Remote-sensing in ecology: developing innovative camera trap technologies, methods and analyses for conservation

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


Remote-sensing is data acquisition without being physical present to directly observe a target object or phenomenon in contrast with ground-truthed on-site observation. Remote-sensing developed for Earth Sciences, including earth observation satellite technologies and data, have been widely adopted in ecology; principally for Geographic Information Systems (GIS). More recently, technological advances in sensory miniaturisation have enabled ecologists to adopt ever increasingly complex methods, for example, using drones with multispectral cameras for habitat classification and productivity measurements, GPS data loggers and accelerometers for animal tracking to estimate movement patterns and energetics and camera traps for 24/7 detection of animal presence and activity. Early estimates of animal densities and abundances derived from camera trapping data were based on Mark-Recapture methods dependent on individual recognition of uniquely patterned species using, for example, the strip pattern of tigers or spots of leopards. Here, I present my recent research developing analytical methods for estimating animal densities and abundances without the need for individual recognition using Random Encounter Models (REMs) and Distance Sampling and explore novel field and computer-based methods to improve their utility in conservation biology. I will also discuss current proposals for developing 2021 new tech including a 360o camera trap where species ID can be improved by the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) with interactive visualisations using Virtual Reality (VR).
Period01 Nov 201802 Nov 2018
Event titleFrontiers and Horizons in Ecology
Event typeConference
LocationBelfast, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational