Bournemouth University take part in the London Zoohackathon coding event at ZSL

Research Associate Katie Thompson was thrilled to be personally invited by Mahvash Siddiqui, the Environment, Science, Technology and Health Officer of the American Embassy, to represent Bournemouth University as a Subject Matter Expert at the London Zoohackathon. This event was hosted at the Zoological Society of London, where over 80 digital masterminds joined in for 48 hour hack, creating solutions for the illegal wildlife trade. This came at a prominent time when the UK government declared a ban for ivory trade, showing the importance of this event. The trade of illegal animal produces is one of the biggest threats to wildlife conservation worldwide, where this event developed solutions for this crisis including apps, technical solutions and communications to support law enforcement.

Zoos from three continents, London, New Dehli and America came together, collaborating with local U.S. Embassies in the world’s second Zoohackathon. Throughout the weekend event, there were talks from significant organisations:  Sarah Bailey (MET police), David Cowdrey (IFAW), Mark Moseley (MET police), Dr. Leon Barron (Kings), Brian Chappell (Uni of Portsmouth), Nick Bruschi (World Animal Protection), Sabri Zain (TRAFFIC), Christian Plowman (ZSL) and Peter Karney (Digital Catapult Center). Along with volunteers and subject matter experts, subject matters experts  played a vital role in enlightening and informing the coders through the hackathon. The event continues to support the winning teams, and develop high impact software solutions that is integral to aid with the prevention of global wildlife trafficking. Furthermore, the London winner ODINN won the Global Zoohackathon competition after competing against hundreds of global contenders.


BU researcher meets BBC presenter, Saba Douglas-Hamilton

Research Associate Katie Thompson was honoured to meet the BBC wildlife presenter and lifelong conservationist Saba Douglas-Hamilton at her talk ‘Life with Elephants’ last week. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet fellow conservationists, and Saba herself to talk about the incredible research work they lead across the African continent. Her father founded the renowned NGO, ‘Save the Elephants’ where Katie visited their research station in Kenya.

Further research developments have lead Katie to liaise with directors from ‘Elephants Alive’, their partner charity in South Africa. She continues to develop close links with these NGOs and the Life and Environmental Sciences Department at Bournemouth University, with research focusing on elephant conservation and their impact on the ecosystem.