Invasion by non-native plant species is a primary concern in forest ecosystem health and biodiversity. BirdHabitatBot Founder Nancy Marek's Ph.D. research goal is to help natural resource professionals monitor invasive plants more effectively. The next phase is developing a robot prototype that can then eradicate these invasives.
Identify & Monitor
Step one: determine whether drones equipped with a simple camera (RGB sensor) could 1) detect and 2) accurately map the spatial distribution of the invasive non-native shrub species, Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii ) and multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora ), in temperate deciduous forest understories in Connecticut. The results from this research will contribute new insights into remote sensing with drones equipped with a standard camera for identification and mapping of understory invasive species.
Eradicate & Educate
Step 2: BirdHabitatBot is the company tasked with developing the robot prototype that will eradicate these invasive species. BirdHabitatBot's other mission is educational, focusing on citizen scientists, forest habitats, native plants and wildlife, and the detriments of invasive species.