Jake WallPh.D. Student
|Education:||PhD Candidate – University of British Columbia, Vancouver 2008 - Present
M.Sc. Geography – Queen’s University, Kingston 2003-2006
B.Sc.H. Physics – Queen’s University, Kingston 1996-2000
IB Diploma - International School of Kenya, Nairobi 1992-1996
Elephant Tracking, Remote Sensing, Time-series analysis, GIS software development
I am researching African elephants in conjunction with Save The Elephants (an organization based in Kenya but working across Africa – www.savetheelephants.org). STE has been GPS tracking elephants in Kenya since 1998 and has amassed a database of nearly 2 million recorded fixes from over 100 individuals. This data will form the basis for my PhD thesis. I am interested in using the data for questions relating to how abiotic factors such as terrain, temperature, and rainfall as well as biotic factors, including human presence, vegetation and nutrients, can determine elephant movements across complex landscapes. The ultimate goal of the work is to better understand the spatial needs of elephants and, in so doing, provide landscape managers with knowledge necessary to make more informed decisions.
STE is tracking elephants in Mali, Kenya, South Africa and Gabon. I will be focusing on both Kenya and Mali for my work which represent two very different elephant populations. In Kenya, elephants are numerous and free to roam across vast landscapes but poaching and conflict with humans puts many elephants at high risk. Mali, on the other hand, is very dry and hot and the population has declined to roughly 400 individuals in recent years. There has been very little recorded conflict with humans but the elephants are at risk from climate change and live on the edge of what is possible for a species with tremendous requirements for both food and water. These two study sites represent very different challenges to interpretation of movement and identification of key spatial resources.
|Previous Research Projects and Publications:||
Before arriving in Kenya in 2006, I worked on the estimation of soil moisture in an arctic watershed (Cape Bounty, Nunavut) using Radar imagery. This work was done under Dr. Paul Treitz at the Laboratory for Remote Sensing of Earth and Environmental Systems (LARSEES) at Queen’s University and was the subject of my Master’s thesis: Arctic Remote Sensing of Soil Moisture with MultiTemporal SAR Imagery.
|Outside Interests:||Travel, Swimming, DIR diving, Crossfit, Photography|