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The University of Southampton
CORMSIS Centre for Operational Research, Management Sciences and Information Systems

CORMSIS Seminar - Getting the Biggest Bang for the Buck: Optimising Investment in River Connectivity Restoration Event

16:00 - 17:00
13 October 2016
Room 3041 Building 2, Southampton Business School

For more information regarding this event, please email Dr Yuan Huang at .

Event details

Abstract of the talk: River systems across the globe are heavily impacted by the presence of large numbers of in-stream structures, such as dams, weirs, culverts, and other river crossings. Such structures often form physical barriers that disrupt the natural connectivity of rivers, thus preventing fish and other aquatic organisms from accessing essential breeding and rearing habitats. In this talk, I will present a state-of-the-art optimisation-based methodology for prioritising river barrier repair and removal decisions. The methodology was originally developed through a collaborative project with the California Fish Passage Forum, a consortium of state and federal government agencies and nongovernmental organisations whose mandate is to improve river access for migratory fish throughout California. To help the Forum and other organisations run the optimisation model, a software tool called OptiPass was developed, which comes replete with a graphical user interface to allow non-technical users to quickly and easily generate optimal barrier mitigation solutions. The optimisation model underpinning OptiPass represents a radical improvement over the ad-hoc methods commonly used in barrier prioritisation planning. The presentation will include an overview of the optimisation framework, which makes use of a sophisticated linearisation technique known as the "probability chain" method, as well as a small demonstration of the OptiPass software and a discussion about how the methodology has been used by the Forum to take a far more strategic approach to barrier mitigation planning.

Speaker information

Dr Jesse O’Hanley,Kent Business School,Jesse O’Hanley is a Reader at the Kent Business School. He obtained his BSc in Biological Sciences and an MSc in Engineering-Economic Systems and Operations Research both from Stanford University and holds a PhD in Environmental Science, Policy & Management from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining Kent in 2006, Dr O’Hanley worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford and before that as a management consultant to the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley. Dr O'Hanley's research focuses mainly on the development and application of optimisation and simulation techniques in the areas of environmental management and logistics. Dr O’Hanley has written dozens of publications covering topics on facility location, river infrastructure mitigation, forest/conservation management, and climate change impacts analysis. He has also carried out advisory and consultancy work for various US/UK government agencies, NGOs, and other organisations, including Defra, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy, and the Port of Dover.

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