Episode 14

#14 Hidden Markov Models & Statistical Ecology, with Vianey Leos-Barajas

I bet you love penguins, right? The same goes for koalas, or puppies! But what about sharks? Well, my next guest loves sharks — she loves them so much that she works a lot with marine biologists, even though she’s a statistician! 

Vianey Leos Barajas is indeed a statistician primarily working in the areas of statistical ecology, time series modeling, Bayesian inference and spatial modeling of environmental data. Vianey did her PhD in statistics at Iowa State University and is now a postdoctoral researcher at North Carolina State University.

In this episode, she’ll tell us what she’s working on that involves sharks, sheep and other animals! Trying to model animal movements, Vianey often encounters the dreaded multimodal posteriors. She’ll explain why these can be very tricky to estimate, and why ecological data are particularly suited for hidden Markov models and spatio-temporal models — don’t worry, Vianey will explain what these models are in the episode!

Our theme music is « Good Bayesian », by Baba Brinkman (feat MC Lars and Mega Ran). Check out his awesome work at https://bababrinkman.com/ !

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About the Podcast

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Learning Bayesian Statistics
A podcast on Bayesian inference - the methods, the projects and the people who make it possible!

About your host

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Alexandre Andorra

Hi! I'm your host, Alex Andorra. By day, I'm a Bayesian modeler at the PyMC Labs consultancy. By night, I don't (yet) fight crime, but I'm an open-source enthusiast and core contributor to the awesome Python packages PyMC and ArviZ.

An always-learning statistician, I love building models and studying elections and human behavior. I also love Nutella a bit too much, but I don't like talking about it – I prefer eating it.

My goal is to make this podcast as interesting and useful to you as possible. So, hit me on Twitter or email with your questions and suggestions!