Yvan is an environmental data scientist who specialises in using statistical computing software to solve complex problems.

He joined Dragonfly in 2010 and initially worked on issues related to seabird bycatch. Yvan led the development of a seabird risk assessment that studies the interactions between fisheries and all of New Zealand’s seabirds in a consistent framework. This risk assessment has been used by the Ministry for Primary Industries and other countries as a foundation for their management of seabird bycatch.

Other ecological work has included developing models and simulations of population dynamics for albatross and kākāpō, and analysing tracking data using geographic information systems (GIS).

In parallel, Yvan has grown an interest in natural language processing and developed a machine-learning-based framework to analyse unstructured text. This tool has been used to analyse public submissions on parliamentary bills.

Raised in France, Yvan moved to New Zealand in 2002 to study for a PhD and postdoc in ecology at Massey University. He continues to apply the techniques and methods he learned, including Bayesian analysis, machine learning, R, spatial analysis and capture-recapture models to problem-solving in business, government and other contexts.

With the collection of bright minds and different skills at Dragonfly, we work together to crack what can seem like impossible problems, turning data into a meaningful story that directly informs action. We are constantly pushing the boundaries.

Selected publications

Richard, Y., & Abraham, E. R. (2013). Risk of commercial fisheries to New Zealand seabird populations. New Zealand Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Report No. 109. 58 p. Retrieved from http://www.mpi.govt.nz/document-vault/4265

Richard, Y., Perriman, L., Lalas, C., & Abraham, E. R. (2014). Demographic rates of northern royal albatross at Taiaroa Head, New Zealand. PeerJ Preprints. doi:10.7287/peerj.preprints.712v1