Early Career Researcher of the Year Award – Science & Engineering (Highly Commended 2014)

Dr K-Lynn Smith, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Communication technology benefits elephants and birds

Communication is a central part of the daily lives of all social animals. However, providing normal social interactions for many animals kept in captivity is extremely challenging. This project demonstrates that modern communication technology can provide a solution to this widespread problem. For Asian elephants, social media creates virtual herds that allow females at distant zoos to communicate. For the endangered Australian bird, the regent honeyeater, virtual mentors teach captive-reared juveniles the wild dialect in preparation for their introduction to the wild. Both projects provide new techniques for captive animal management and ways to improve animal welfare.

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