- On this episode of the Mongabay Newscast, we check in with a couple field researchers to find out what they’ll be working on during the upcoming season.
- For many, it’s the first field season after a rather long hiatus due to the COVID pandemic.
- Meredith Palmer’s field work involves developing new prototypes for wildlife monitoring technologies like BoomBox, an open‐source device that turns camera traps into Automated Behavioral Response systems.
- We also speak with Ummat Somjee, a field researcher based out of the Smithsonian Tropical Institute in Panama who uses insects as models to understand the evolution of extreme structures in large animals, like the tusks of elephants and antelope horns.
It’s that time of year when many researchers are heading out into the field again, and for some it’s the first field season after a long hiatus due to the COVID pandemic, so we thought we’d check in with a couple of them to find out what they’ll be working on while afield.
We speak with Meredith Palmer, a post-doctoral researcher at Princeton University whose field work involves developing and testing new prototypes for emerging wildlife monitoring technologies. She tells us where she’ll be this field season and what new conservation technologies she’ll be testing, like the BoomBox, an open‐source device that attaches to commercially available camera traps and turns them into an Automated Behavioral Response system.
We also speak with Ummat Somjee, a field researcher based out of the Smithsonian Tropical Institute in Panama. He discusses his research that uses insects as models to understand the evolution of extreme structures in big animals, like the tusks of elephants or antelope horns.
Here are the studies mentioned in this episode:
• Palmer, M. S., Wang, C., Plucinski, J., & Pringle, R. M. (2022). BoomBox: An Automated Behavioural Response (ABR) camera trap module for wildlife playback experiments. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 13(3), 611-618. doi:10.1111/2041-210X.13789
• Somjee, U., Powell, E. C., Hickey, A. J., Harrison, J. F., & Painting, C. J. (2021). Exaggerated sexually selected weapons maintained with disproportionately low metabolic costs in a single species with extreme size variation. Functional Ecology, 35(10), 2282-2293. doi:10.1111/1365-2435.13888
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Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001
Editor’s note: This story was supported by XPRIZE Rainforest as part of their five-year competition to enhance understanding of the rainforest ecosystem. In respect to Mongabay’s policy on editorial independence, XPRIZE Rainforest does not have any right to assign, review, or edit any content published with their support.
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