Congratulations to our Lab Head Susana Carvalho who has been awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship.
Susana provides details below on her project, which is entitled: 'Deep(er) Learning of our Behavioural Evolution: Tracking Bipedalism and Predation in Terrestrial Primates'.
'Bipedalism defines our lineage, implies a shift from arboreal to terrestrial life, and therefore new relationships between hominins and carnivores: how did “landscapes of fear” influence early hominin behaviour relative to bipedalism and carnivory? This question has yet to be answered by palaeoanthropology; it requires integrative approaches using modern primates, fossils, and technologies that capture behaviour in new ways. I will use emerging technologies to record bipedalism and predation in a terrestrial primate, in landscapes similar to those where hominins evolved. I will capture behaviour with UAVs (i.e. drones) and use deep learning to ID species and count individuals so as to quantify intra- and inter-species interactions and space use. This integration of paleoanthropology, computer vision and ethology can revolutionise how we answer questions about our evolution. As part of the project, I'll continue to train the first Mozambican primatologists and palaeoanthropologists who will carry this line of research into the future. This project is a collaboration with Professors Andrew Zisserman (Engineering Dep.), Dora Biro (Zoology Dept.), the British Institute of Eastern Africa (BIEA) and Gorongosa Restoration Project (Mozambique). '
You can find more information on Mid-Career Fellowships on the British Academy website.