UFII Fellows Journal Club Virtual Seminar – Vratika Chaudhary

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UFII Fellows Journal Club Virtual Seminar – Vratika Chaudhary

September 16, 2021 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

UFII Fellows Journal Club Virtual Seminar Series

“Where the Wildlife Is: Using AI in Conservation and Monitoring”

by Vratika Chaudhary and
Postdoctoral Scientist in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
Sergio Marconi
Postdoctoral Scientist in the Bohemian and Singh labs

Thursday, September 16, 2021


Scale and scope of ecological research has been expanding in the past two decades. One such source of rapidly growing ecological data are remotely-triggered cameras and associated probes. Camera-trap surveys are often part of long-term monitoring programs and produce high volume of data (in the order of hundreds of thousands of images). Often such data are organized manually requiring many hours of effort. Frequently, due to effort-intensive nature, these data are under-utilized and data are under-analyzed.  In collaboration with Sergio Marconi (2019 UFII fellow), I implemented AI models for segmentation and categorization of camera trap imagery. We worked with field teams on the ground to identify their needs and are working towards creating a product that is functional in areas with limited network infrastructure. This seminar will discuss challenges with management of increasing ecological data, challenges specific camera trap imagery, computer vision models, and importance of developing products in collaboration with important stakeholders. 


Vratika Chaudhary recently graduated with a Ph.D. from the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at University of Florida (December 2020), and is now working as a Postdoctoral scientist with Penn State University and is a Visiting Scientist as U.S. Geological Survey. Her work involves using decision science tools to assist federal and state agencies make management decisions in case of infectious wildlife diseases. For her Ph.D. work, Vratika focused on mammalian community in Northeast India, understanding ecological and anthropic factors behind community assembly. Her UFII project ‘Where the wildlife is: using AI in conservation and monitoring’ was inspired because of large data she was working with for her Ph.D. dissertation and understanding she developed about the needs of on-ground teams.

Sergio Marconi is a joint post-doc at the Bohemian and Singh labs. His research is at the intersection between remote sensing, data science and forest ecology, aiming to generate big derived datasets to investigate ecological processes and forest dynamics from individual tree to the continent.”

Thursday, September 16, 2021
11:00AM – 12:00PM (Please note the earlier start time)

Via Zoom

RSVP below. Instructions to attend talk via Zoom will be emailed to you.


September 16, 2021
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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