Students from the Applied Ecology master's programme in Evenstad have participated in the “Traversing Tracks” wildlife student symposium in Copenhagen in December 2019.
The symposium had 100 participants from Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Germany, Iceland, Greenland, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and France. The symposium included workshops on human-wildlife conflicts, reintroduction programs and on management of Chronic Wasting Disease in different theoretical scenarios in European wildlife.
The students wanted to travel in the most environmentally responsible way, so they opted for taking the train from Evenstad to Oslo, the ferry from Oslo to Copenhagen, and rented bicycles in Copenhagen.
The students were accompanied by Associate Professor, Alina Evans, who presented about student opportunities at Evenstad campus and a scientific lecture about animal responses to changing climates.
Growing interest across disciplines in wildlife and conservation
The symposium, which was held for the first time, aimed to target students who are passionate about environmental issues and wished to present their work, network and learn more about different career opportunities within the field.
The symposium revolved around Nordic wildlife in particular, focusing on local wildlife diseases, research, health and conservation.
An emphasis was put on how interdisciplinary collaboration can bring complementing expertise into the field in order to optimally address wildlife issues.
Varied INN University student presentations
Elena Pi Sierra presented her master’s thesis on the effects of capture in brown bears, and talked about how studying these effects is essential for both animal welfare and research quality.
Amanda H Boesen presented her veterinary thesis project on lead (Pb) exposure in Scandinavian brown bears conducted on samples from the Scandinavian Brown Bear Research Project. Here, Amanda assessed a portable analyzer used in human medicine, which is increasingly being used in wildlife monitoring of exposure. Amanda also presented her ongoing thesis project looking into the effects of the lead exposure in the brown bears as well as other heavy metals they are exposed to. She will be comparing this to samples from captive bears from Copenhagen Zoo.
Lea Bouet presented about analyzing 24 hour videos in relation to GPS-collars-based acceleration of three captive wolves and using a machine-learning algorithm to classify behaviors. She showed that the algorithm demonstrates a strong ability to discriminate between the eight selected wolf behaviors: walking, trotting, galloping, stationary, howling, chewing, digging and smelling. Finally, she talked about how Erik Verluijs could apply this algorithm on his data collected during experimental human approaches on wild, GPS-collared wolves.
For more information about the Master in Applied Ecology, please see here.