Elita Baldridge, Ph.D.

Computational Ecology, Ecoinformatics, and Open Science

About Me

I am a newly fledged Ph.D. out of the Weecology lab group.  I'm currently figuring out how to be a working computational ecologist with a chronic illness. 

Elita Baldridge

When not doing science, I'm taking care of two Nubian dairy goats, a small flock of Cochin chickens, and a hive of bees, assisted by my brilliant dog, who keeps an eye on me and makes sure I behave.  

Contact me

Email: elita.baldridge@weecology.org

GitHub: embaldridge

ORCID-ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1639-5951

See my CV.


Nested subsets

For my master's thesis, I studied the nested subset pattern, which occurs when the most species rich site contains all species, and less species rich sites contain a proper subset of the species observed at all richer sites. I concluded that while the traditional processes thought to cause nestedness, ordered immigration and extinction, could produce the pattern, 

by observing the pattern at multiple scales, it is also possible that stochastic immigration and extinction and indirectly producting the nested subset pattern by influencing the distribution and abundance of species.  


Rare species tend to be idiosyncratic with respect to the species richness at a site, such that the common species are easily predicted (tend to occur at the majority of sites), but the rare species can occur at the most species rich site to the least species rich site.  Thus, I concluded that the nested subset pattern is not useful for predicting the occurrence of rare species at a given site. 


Rare species tend to be idiosyncratic with respect to the species richness at a site, such that the common species are easily predicted (tend to occur at the majority of sites), but the rare species can occur at the most species rich site to the least species rich site.  Thus, I concluded that the nested subset pattern is not useful for predicting the occurrence of rare species at a given site. 


As a novice ecologist, I made a mistake in subsetting the North American Breeding Bird survey data for this project, and did not exclude waterfowl, night birds, or sites with a bad run code.  Although this error should result in the results being more conservative, it was still an error, and so I decided to keep this work unpublished.  Full text of the thesis can be found on figshare.