article / 22 June 2022

WILDLABS Virtual Meetup: Future Questions & Tools in Movement Ecology (Recording)

Our fourth and final meetup in Season 4 explored the future of movement ecology, including tools that could change the game and questions we might not yet have thought to ask. On June 8, we heard short talks from leading experts Christian Rutz, Ran Nathan, Martin Wikelski, and Tanya Berger-Wolf, followed by open discussion and community exchange. 

About the Session

Despite the many inspiring advancements covered in this series thus far, enormous potential remains untapped in movement ecology. Recent literature suggests that discipline sits at the precipice of major breakthroughs that would unlock previously unimaginable insights into the natural world. Some of these efforts are nearly there, and with support can quickly scale to impact, but other areas require longer-term investment in blue-sky innovation. 

In this fourth and final event, we’re bringing together four of the brightest minds and most creative innovators pushing the boundaries of movement ecology to discuss the latter - to hear their perspectives on what future tools may arise to completely alter the course of the discipline, and what questions we may one day be able to ask and answer.


  • Welcome and introductions (5 min)
  • Christian Rutz, Professor of Biology at the University of St Andrews and President of the International Bio-Logging Society (5 min opening talk)
  • Martin Wikelski, Director of the Department of Migration of the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, Honorary Professor at the University of Konstanz, and Icarus lead (10 min)
  • Tanya Berger-Wolf, Co-founder & Director Wild Me and Director of the Translational Data Analytics Institute at The Ohio State University (10 min)
  • Ran Nathan, Professor of Ecology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Director of the Minerva Center for Movement Ecology, editor-in-chief of the journal Movement Ecology, and co-developer of the ATLAS system (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. All individual presentations are available to view below and on our YouTube channel

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 have done more than just drive the conversations you’ve come to know and love - they are actively laying the foundation for a research project that can have real significance to the future directions and investments in this field. We are so grateful for your participation!

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

Header image: Mark Stone/University of Washington

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