Matt Boone

Matt began working as the Data Manager in the MabLab in August 2018. He analyzes data for lab projects, maintains all databases for the MabLab, maintains lab R packages, helps write manuscripts, and leads bird walks for the Broward County BioBlitz projects.

Matt holding a Yellow Rail Matt holding a Yellow Rail during field surveys in Missouri

History

He comes to us with over 8 years of field experience and 2 years as a data manager and software consultant. He earned his MS Degree in Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware (UD) with Jeff Buler in the Aeroecology Lab. His masters worked focused on using Weather Surveillance Radar data to study the effects of Hurricanes on migrating birds in the United States. This work was in partnership with the United States Geological Service (USGS) and Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. In his masters he wrote an R package (radaR) for ingesting, analyzing, and visualizing WSR-88D radar data to map stopover of migratory birds. Importantly he created a novel method for calculating the nightly exodus timing of migratory birds from radar. His methods and codes for analyzing radar data are still being used today at UD and USGS.

Hurricane Sandy's effect on bird migration Matts Masters work focused on studying the effects of Hurricanes on migrating birds using weather radar. This includes studying changes in densities of migrating birds across the Northeast before and after Hurricane Sandy made landfall in November 2012.


After graduate school, Matt joined the Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project (KESRP) helping to save two endangered seabirds breeding on Kauai, the Hawaiian Petrel and Newell’s Shearwater. There he managed their large databases, analyzed data for reports and publications, as well as helped with field work in Kauai’s remote rugged rainforest. During his time at KESRP he created a habitat model for the endangered Band-rumped Storm-Petrel using ten years of auditory survey and Audio Recorded Unit data using boosted regression trees, and created an algorithm to calculate exposure height of powerline wires across the island of Kauai using LiDAR and Photogrammetry data.

Matt checking a seabird burrow on Kauai Matt checking a seabird burrow on Kauai

Current

Matt assists on essentially every project in the lab. His projects include helping to code the nest site selection tool and GUI in shiny for the nestR package with Simona Picardi. He manages and analyzes data, as well as create graphics for projects with postdoc Rocio Joo including their publication on navigating the R movement packages. Matt and Mathieu concurrently work together on studying the use of Citizen Science data on biodiversity research, which he presented at the UF Biodiversity institute seminar. Matt is happy to help teach people R and has assisted in multiple R/SQL workshops in the lab including workshops at Florida Atlantic University and the UF Tropical Research and Education Center.

Outside of his work in the lab, Matt helps consult with other researchers on coding issues. In collaboration with Dr. Auriel Fournier at the Forbes Biological Research Station and Dr. Emilio Bruna of the Tropical Ecology lab at the University of Florida, Matt wrote 90% of code for their new R package: refsplitr. This package helps encode and parse web of knowledge reference files to seperate author information, geocode addresses, and calculate complex grouping networks for author groups. It is currently in final review stages at rOpenSci.


Matts research interests include studying the movement and ecology of wildlife using state of the art technologies like RADAR and satellite tags. He is very interested in creating softwares and tools for wildlife biologists to manage, visualize, and analyze data. He likes to create intuitive R packages, Shiny apps, and database GUIs to help regular scientists take full advantage of the constant technological innovations. Birds are his first and main love and thus Matt enjoys studying migratory biology and bird watching.

You can find his entire CV here.

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