For those of you who have thought about moving into species distribution modelling or ecological niche modelling, here is a tutorial that might interest you:
In the tutorial, we use the Salford Predictive Modelling suite, which is a software package developed by Salford Software Ltd. based in San Diego.
The package is actually used for a variety of data mining / machine learning projects. Big companies that use it include VISA to Google, Ford, etc... to do a lot of marketing research. The software package has won a variety of awards, and the algorithms have been winning modelling competitions around the world for the last decade.
Of course, there is a fee, which is always the downside to things like this. You can get free trials of the program, which is great if you are short of grant $$. However, if you have some funds for technology and licenses, I HIGHLY recommend this software package.
It's very straightforward and simple to understand, while providing results that are much more comprehensive than the standard R packages that have been written (e.g., gbm, randomForest, party, gam, etc...)
The example we use in the tutorial is with Fork-tailed Storm-petrels in the North Pacific. Data were obtained from the North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database.
For any questions on the tutorial, or if you're just looking to discuss ENM + data mining, please feel free to drop me an email: email@example.com