Isla’s 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:
- Conducting a wildlife census survey in southern Zambia as part of an UN-FAO project using a long-range fixed-wing drone – WingtraOne. Isla is now using audiometry – a measurement of the range and sensitivity of hearing generated for different species, cross-referencing these with sound measurements from several UAVs to find the recommended flight altitude to minimise disturbance.
- Using high-resolution satellite imagery to analyse elephant movement in relation to pastoral presence via mobile livestock enclosures. Assessing changes between 2011 & 2019 in relation to the abandonment and establishment of new settlements. This work relies on sixteen images from the Worldview-2 satellite (50cm resolution) and six years of elephant tracking data in Samburu, Kenya.
Isla is jointly supervised by Professor David Macdonald & Dr Tiejun Wang at the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation, University of Twente. National Geographic are supporting her fieldwork research as an ‘Early Career Explorer’. Isla was formally a Visiting Research Scholar at the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, researching the use of geospatial technologies to combat wildlife crime.