Dinner Speakers

Michael Lanzone
CEO Cellular Tracking Technologies

The Internet of Wildlife – connecting technology and wildlife to answer the big conservation questions of today and tomorrow

Jodi KillenConnectivity in our everyday lives is something we all have gotten used to, both consciously and subconsciously. Whether it’s the watch on your wrist uploading data to the web and then providing you analyses on your phone, or your phone triggering a connected device in your home when you cross an invisible geofence, we use connected networks every day. Until now wildlife tracking devices have been designed to work within a single platform (GSM, ARGOS, etc.), where every device communicates directly with a specific network. The Internet of WildlifeTM (IoW) leverages each organism in the network to intelligently collect and send information from one organism to the next allowing researchers to collect biological data never before possible. For example, with IoW small passerines transfer data to turtles, otters to gulls, whales to albatrosses; bigger animals can transmit to the internet and/or satellites so that the entire multi-species data stream ultimately reaches the researcher. This kind of intelligent data mesh network enables remote tracking of the smallest organisms. The IoW mesh network leverages existing network infrastructure, thereby reducing the need to deploy costlier infrastructure specific to certain type of wildlife tag, e.g., ICARUS. The CTT IoW will revolutionize how animal movement data are collected and how researchers and wildlife work together to answer big questions and ultimately help conserve species world-wide.

Michael Lanzone is the co-founder, CEO and chairman of Cellular Tracking Techologies, a company on the cutting edge of wildlife telemetry.  Mike spent his teen years in upstate New York where he had the opportunity to work with both passerine and raptor banders.  It was evident early that Mike had an inventive creativity, and he was lucky and determined enough to find ways to harness it in service of avian conservation. He devised Braddock Bay Bird Observatory‘s first aerial net, was instrumental in advancing the bioacoustics lab at Powdermill Avian Research Center, and his GPS trackers were integral to the success of Project Snowstorm.  In 2017, he was the recipient of the ABA‘s Chandler Robbins Award for Conservation and Education. Now living and working in New Jersey, Mike is one of the leading Golden Eagle researchers in North America.

Sara Morris
Associate VP of Academic Affairs, Canisius College

The power of partnerships: How a banding station can contribute to avian research

aou-jenkinson-award-morris-2014The Appledore Island Migration Station began operating in the 1970s.  Initially, the AIMS banding station focused on documenting migration and stopover ecology of migrant landbirds.  Although it began with a single purpose, the station has collaborated on a variety of projects that have increased its contributions to the study of avian migration.  These projects have included  large scale studies of bird movements, the role of migrant birds in zoonotic diseases, factors affecting stopover decisions by migrants, and flight calling behavior. Additionally, by being open to other opportunities, the station has contributed to the study of wind turbines and the analyses of complex shapes.  While banding and the study of basic life history continue to be the focus of the AIMS banding station, partnerships have increased the scope and value of the science from this single site and contributed to its long-term operation.

For nearly three decades, Sara Morris has been using banding to answer questions about the behavior of migrating passerines, particularly in the Gulf of Maine.  With more than 30 publications to her name on topics including vector-borne disease in songbirds, night-flight calls, and stopover decision-making in wood warblers, Sara uses avian research not only as a mechanism to understand bird behavior but also as a tool to mentor undergraduate and graduate students.

A professor of biology at Canisius College in Buffalo NY, Sara currently serves as the Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs.  She is the lead bander at the Appledore Island Migration Station and a research associate at the Braddock Bay Bird Observatory. She is the Immediate Past President of the Wilson Ornithological Society, a life member of the Eastern Bird Banding Association, and in 2014 she received the Marion Jenkinson AOU Service Award.