Dr Tim Szewczyk

        Head shot of smiling Dr Tim Szewczyk during a hill walking trip

Ecological Modeller

A quantitative ecologist researching ecological dynamics across spatial scales, with a goal toward empirically-guided conservation and management in a changing world.

I am particularly interested in Bayesian statistics, mechanistic simulations, and machine learning approaches.

Visit my software developers' GitHub pages

Contact details:

I am a quantitative ecologist with an interest in modelling biogeographic patterns of species and communities across space and time. I often use hierarchical Bayesian models and mechanistic simulations, with a particular interest in addressing the role that stochasticity and uncertainty play in our ability to predict community dynamics and responses to anthropogenic influences. My past work has included insects, mammals, and invasive plants, often in montane environments.

At SAMS, my research includes modelling sea lice dispersal dynamics using biophysical models to evaluate the potential impact of off-shore aquaculture sites, incorporating biological dynamics into short-term forecasts of harmful algal bloom risk, and building models of kelp population dynamics to identify promising areas for kelp aquaculture and to evaluate the sustainability of different harvesting regimes in the UK and South America.


Current projects

Off Aqua: Sea lice disperal modelling and HAB forecasting. Funded by BBSRC and NERC. Oct 2021 - Oct 2022

Kelper: Population modelling for sustainable kelp harvesting in the UK, Chile and Peru. Funded by NERC. Oct 2021 - May 2022

Szewczyk TM, MJ Ducey, V Pasquarella, JM Allen. 2021. Extending coverage and thematic resolution of compositional land cover maps in a hierarchical Bayesian framework. Ecological ApplicationsLinkGitHub repo.

McCain, CM, S King, TM Szewczyk. 2021. Unusually large upward shifts in cold-adapted, montane mammals as temperature warms. EcologyLinkGitHub repo.

Szewczyk TM, T Lee, MJ Ducey, ME Aiello-Lammens, H Bibaud, JM Allen. 2019. Local management in a regional context: Simulations with process-based species distribution models. Ecological ModellingLinkGitHub repo.

Szewczyk TM & CM McCain. 2019. Disentangling elevational richness: A multi-scale hierarchical Bayesian occupancy model of Colorado ant communities. Ecography 42(5): 977–988. Link.

McCain CM, S King, TM Szewczyk, J Beck. 2018. Small mammal species richness is directly linked to regional productivity, but decoupled from food resources, abundance, or habitat complexity. Journal of Biogeography 45(11): 2533-2545. Link.

Lydakis A, JM Allen, M Petrik, TM Szewczyk. 2018. Computing robust strategies for managing invasive plants. International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence and the European Conference on Artificial IntelligenceLink.

McCain CM, TM Szewczyk, K Bracy Knight. 2016. Population variability complicates the accurate detection of climate change responses. Global Change Biology 22(6): 2081-2093. Link.

Szewczyk TM & CM McCain. 2016. A systematic review of global drivers of ant elevational diversity. PLOS One 11(5): e0155404. Link.

Employment history

Since Oct 2021 Ecological Modeller, SAMS

2019-2021 Postdoctoral Researcher. University of Lausanne

2017-2019 Postdoctoral Researcher. University of New Hampshire



2017 PhD Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. University of Colorado, Boulder

2009 BS Biological Sciences. University of Notre Dames