Hedgehogs return to WildCRU

July 21, 2020

With a tradition in hedgehog research going back to 1996, starting with innovative work on their – far from positive – reactions to badger odour, and most recently Carly Pettet’s farmland work  and a sortie with the desert-dwelling Ethiopian hogs that, despite their name, live in Qatar, WildCRU is thrilled to announce its newest hedgehog specialist: Dr Sophie Lund Rasmussen. Sophie will arrive with us as an Academic visitor for 2 years this autumn, and is well-known for her work on the ecology of Danish hedgehogs.

Sophie’s link with WildCRU is off to a racing start – she is devoting this summer to studying robots and their impact on hedgehogs. These particular robots are automated lawn-mowers that have become very popular on the Continent, and a belief has grown up that they not only chop grass, but lacerate hogs. It seems unlikely, because the robots are equipped with sensors and the hedgehogs might see them coming (but then again, that hasn’t helped them with cars), but Sophie, funded by British Hedgehog Preservation Society, is going to get to the heart of the matter (and her efforts to do so are already attracting attention, even before she starts).

  • Credit: Pia Burmøller Hansen
  • Sophie with a robotic lawn mower. Credit: Troels Pank Arbøll