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An albatross caught the eye of England’s Prince William during a recent trip to the London Zoo – but it wasn’t real. It was a toy with a GPS tracking device attached to it, conceived with help from Microsoft Research Cambridge to track animal movements – including the instinctive actions that come from facing poachers.
Lucas Joppa, the Microsoft Research scientist who brought the device to the zoo gathering, is featured in the latest Microsoft Research Luminaries video series presented by Channel 9.
As Inside Microsoft Research reports, Microsoft Research Cambridge is a serious player in the area of computational ecology, creating devices like these as a focus of the Computational Ecology and Environmental Science group.
“One thing I’m constantly surprised by is the enthusiasm of members of the conservation community for these sorts of research advances,” says Joppa. “Putting the power of cutting-edge data-collection technologies into the hands of conservation practitioners is always a good thing, and making those things cheap and easy to use is of paramount importance.”
That effort has evolved into a broader initiative called Technology for Nature, in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London, University College London and Microsoft Research.
Read more about Joppa and conservation science over at Inside Microsoft Research.
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Athima Chansanchai Microsoft News Center Staff