Expert Elicitation of Population-Level Effects of Disturbance

  • Erica FleishmanEmail author
  • Mark Burgman
  • Michael C. Runge
  • Robert S. Schick
  • Scott Kraus
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 875)


Expert elicitation is a rigorous method for synthesizing expert knowledge to inform decision making and is reliable and practical when field data are limited. We evaluated the feasibility of applying expert elicitation to estimate population-level effects of disturbance on marine mammals. Diverse experts estimated parameters related to mortality and sublethal injury of North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis). We are now eliciting expert knowledge on the movement of right whales among geographic regions to parameterize a spatial model of health. Expert elicitation complements methods such as simulation models or extrapolations from other species, sometimes with greater accuracy and less uncertainty.


Conceptual models Decision-making Health North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialisParameterization 



This work was supported in part by Office of Naval Research Grants N00014-09-1-0896 (University of California, Santa Barbara) and N00014-12-1-0274 (University of California, Davis) to Erica Fleishman.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erica Fleishman
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mark Burgman
    • 2
  • Michael C. Runge
    • 3
  • Robert S. Schick
    • 4
  • Scott Kraus
    • 5
  1. 1.John Muir Institute of the Environment, The Barn, University of California, DavisDavisUSA
  2. 2.School of Botany, University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, US Geological SurveyLaurelUSA
  4. 4.Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling, University of St. AndrewsSt. Andrews, FifeUK
  5. 5.John H. Prescott Marine LaboratoryNew England AquariumBostonUSA

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