Congratulations to Dr. Babak Naimi who has just been appointed Research Associate at the Imperial College London to work under the Grand Challenges in Ecosystems and Environment initiative in Miguel Araújo’s lab for a period of three years. Babak recently read for his PhD at the University of Twente in the Netherlands and was also, until recently, Assistant Professor of Geo-Informatics at the University of Teheran in Iran. For a short period he was also appointed post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Évora in Portugal. Dr. Naimi will be working mainly in the development of new methods and tools for modelling species distributions under climate change and land use change scenarios. “Babak will bring invaluable expertise in computational ecology and biodiversity informatics that will help us to make significant progress in understanding and quantifying uncertainties in ensembles of species distributions models”, says Miguel Araújo. For a full list of his publications click here.

Question 1: What are your research interests?
My research interests revolve around spatio-temporal statistics, environmental modelling, and the interface between geo-informatics and biogeography. In particular, I am interested in developing new methods for species distribution modelling under climate change and land use change scenarios to improve their ability for understanding of ecological processes associated with the patterns in species distributions as well as to deal with the challenges in the methods. My recent research involved explorations of the effects of errors and uncertainties on species distribution models and incorporating spatial context into the models. I am also interested in applying new advances in computational methods in my studies, as well as the development of numerical and scientific software-based systems. I always do computer programming joyfully because it allows me to get a maximum level of understanding of the problems, enhance my abilities to deal with them  and, furthermore, I can help bringing something into being that did not exist.

Question 2: What do you expect from your work at the Imperial College?
Currently, I hold the position of research associate at the Imperial College London, to work under the Grand Challenges in Ecosystems and Environment initiative in Miguel Araújo’s lab. I have a keen interest to continuing research in understanding and quantifying uncertainties in ensembles of species distributions models while focusing on the application of geo-informatics. I am also highly motivated to expand the focus of my research to study and model critical transitions in biodiversity in the face of climate change.