February 25, 2024

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Utilising advanced detection techniques to count koala populations

A PhD candidate from the Queensland University of Technology has been propelled onto the international list of 2019 Women to Watch in UAS.

According to a recent press release, she was added to the list because of her innovative use of advanced detection techniques to count koala populations.

Improving general wildlife research and management

The student is part of a team that is combining machine learning and thermal imaging with drones to count wildlife in a way that is faster, more accurate, and less invasive than traditional methods.

These impressive results create a greater implication for general wildlife research and management in complex environments around the world.

Conducting research as part of the University’s Quantitative Applied Spatial Ecology (QASE) lab has been a rewarding experience for the student as she enjoys working on a project that has very practical applications.

QASE works to protect threatened koala populations using drones and artificial intelligence (AI).

The questions being researched on revolve around wildlife management, biodiversity, invasive species and food security.

As ecologists, they use statistical and mathematical approaches in a spatial framework to solve some of the critical problems facing the environment.

The group uses state of the art technologies to monitor the environment.

In addition, they collaborate with a range of organisations including federal and state governments, conservationists, farmers and other universities to develop highly innovative solutions.

Other works

Examples of their work include:

  1. Monitoring koala populations with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
  2. Using acoustics to assess the flow on impacts of Myrtle Rust in Australian forests
  3. Assessing crop disease status with hyper spectral imagery
  4. Developing improved surveillance and detection methodologies that could be used anywhere

The PhD candidate saw an opportunity to apply maths, statistics and new technologies to current ecological problems.

Drones as a koala-counting technique

Being able to help address this problem on koala counting and to work with scientists, with experiences very different from her own, helped her gain new skills and work in an emerging field.

It gave her the chance to be part of a really exciting and cutting-edge transdisciplinary project, scholarship opportunities, great mentorship and the ability to work and study close to family.

Their drones have an average accuracy of 86% for spotting wildlife, compared to the 70% accuracy of an expert human spotter.

However, this does not mean drones should or could replace human spotters.

Each method has advantages and limitations based on the environment and terrain and the team has been working on ways to combine the two methods to achieve the best outcomes.

Her research project has also attracted international attention. She has also been invited to chair a panel in the upcoming World of Drones Congress in Brisbane.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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