Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Swansea U's penguin prof named in BBC's most influential conservationist heroes list

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: May 12, 2015
Rory Wilson tagging one of the penguins

A SWANSEA University professor, who has often works with penguins as part of his meticulous research into animal movement, has been named as one of the country's most influential conservation heroes.

Professor Rory Wilson has been named as one of Britain's 50 most influential conservation heroes by BBC Wildlife Magazine, alongside other eminent figures such as broadcasters Sir David Attenborough and Chris Packham and primate scientist Jane Goodall.

The 50 conservation heroes are the people who the BBC's panel of experts believe will have the biggest impact on wildlife in the next decade.

Working the university's computer science and engineering departments, he has pioneered the use of non-invasive electronic tags, which allow the team to track animal movement but with no negative effects on the animal. The tags allow researchers to track the full set of movements and see patterns enabling them to go beyond just describing what the animal is doing, and predict what it's going to do next.

He also served as an adviser to National Geographic for its Great Migrations series.

Professor Rory Wilson of Swansea University said: "I am thrilled to be in the Wildlife Power List but it is as much a tribute to the team as to me. Without brilliant physicists, computer scientists and off-the-wall biologists, I'd be dreaming more than doing.

"Working within discipline interstices enables us to bring smart technology to wild animals to understand them as never before. I'd like to think that creatures with conservation issues might one day thank us for that!"

source: Geraint Thomas

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