LJMU – Liverpool John Moores University

Liverpool John Moores University (www.ljmu.ac.uk) has been operating since 1825, and is one of the largest, most dynamic and forward-thinking universities in the UK, with a vibrant community of 25,000 students from over 100 countries world-wide, 2,500 staff and 250 degree courses across a range of discipline areas.

The core team working on this project have a wide range of expertise, including development and characterisation of sensor technologies (Dr Alex Mason), photonics and laser based systems (Dr Martin Sharp) in addition to a range of agricultural issues, ranging from welfare to efficiency (Dr Jenny Sneddon). This represents expertise from both the Faculty of Technology and Engineering as well as the Faculty of Science within the University.

This team has, for a number of years, to develop sensor systems for monitoring of agricultural activities particularly through Virtual Fencing technology. The team have been awarded a number of projects over the past three years to consider and develop novel methods of tracking animals and constructing methods for both monitoring and controlling the movement of grazing animals (namely sheep and cattle), in particular via non-invasive and non-harmful means. The latter has been a particularly important feature of this work, since electric-shock based fencing systems have been banned in parts of the UK and are often frowned upon for ethical or technical reasons across Europe. Experience from these projects, and more to come in the future, has given the research at LJMU an excellent understanding of the practical challenges surrounding Virtual Fences, in addition to creating an excellent testing and network resource across the UE for related research activities.

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