Digital Conservation

What happens which digital meets conservation? The Digital Conservations projects look at using natural language technology to create self-blogging red kites and help the public identify bumblebees.

For more information, please contact Rene van der Wal.

Technology developed as part of the Digital Conservation Project is deployed online at the Blogging Birds website (where you can read the automatically generated blogs) and the Bee Watch website.

Project Objectives

Engaging the Public with Conservation

Investigate how technology can engage the public with at risk or re-introduced species

Crowd Sourcing Identification

In Beewatch investigate the accuracy of the crowd in species identification

Combining Data

In Blogging Birds investigating natural language generation techniques to best create automatically generated blogs from satellite data and other information.


  • Professor Rene van der Wal (Principal Investigator), Ecology
  • Professor Chris Mellish (Co-Investigator), Computing Science
  • Dr Advaith Siddharthan (Associate Investigator), Computing Science
  • Dr Kapila Ponnemperuma (Research Fellow) Computing Science
  • Dr Abigail Cuachi (Research Fellow) Computing Science
  • Cheng Zeng (Research Assistant)
  • Steve Palmer (Research Assistant)
  • Annie Robinson (Research Assistant)
  • Gina Maffey (PhD Student)
  • Danny Heptinstall (PhD Student)

Project Partners

We are working with the following partners on this project



Key Outcomes

  • Blogging Birds won RCUK Telling Tales of Engagement Impact Prize in 2013
  • Press release received worldwide media interest (broadcast, print, online) including from the BBC, New Scientist, Wired
  • Publications include