Bio-logging consists in attaching onto (or sometimes inserting into) an animal an
electronic device that will record in its memory physical and/or geochemical parameters as a function of time so that scientists can reconstruct the activity of the animal, the characteristics of the environment it travels in and the interactions between the two. This is a pluridisciplinary approach developed by engineers in electronics and
informatics, used by a wide range of scientists from various disciplines, offering
datasets to play with to statistical mathematicians, modellers and data analysts.
The bio-logging trade-off
The fundamental trade-off of bio-logging: to try and reduce the size/weight of the logger to diminish the impact on the animal carrying the device, and this while preserving as much as possible the lifetime of the batteries and/or the memory size. Maintaining this balance requires ingeniosity and skills from the developers and users alike.
Let’s guide you through typical bio-logging studies with three study cases!
An ecological study of a flying bird, a conservation study of a terrestrial
mammals and a multidisciplinary study case where biologists and physical oceanography scientists meet. Each study will follow roughly the same progression: what is the question, how do we choose the most appropriate loggers, the way to attach the logger, the way data are collected and retrieved, how they are analysed and how the results are disseminated.