Presented by Microsoft ResearchUniversity College London and Zoological Society of London  

Dr Lucas Joppa
Computational Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Microsoft Research

Dr Robin Freeman
University College London

Exhibit blog

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Further reading

We are in the midst of two ages – the Information Age of laptops, tablets, smart phones and social networking, and the Anthropocene Age, defined by an exceptionally rapid loss of biodiversity caused by human activity.

See the scientists explain the science behind their exhibit in the video above

How it works

This exhibit will demonstrate how scientists can harness the technology from the Information Age to help monitor and respond to environmental change and biodiversity loss. Using pioneering computational methods, scientists can obtain data on where species are found and the size of their population, and use software applications and statistical models to predict where they will be found in future. This information is essential to understanding the potential changes in an ecosystem under different scenarios.

From smartphones to satellites, human technology can be used to monitor, model and respond to threats to our global environment. Camera technology can be used to identify and observe the diversity of animals in a particular area, sending the information directly to a mobile phone application.

By receiving a constant stream of information, scientists can produce accurate local models of biodiversity, and changes can be quickly identified to create accurate global models. The information can then be shared with scientists around the world, enabling a coordinated global response to biodiversity loss.

Lead Image: Caught on camera: African Elephant in Tsavo West National Park, Kenya. Photograph was taken by ZSL’s Instant Wild camera in June 2012 in collaboration with the Kenyan Wildlife Service in order to monitor use of a nearby watering hole.