I’ll share some of the latest data on animal movement around the planet. I will highlight how this helps us to preserve biodiversity, to secure our global food supplies, to anticipate pandemics and potentially to predict natural disasters.
Martin Wikelski is the co-director of a new state-of-the-art Max Planck Institute for Animal Behaviour. He did his PhD In Bielefeld, Germany (1994) studying marine iguanas in the Galapagos. This was followed by a few years as a post-doc at Washington State University (USA) and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama working on the physiology of rainforest birds. He next obtained a lectureship at the University of Illinois in 1998 where he worked on long range bird migration, before being hired by Princeton University in 2000. He returned to Germany in 2008 as the directorship of a Max Planck Institute. Martin is a deeply inspiring figure. Aside from a stellar academic publication record, his research has involved countless exotic places and amazing technically impressive research methods. He was designated ‘Adventurer of the Year’ in 2010 by the National Geographic Society. His latest, and most stunning project, has been the creation of a satellite based tracking system which is revolutionising our ability to follow animals. To understand how challenging this task has been, read the Science article below; or, better still, come to the seminar and hear the story from Martin himself. It is quite the journey!