Badger project at Stansfeld Park wins University award

We’re delighted to share the news that WildCRU PhD student Tanesha Allen has been given a University of Oxford Vice Chancellor Public Engagement Award for her citizen science project, How do badgers respond to scents from other species? She received a Highly-Commended in the Early Career Researcher Category.

Part of Tanesha’s research took place in the woods at Stansfeld Park, the site of our new education and innovation centres,where she worked with a group of Oxfordshire primary and secondary school children to learn more about wild badgers’ reactions to the scent of animals (including humans).

The team at Science Oxford contributed in more ways than one, as our site ecologist, Dr Roger Baker, helped children lay camera traps around the sets, and even passed on Science Oxford staff’s frozen urine samples to place in the woodland, along with samples from other animals. We captured over a thousand hours of footage, including a badger family with six cubs.

Tanesha’s research is funded by a Royal Society Partnership Grant and involves Oxfordshire schools including Caldecott and Thomas Reade Primary Schools and the Abingdon Science Partnership (ASP). Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor says: “It is inspiring to see the positive impact these activities have both on research and on the individuals and communities that have been involved.”

Tanesha said, “Along with the badgers at our other study sites, this should hopefully provide us with enough footage to see how they respond to different scents… I had a lot of fun – I think it was the best part of my PHD so far.”

You can watch the film about Tanesha’s project here and come and see her talk about the project in person at our Science on Your Doorstep talk at the Science Oxford Centre Theatre in the autumn.

Photo thanks to WildCRU

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