Dr Isla Duporge
My research is focused on advancing methods using geospatial technologies to monitor wildlife and analyse movement in relation to anthropogenic risk, this is being carried out using several methods:
- Automating detection of African Elephants in very-high-resolution satellite imagery (Worldview 3 & 4) using a convolutional neural network (CNN).This work is being carried out in collaboration with the Machine Learning Research Group. Testing two Tensorflow API (Google Brain) models measured against human performance and testing whether the algorithm can generalise to detect elephant populations in different locations.
- I conducted a wildlife census survey in southern Zambia as part of an UN-FAO project using a long-range fixed-wing drone – WingtraOne. I am now using audiometry – a measurement of the range and sensitivity of hearing generated for different species, cross-referencing these with sound measurements from several UAVs to find the recommended flight altitude to minimise disturbance.
- Using high-resolution satellite imagery to analyse elephant movement in relation to pastoral presence via identification of mobile livestock enclosures. Assessing changes between 2011 & 2019 in relation to the abandonment and establishment of new settlements. This work relies on sixteen images from the Worldview-2 satellite (50cm resolution) and six years of elephant tracking data in Samburu, Kenya.
- Using the Environmental Evidence Protocol I have conducted a Systematic Evidence Map to gain a better understanding of illegal hunting hotspots and correlations with several covariates, including, proximity to roads, water bodies, human settlements and different land ownership areas.
I am jointly supervised by Professor David Macdonald & Dr Tiejun Wang at the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation, University of Twente and National Geographic are supporting my fieldwork research as an ‘Early Career Explorer’.
Cusack, J. J., Bradfer‐Lawrence, T., Baynham‐Herd, Z., y Tickell, S. C., Duporge, I., Hegre, H., … & Bunnefeld, N. (2021). Measuring the intensity of conflicts in conservation. Conservation Letters.
Duporge, I. C., Isupova, O., Reece, S., Macdonald, D., & Wang, T. (2020). Using very high-resolution satellite imagery and deep learning to detect and count African elephants in heterogeneous landscapes. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation. doi: 10.1002/rse2.195
Duporge, I., Hodgetts, T., Wang, T., & Macdonald, D. W. (2020). The spatial distribution of illegal hunting of terrestrial mammals in Sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic map. Environmental Evidence, 9(1), 1-14.
Duporge, I., Hodgetts, T., & Brett, M. (2018). What spatially explicit quantitative evidence exists that shows the effect of land tenure on illegal hunting of endangered terrestrial mammals in sub-Saharan Africa? A systematic map protocol. Environmental Evidence, 7(1), 1-9.
Determination of optimal flight altitude to minimise acoustic drone disturbance to wildlife using species audiograms
I Duporge, MP Spiegel, ER Thomson, T Chapman, C Lamberth, C Pond, …
Methods in Ecology and Evolution 12 (11), 2196-2207