Skip to main content
Skip to main content

Ogden News

NSF highlights WKU research in Africa

NSF highlights WKU research in Africa

“High-tech Scarecrows for Low-tech Farms” — a report on a WKU research project in Africa — is featured on the National Science Foundation’s SEE (Science, Engineering & Education) Innovation website.

WKU researchers are developing “high-tech scarecrows” to reduce crop damage by large mammals in Africa. From left in this photo on the Balule Nature Reserve in South Africa are Mark Cambron, faculty member in Department of Engineering; Molly DuVall, biology graduate student; Bruce Schulte, head of Department of Biology; Michael Stokes, faculty member in Department of Biology; and Shilo Felton, biology graduate student.

In the project, funded by the National Science Foundation and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through their joint Basic Research to Enable Agricultural Development (BREAD) program, researchers from WKU are developing low-cost, automated systems to reduce crop damage by large mammals in sub-Saharan Africa, where some areas have seen crop losses greater than 90 percent.

Across Africa, the top vertebrate wildlife pests include birds, primates, elephants, a variety of antelope species, buffalo, pigs and porcupines. While crop damage due to wild mammals is a major problem for subsistence farmers living near wild lands or protected areas, these animals are vital and visible parts of ecosystems and the source of much foreign income from ecotourists.  This study supports the development and testing of devices that are animal-triggered, nonlethal and portable; they distract wildlife from feeding while alerting farmers to the presence of crop predators. These “scarecrows” emit stimuli, including sounds, lights and smells, in random sequences from a suite of stimuli proven to ward off targeted species of crop predators.

Read more: NSF highlight page, 2010 BREAD project announcement.

Contact: Michael Stokes, (270) 745-6009.

Categories
Latest Headlines
Learn and Earn's new Franklin partnerships benefit students and businesses

With new partnerships at Kentucky Downs and Mission Catering, WKU Learn and Earn extends scholarship and employment opportunities to Simpson County.

The Gatton Academy selects 95 students for Class of 2019

The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky has selected 95 Kentucky sophomores for the Class of 2019.

Confucius Institute at WKU hosts inaugural Chinese Bridge Competition

Sixty-five students showcased their knowledge of Chinese language and culture during the Confucius Institute at WKU’s inaugural Chinese Bridge Competition on March 25.

Featured Articles
Department of Agriculture's Spring Break Study Abroad Class
Geography and Geology's Imperial Barrel Team Earns 1st in Regionals
White Squirrel Weather Staff Attends FEMA Training Event

White Squirrel Weather Staff, along with other WKU and community emergency responder groups, participate in "Enhanced Sports and Special Events Incident Management" FEMA training workshop held on campus.

Empower.Connect.Serve

Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
download excel.

Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
download word.

Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
download powerpoint.

Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,
download quicktime.

 
 Last Modified 3/6/17