Isla Duporge

Research Interests

My research is focused on advancing methods using geospatial technologies to monitor wildlife and analyse movement in relation to anthropogenic risk, this is being carried out using several methods:

  1. Automating detection of African Elephants in very-high-resolution satellite imagery (Worldview 3 & 4) using a convolutional neural network (CNN). I am working on this in collaboration with the Machine Learning Research Group. We are testing two Tensorflow models measured against human performance.
  2. I conducted a wildlife census in southern Zambia using a long-range fixed-wing drone – WingtraOne and I am now collating audiograms for different species comparing them to audiograms from different drones to understand at what altitude drones should be flown to minimise disturbance.
  3. Using high-resolution satellite imagery, I am looking at elephant movement in relation to mobile livestock enclosures (bomas) analysing changes between 2011 & 2019 in relation to the abandonment and establishment of new bomas.
  4. Using the Environmental Evidence Protocol I have conducted a Systematic Evidence Map to gain a better understanding of illegal hunting hotspots and correlations with several covariates, including, proximity to roads, water bodies, human settlements and different land ownership areas. 

Additional Affiliations

I was previously based in Brussels working with the German Development Agency on a European Commission project. I have a MSc in Remote Sensing and Environmental Science from Uppsala University, Sweden and the University of Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria. While working on the MSc I was a Visiting Research Scholar at the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, researching the use of geospatial technologies to combat wildlife crime. I established the University of Oxford Drone Society in 2018 and have been president for several years. We are grateful to have received sponsorship from the Oxford Foundry Impact Fund and Thales Group. We run a selection of workshops for the Said Business School and are working to attach a UHF radio receiver to a drone to help in tracking wildlife, in particular, the Scottish Wildlife Cat. 

  • The spatial distribution of illegal hunting of terrestrial mammals in Sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic map

  • What spatially explicit quantitative evidence exists that shows the effect of land tenure on illegal hunting of endangered terrestrial mammals in sub-Saharan Africa? A systematic map protocol

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