecology and conservation. For example, CREEM researchers develop methods for assessing how many animals there are in an area (e.g., how many whales there are in a part of the ocean), assessing which habitats they prefer, evaluating how the population is changing over time, and investigating what might happen to populations given further planned changes, which might be good (introduction of a park or protected area) or bad (new pollutants or disturbance).

Activities and talks

CREEM has been engaging with the public for many years. We have a group of about 10 researchers who regularly take part in science festivals and visit schools, colleges and youth groups. We have taken part in: science fairs, public lectures, school careers fairs, supporting local youth groups (scouts and guides), workshops for school children, and summer schools for prospective students.

Activities/talks are mainly based around wildlife population monitoring and broadly aim to highlight the importance of quantitative skills within biological/environmental sciences. We have a suite of activities that can be delivered by any of our researchers. These include activities that relate to counting different types of animals (rhinos, squirrels, whales, seals, butterflies) using different survey methods (plot sampling, line-transect surveys, mark-recapture). We also have activities that explore how far whales’ calls travel in the ocean and ways to assess biodiversity. All of our activities can be adapted depending on the target age group.

CREEM mural

Woman's head and shoulders, surrounded by animals and mathematical formulae.

The CREEM mural, created by Cornelia Oedekoven, is located in the entranceway of our building, the old Observatory. It shows a researcher surrounded by some of the species and research areas CREEM has worked on, together with the symbols depicting the models and methods used.

You are welcome to visit St Andrews and view the mural in person. Please contact CREEM to arrange a visit. We particularly welcome school groups, and will be happy to arrange some other learning activities.

You can also explore the mural online, and read more about our research at the same time!



To discuss participation in an event please contact Dr Catriona Harris.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (+44) (0)1334 461831