Animal – tracking pioneer
Professor Christian Rutz has broad interests in animal behavior and intelligence, human evolution, animal tracking technologies (‘bio-logging’), conservation science, and policy making. A keen fieldworker and explorer, much of his research is driven by a deep curiosity about, and desire to protect, the natural world. Rutz is well-known for his long-term studies of two remarkable tool-using bird species – the famous New Caledonian crow and the near-extinct Hawaiian crow. This research has provided a fresh non-primate perspective on the origins of human ingenuity and technological progress. Rutz has also pioneered cutting-edge wearables for studying wild animals and is the Founding President of the International Bio-Logging Society. He helped launch, and is now chairing, the COVID-19 Bio-Logging Initiative, which uses animal tracking data collected before, during and after lockdowns, to investigate human-wildlife interactions. Unprecedented in scale and scope, this UN-endorsed global research consortium is searching for innovative approaches to forging sustainable human-wildlife coexistence. Based at Scotland’s prestigious St Andrews University, Rutz is a National Geographic Explorer and Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, as well as a former Rhodes Scholar (Oxford) and Radcliffe Fellow (Harvard). His work is regularly published in leading scientific journals, including Nature and Science, attracting worldwide media attention.