Autonomous Drones for Nature Conservation Missions
Who Are We?
WildDrone is an international training network funded by the EU Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions. The network will operate from 1 January 2023 – 31 December 2026.
We aim to revolutionize wildlife conservation practices by using autonomous drone technology as a unifying platform to monitor wildlife populations, track their movements, and manage human-wildlife conflicts. We believe that the rapid decline of wildlife populations has prompted an urgent need for more effective and feasible nature conservation practices.
The consortium will hire 13 doctoral candidates to equip them with a unique combination of multidisciplinary skills for drone-based ecology and wildlife conservation. The candidates are going to work closely together in a global training network to realize the full potential of drones and companion autonomous systems for nature conservation missions. The first call for Doctoral Candidates just ended. If you are interested in joining the network, then keep an eye on the website and subscribe to our newsletter – we might have a second call in the spring.
what we do?
We Work Across 3 Themes
Automated Wildlife Tracking for Conservation Practice
Focuses on innovative applications of ecology science for drone-based nature conservation practices.
Safe and Flexible Drone Operations
Focuses on innovation of drone design, operations, and control.
Effective Computer Vision for Conservation
Focuses on development of computer vision techniques centered on vision-based control, tracking, animal censuses, and induvial characterization.
Our Doctoral Projects
WildDrone wants to revolutionize wildlife conservation practices by integrating the research areas of aerial robotics, computer vision, and wildlife ecology, while using autonomous drone technology as a unifying platform.
We will develop new autonomous systems, expand current software capabilities, and combine these advances to create practical tools for visual inspection and monitoring of wildlife populations, movement, behaviour, and habitats in complex field settings.
We Care About
Open science is a key concern for us. Citizen science plays a significant role across the three themes. Our research outputs will be made freely available by depositing research data and publications in open access repositories and here on wilddrone.eu.
We continuously monitor security-related issues, and our Security Advisory Board (SAB) will address any security matters that might arise in the projects. The SAB also reviews our deliverables to assess whether they include any security-sensitive information.
Our Ethics Manager monitors and advises us on all ethics related issues and questions that arise. We will also train our doctoral candidates to improve their understanding of the role ethics generally play in science and research as well as in their own projects.
We see wildlife conservation as a global problem that requires collaborative solutions. We want to develop our technology in cooperation with experienced conservation practitioners, test it in real-life settings, and share our findings so we can all benefit from its use.
A Word from the Coordinator
The idea of WildDrone began in 2018 with a desire to make drones useful for environmental purposes. In the following years, the idea was further refined together with the partners who now make up WildDrone.
From the beginning, our intention has been to create a doctoral network based on projects that have the potential to directly contribute to conservation actions around the world.
We therefore aim to build a network that facilitates our doctoral candidates with close connection to conservation practitioners and educates them on real-life challenges in conservation through hands on experience.
Ulrik Pagh Schultz Lundquist
Professor, WildDrone Coordinator
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