1 October 2019

Work has been continuing over the summer on our Royal Society Partnership Grant project with animal behaviourist Tanesha Allen of Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit.

Tanesha has been able to collect a large amount of video data for her Ph.D. project on the olfactory response of badgers thanks to the assistance of pupils at five primary and secondary schools in Abingdon, co-ordinated by ASP. Teams from the schools helped Tanesha to select camera trap sites to observe the badgers at Science Oxford's new Stansfeld Park site in Headington, where she then set up a series of experiments to test their response to urine samples from a variety of mammals, including human volunteers.

Pupils at Fitzharrys and Abingdon Schools have now been trained in setting up an animal behaviour software package, called BORIS, which can be used to collect statistical information about the behaviours seen in the videos.

Once the secondary pupils have mastered this, they will then cascade the knowledge to primary pupils at Caldecott, Dunmore and Thomas Reade schools who helped Tanesha to set up the experiments. Anyone who wants to find out more about this amazing partnership project and the research that Tanesha does can come to a free lecture at Stansfeld Park on Thursday 10 October. Places can be booked via Science Oxford's website here.

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