Event type
Previous Event
Event status
10 December 2019 6:00pm - 12:00am

How does conservation deal with crime?

Law breaking, such as poaching or fishing inside marine reserves, is a great challenge to conservationists because research is often complicated by sensitivities related to ethics and data privacy.

However, important technological progress has been made in recent years, particularly in the fields of surveillance and vessel tracking. Machine learning is opening up new ways to tackle rule-breaking, using ranger reports, thermal and aerial imagery, and vessel positioning data.

Similarly, in the humanities, social scientists are using increasingly sophisticated survey tools and questioning techniques to understand the motivation and circumstances that result in crime. This event will unveil the multidisciplinary field of rule-breaking, and the global challenges and opportunities faced by scientists tackling wildlife crime.

In an effort to improve the sustainability of these events, we will start to reduce the amount of printed abstract booklets available on the night. Please help us if you're able to by downloading the online PDF version before or after the event, and bringing your own notepad for note-taking if possible. There will still be some printed copies available.


  • Dr Kristina Boerder, Dalhousie University: "Tracking global fisheries from space: patterns, problems and promises"
  • Dr Colin Beale, University of York: "Using algorithms to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of ranger-based patrols"
  • Professor Serge Wich, Liverpool John Moores University: "Infrared technology and drones: opportunities for enforcement and wildlife monitoring"
  • Dr Ana Nuno, University of Exeter: "Rule breaking in conservation: social sciences to the rescue!"

This event will be chaired by Dr Tom Letessier, Institute of Zoology, ZSL.

Attending this event

  • This Science and Conservation Event is free to attend and booking is not required.
  • Doors open at 5pm for a 6pm start.
  • Seats are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Venue: Huxley Lecture Theatre at the Meeting Rooms of the Zoological Society of London, Regents Park, NW1 4RY. See map. 
  • Underground: Camden Town Station; Nearest bus: no. 274.
  • A drinks reception for ZSL Fellows and their guests is held from 5pm – 5:50pm. Find out more information about ZSL Fellowship

ZSL Library Events

The ZSL Library will be open before the event and will offer free introductory talks to its special collections from 4.45pm - 5.05pm; no need to book. Please contact or click here for further information, including some specially themed events.

ZSL Wild Science Podcast

We will be creating a fascinating podcast episode featuring some of the speakers from this event, so be sure to keep an ear out for it in the following months! Listen to more of our award winning ZSL Wild Science podcast episodes hosted by Research Fellow Dr Monni Bohm here.


  • Contact Eleanor Darbey:; +44 (0) 207 449 6227.
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