Mindy Syfert

Mindy temperate rainforest


  • BA Geography (Specializing in physical geography and GIS): Clark University, Worcester, MA
  • MA Geography University of Denver, Denver CO ; Thesis Title: Characterizing Landscape Patterns in Highland Guatemala

Current Research:

Species Distribution Modelling using Presence-only Data: Applications in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation

Species distribution models (SDMs) are used in many research areas. However, it is often the case that modellers only possess data on records of species occurrences, with little knowledge of species absences or the sampling scheme used for data collection. Sampling bias can significantly affect the predictive accuracy of SDMs. I am testing the effects of sampling bias on predictive accuracy of MaxEnt, a presence-only modelling approach, for tree ferns across New Zealand.

An overall research goal is to utilize SDMs to predict areas of high biological diversity at a global scale based on plant ecophysiology with an aim to have a direct application in conservation biology.

Research Interests:

  • Modelling biodiversity
  • Remote Sensing methods and Landscape Ecology
  • Spatial Ecology
  • Geospatial analysis

Selected Publications:

Pringle RM, Syfert M, Webb JK, and Shine R. 2009. Quantifying historical changes in habitat availability for endangered species: use of pixel- and object-based remote sensing. Journal of Applied Ecology 46: 544-553.

Syfert M, Rudy J, Anderson L, Cleve C, Jenkins J, Skiles J, and Schmidt C. 2006. Forest Regeneration Assessment in Yosemite National Park. Proceedings of American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. May 1- 5, 2006. Reno, NV.

Hall B, Motzkin G, Foster DR, Syfert M, and Burk J. 2002. Three Hundred Years of Forest and Land-use Change in Massachusetts, USA. Journal of Biogeography 29: 1319-1335.

Collaborating Institutions