"Mapping and identifying biodiversity: using new technology to understand our ecosystem" By Prof Kathy Willis, Dr Peter Long and Dr Timos Papadopoulos

Past Event

20 February 2014, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

This seminar is part of the Oxford Martin School Hilary Term seminar series: Blurring the lines: the changing dynamics between man and machine

The present era is critical for the planet’s biodiversity, which is experiencing radical changes at a rate unprecedented in history. Population growth, industry and agriculture all place increasing pressure on habitats. But new technologies are enabling more detailed and efficient mapping and monitoring of ecologically important landscapes. Find out how satellites and data are helping companies determine the locations where their activities will cause least harm, and how researchers plan to enlist the public to help preserve biodiversity through smartphone technology and crowd sourcing.


  • Professor Kathy Willis, Co-Director, Oxford Martin Programme on Resource Stewardship and Director of Science, Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew
  • Dr Peter Long, James Martin Fellow, Biodiversity Institute, Oxford Martin School
  • Dr Timos Papadopoulos, James Martin Fellow, Biodiversity Institute, Oxford Martin School
Join in on twitter with #humantech
This seminar will be live webcast here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBSOoQWhfzk at 3.30pm on 20 February

About the speakers

Professor Kathy Willis is Co-Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Resource Stewardship; Associate Director of the Biodiversity Institute, Oxford Martin School; Professor of Biodiversity in the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford and is also on secondment as Director of Science at Kew Gardens. She previously held the Tasso Leventis Chair of Biodiversity and was founding Director of the Biodiversity Institute. She is a Professorial Fellow at Merton College, Oxford.

Professor Kathy Willis’s first degree was in Geography and Environmental Science from the University of Southampton. Her early postdoctoral career was spent in the department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge. In 1999 she moved to a University Lectureship in the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, where she established the Oxford Long-term Ecology Laboratory in 2002 and was made a Professor of Long-term Ecology in 2008. Kathy moved to her current position in the Department of Zoology of the University of Oxford in 2010.

Professor Willis has worked on projects examining biodiversity baselines and processes responsible for ecosystem thresholds and resilience and recent projects include the development of a web-based decision support tool to provide measure of ecological and biodiversity value of landscapes outside of protected areas that can be used by businesses to reconcile competing objectives of maximising financial gains and minimising ecological impacts.

Dr Peter Long is a James Martin Research Fellow at the Biodiversity Institute working with Professor Kathy Willis at the Institute of Biodiversity in the Department of Zoology and in partnership with Operation Wallacea.

He completed his PhD thesis on conservation biology of wetland birds and subsequently worked as a research officer investigating landscape genetics in Madagascar.

Dr Timos Papadopoulos is a James Martin Research Fellow in the Biodiversity Insitute on the project BIOSOUND - Biodiversity monitoring using smartphones: designing an acoustic system for intelligent birdsong analysis. His research is focused on the design of species classification algorithms for field recordings of birdsong as well as on the development of mobile device applications and on the creation of web based citizen's science platforms for the implementation of these algorithms in a crowd sourcing environment.

Timos obtained his Degree in Electrical Engineering by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens and his MSc in Sound and Vibration Studies and his PhD in Audio Signal Processing from the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research at the University of Southampton.