article / 9 May 2022

WILDLABS Virtual Meetup: Data Collection in Movement Ecology (recording)

Our first meetup in Season 4 explores the latest advancements and developments on the horizon for data collection in movement ecology. Watch now to hear short talks from leading experts Roland Kays, Melinda Holland, Yuuki Watanabe, and Vikram Iyer, followed by open discussion and community exchange.   

About the Session

Wildlife tracking technologies have already massively advanced our understanding of the natural world, from uncovering previously mysterious migration patterns and key movement corridors to demonstrating the impacts of anthropogenic pressures and climate change. Recent advances in the development of technologies for collecting and transmitting biologging data have unlocked the potential for fine-scale data collection at a near-global scale, which when integrated with remotely sensed environmental data offers an unprecedented biological lens into ecosystem health and environmental change (Jetz et al. 2022).

As conversations in this space are moving beyond just the immediate hardware limitations and toward what’s needed to realize the potential of such globally coordinated data collection, we are bringing together leading researchers in the field to discuss the latest advances, trickiest challenges, and what the future could hold. Some of the key topics to be discussed include overcoming remaining hurdles in biologger design and development, establishing standards across devices and manufacturers, ethical and effective tag attachments, and next-generation communications networks to facilitate data retrieval.


  • Welcome and introductions (5 min)
  • Roland Kays, Research Professor at North Carolina State University and the Head of the Biodiversity Lab at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences (5 min opening talk)
  • Melinda Holland, President and CEO at Wildlife Computers (10 min)
  • Yuuki Watanabe, Associate Professor, National Institute of Polar Research, University of Tokyo (10 min)
  • Vikram Iyer, Assistant Professor, Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington (10 min)
  • Open discussion and community exchange (45 min)
  • Takeaways and wrap up (5 min)

Full session

We also have the recording available here on Zoom if you'd like to view the chat. 


Individual talks





About the Series

This season, we’re bringing together leading engineers, conservationists, and academics to explore the future of technology in movement ecology and ask where exactly investment is needed to catapult this field forward. Join us to discuss emerging tools for movement data collection, analysis, and sharing, and to imagine future tech innovations that could answer questions we haven’t yet thought to ask. 

Fueled by the recent explosion of cheaper, lighter, and more powerful animal‐borne biologging technologies, movement ecology sits at the precipice of major breakthroughs that could revolutionize our understanding of wildlife and the ecosystems they navigate. However, we don’t yet have clear priorities for investment that consider a longer-term horizon for innovation and impact. 

To address this gap, we are proud to introduce Tracking Progress, a new WILDLABS research project supported by the Moore Foundation’s Science Program and an advisory committee of movement ecology experts. In this project, we aim to harness the collective expertise of the WILDLABS community through facilitated virtual meetups and focus group discussions to conduct the first global horizon scan of tech in movement ecology.

We know that when we create spaces for our passionate and innovative community to collectively define priorities, the resulting discussions lead to big steps forward for all of us. By joining us at Virtual Meetups this season, your ideas and questions will do more than just drive the conversations you’ve come to know and love - they’ll be actively laying the foundation for a research project that can have real significance to the future directions and investments in this field. We hope to see you there!

Visit our Tracking Progress season overview to learn more about the WILDLABS Virtual Meetup Series and other events.

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