Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

“Vogel het Uit!” in the finals for the Academic Year Prize 2013

14 June 2013

A multidisciplinary team led by Prof. Willem Bouten and Dr. Judy Shamoun-Baranes of the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics at the University of Amsterdam reached the finals of the Academic Year Prize 2013. With a project titled ‘Vogel het Uit!’ the team aims to inspire people to take an active interest in the way in which individual birds react to their environment.

Together a multidisciplinary team of researchers, developers and students from the University of Amsterdam (UvA), Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RUG), Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) and Netherlands eScience Center (NLeSC) are going to add a new dimension to high-tech bird research. Using UvA-BiTS GPS loggers mounted on the back of birds, the team, is studying how birds react to their environment and can  monitor bird movements day and night, on-shore and off-shore, from the Dutch Wadden islands to the African desert. The wealth of information about bird is posted on the dedicated website UvA-BiTS.

The team wants to inspire people to take an active interest in the daily lives of birds and simultaneously gain a better understanding of bird behavior. Therefore, they are formulating a project to develop a mobile app for smart phones, supported by a website and social media, to exchange information about the birds they are tracking, including GPS routes of birds, daily diaries and life history traits of different individuals. A unique feature will be that people can actively participate in the research by recording their observations at specific locations, which in turn will be shared with a growing community. In this way, UvA-BiTS will be enriched with additional information (including photos and videos) from the field. In this manner, they hope to inspire as many people as possible with this new form of  research. 

Academic Year Prize

Shamoun-Baranes, Bouten, and their team submitted their proposal in the annual Academic Year Prize competition for most original and innovative communication plan in which ongoing scientific research is communicated to a non-scientific audience. The 100,000 Euro prize is awarded by the Academic Year Prize Foundation with Board Members from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), The Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), NRC Carrière and the network VPRO. This week the team heard that their proposal has been selected as one of three to compete in the finals of this prestigious competition. On Wednesday 23 October 2013, the three teams will present their communication plans to a professional jury, the press and the public in the Winkel van Sinkel in Utrecht. Based on their plans and performance that night, the jury will choose the winner of the 2013 Academic Year Prize. In addition, the public will vote for the winner of the public prize. 

More information

  • dr. J.Z. (Judy) Shamoun- Baranes | T: 0205257436

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