I am a mathematician with a passion for conservation. At the moment, I’m researching jaguar populations in the Peruvian Amazon.
My team is using maths to create a statistical model of the geographical features jaguars prefer to live, feed and move in. We also have 3D videos of the jungle and photos, as well as reports from local villagers of jaguar sightings, to get the best results.
By asking local people where they’d see these cats, a conservationist can better measure where the jaguars are. You can’t just walk in to the deep jungle and stumble across a family of jaguars.
Helping the Reef as a conservationist
I’ve used similar techniques to develop an interactive map of coral cover in the Great Barrier Reef, as part of a team at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). The map helps to inform the public and government decision-makers about the health of the reef.
I’ve been involved in environmental politics over the years and solving important problems is really rewarding. I want to use my maths skills – whether that be through activism or professional research – to help save the
planet, be a conservationist and make a difference.
Sam’s path to becoming a conservationist
>> Bachelor of Applied Science/Maths (Honours), QUT
>> PhD Maths, QUT
>> Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Mathematics, QUT
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