Megan Loftie-Eaton went as far as grade 11 at Hoër Meisieskool Bloemhof in Stellenbosch. She moved to Canada in June 2006 and finished grade 12 in Canada. She completed a four-year BSc in Environmental and Conservation Sciences with a major in Conservation Biology at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, in April 2011. She graduated with distinction.
She is very happy to be back in South Africa and has started her MSc in Zoology at the ADU, supervised by Dr Res Altwegg and Professor Les Underhill. Megan is looking at the geographic range dynamics of South African birds, using data from the Southern Africa Bird Atlas Projects (SABAP1 and SABAP2).
Megan's masters project ivolves estimating abundance, occupancy, colonization and local extinction rates for a of host bird species across South Africa, using the large scale data base of SABAP1 and SABAP2 on bird occurrences from 1987 to present. Naturally, data collected over such large spatial and temporal scales are heterogeneous because many observers were involved with variable skills, effort, and field conditions, therefore, she is using dynamic multi-season occupancy models that are able to account for the observation process (MacKenzie et al. 2003, 2006).
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