Next week, 2-8 July, ZSL scientists will be joining a stellar line-up of exhibitors presenting the best cutting-edge science being done right now around the UK at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition. Here at ZSL’s Institute of Zoology, we have been hard at work for the past few – eek, nine! – months on our stand ‘Where the wild things are’ , which will showcase how technology now enables us to connect with and understand nature like never before.
Our research fellow Dr. Robin Freeman pointed out the potential of these technologies: "As new technologies like tracking devices, camera traps, or low-cost sensors become increasingly available the kind of questions we can address changes. We are now able to assess the impact of habitat change on individuals, populations and species at a scale that was previously unthinkable."
For centuries, scientists have sought to understand the natural world through exploration. Now, using cutting-edge technologies, today’s scientists can observe, interpret and even predict the behaviour of wildlife in the most inaccessible, remote and challenging environments on earth.
To give you a sneaky peek into what we will be talking about, we have put together 360° videos from some of the remote places where we work. 360 video can be played in a VR headset, or simply swipe the screen to change your perspective.
See with your own eyes what it is like to walk through swamp forest during a camera trap survey:
Travel aboard research vessel Paamiut in the Arctic to photograph and map areas of deep sea never before studied:
Dive in the remote waters of the Chagos Archipelago to monitor the movement of sharks:
At our stand we will be demonstrating how technologies like camera traps and miniature tracking devices are transforming our understanding of how and where animals move in space and time. We will show how the data collected in the field are aggregated to monitor population trends, predict species’ extinction risk and model future scenarios of change to help protect and conserve species around the world.
We will be talking about this and a lot more on our stand at the Royal Society, so do come and see us. The event is free to all – yes, free! – and there is something for everyone, whether you are into conservation or physics, space sciences or prosthetics. With an incredible programme of talks and activities the exhibition is shaping up to be the hottest week of the summer. Visit our Where the Wild Things Are webpage to discover more about us and the work we do, and to find out first hand how you can get involved in conservation.
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