Speaker: Dr Chris Lavers
Thermal Imaging of Wildlife: This talk looks at a unique collaboration between Dr Chris Lavers, Plymouth University at Britannia Royal Naval College, Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, and the Buckfast Butterfly and Otter Sanctuary 2008-2011. Thermal images were taken with a thermal camera more advanced than those normally used for identifying and observing vessels at sea. The original exhibition Nature in a Different Light has been on show since October 2008 and viewed by over 100,000 across the South West of England. Light is electromagnetic radiation we can see- but- it’s just a small part of the full spectrum. Elsewhere on that spectrum you will find the signals we pick up on our radios and televisions, the microwaves with which we cook and the x-rays used in medicine. Heat is electromagnetic radiation too. We are used to images made out of visible light- these thermal pictures are made up of variations in heat. In medical and veterinary work, heat (or lack of it) can warn of illness or disease. The technique can identify areas of good blood supply, so it is useful for picking up raised body temperatures or areas of inflammation. It can also detect tooth abscesses. In the future conservationists may use thermal equipment to search out wild animals in dense jungle or study animals in torpor, like hibernating dormice. But as can be seen from viewing the images there is a lot more to thermal imaging than just wildlife imaging, and of course more than meets the eye!
Chris Lavers is a lecturer in Marine Engineering and has taught Maritime and Remote Sensing topics at the University of Plymouth at Britannia Royal Naval College since 1993. He is Subject Matter Expert (Radar and Telecommunications) at BRNC Dartmouth and has authored 10 books and appeared on BBC Radio 4 The Material World Programme and BBC Radio Devon several times. He is also a member of the Institute of Physics Environmental Physics Committee and Convenor of the Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society’s Special Interest Group in Conservation and Indigenous Communities.
This talk has been made possible by Cornwall College working in partnership with the Institute of Physics.
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