Leigh West

WRF Symposium

Dr. Kasim Rafiq recently presented his work on using animal-worn sensors to understand the impacts of environmental change on African wild dogs and lions at the Washington Research Foundation Symposium, who fund his position at the university. As part of this work, over the past two years, Kasim, Leigh West, and Dr. Briana Abrahms developed and deployed fitness trackers for African carnivores and are currently working with computer scientists to build machine learning algorithms to identify behaviours and hunger from the data collected. Photo credit: Dylan Randolph Photography, WRF symposium 2024

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Abrahms Lab featured in AppleTV’s “EarthSounds”

If you ever wondered how we use acoustic collars to gain insights into the daily lives of African wild dogs, watch the new nature documentary series EarthSounds on AppleTV! Dr. Briana Abrahms and postdoc Dr. Kasim Rafiq were scientific consultants on the show, while Dr. Rafiq’s and grad student Leigh West‘s research was featured in the episode “Listening to Our Planet” from minutes 16:31-23:20. Watch as Dr. Rafiq identifies wild dogs, deploys a collar, and listens to wild dog chatter in an effort to understand how climate change impacts endangered African carnivores.

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A blue whale underwater

Climate change as a global amplifier of human–wildlife conflict

Authors: Briana Abrahms, Neil H. Carter, T. J. Clark-Wolf, Kaitlyn M. Gaynor, Erik Johansson, Alex McInturff, Anna C. Nisi, Kasim Rafiq & Leigh WestJournal: Nature Climate ChangeDOI: 10.1038/s41558-023-01608-5Coverage: KUOW, NPR, The Guardian, Newsweek, Scientific American Climate change and human–wildlife conflict are both pressing challenges for biodiversity conservation and human well-being in the Anthropocene…

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