Eckerd computer science professors ‘think outside’ to boost wildlife research – News

Eckerd computer science professors ‘think outside’ to boost wildlife research – News

That collaboration is on full display screen at Eckerd College or university, in which two laptop science professors are encouraging to make animal exploration faster, much easier and far more specific. Kelly Debure, Ph.D., professor of computer system science, is the driving power behind computer software employed in research on maritime mammals and, most not too long ago, Alaskan brown bears.

And Mike Hilton, Ph.D., assistant professor of laptop or computer science, has produced software utilized in study on gopher tortoises and frogs. He has unveiled it as an open up resource, so other wildlife researchers can do the job with him.

In excess of the past 20 yrs, Debure has supervised scores of Eckerd pupils who have managed and improved DARWIN (Electronic Assessment and Recognition of Whale Photos on a Network). That program, initially executed under the way of previous Eckerd faculty member John Stewman, has been downloaded thousands of situations. It is created to help researchers determine bottlenose dolphins, but it also has been used by investigation groups on spinner dolphins, fin whales, basking sharks and other relevant species.

Nicks and notches together the edge of a dolphin’s dorsal fin, along with scratches and other markings that an animal acquires, are functions that can be employed to uniquely recognize an specific dolphin, Debure claims. DARWIN uses the edge markings to assess the dorsal fin outlines for similarity.

The software package can support wildlife researchers do one thing essential to their research—identify individual animals. Debure claims scientists who are checking specific animal species want to determine particular men and women in buy to accomplish duties these as earning populace estimates, determining home ranges and modeling association styles.