I first joined WildCRU in 2010 as a volunteer pilot and field assistant for the Hwange Lion Research Project. I then went on to complete a BSc in Conservation Ecology at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Thereafter, in 2015, I was awarded a Beit Trust Scholarship and rejoined WildCRU to pursue a DPhil in Zoology with a focus on exploring the applications of new audio sensing technology for lion research and conservation. This work involved the design and testing of animal-borne and passive audio recording devices and revealed aspects of lion vocal individuality and behaviour that can facilitate non-invasive acoustic monitoring of the species. Having been immersed in the technical disciplines through collaborations with computer scientists and engineers, my research interests have grown from wildlife ecology and management to include conservation technology and the increasing opportunities provided by this new field. Currently, I am working on a lion population model to simulate various management interventions and their effects on lion population growth and survival.
Wijers M, Loveridge A, Macdonald DW and Markham A (2019) CARACAL: a versatile passive acoustic monitoring tool for wildlife research and conservation. Bioacoustics. doi: 10.1080/09524622.2019.1685408
Wijers M, Trethowan P, Markham A, du Preez B, Chamaillé-Jammes S, Loveridge A and Macdonald D (2018) Listening to Lions: Animal-Borne Acoustic Sensors Improve Bio-logger Calibration and Behaviour Classification Performance. Front. Ecol. Evol. 6:171. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2018.00171