Badger expert Tanesha Allen, with some help from local school children, has been studying our badgers to understand more about how smell affects their behaviour. Join Tanesha to learn more about her research and have a go at the ‘smelly shirt test’ to see how you measure up against a badger. She is currently collaborating with the Abingdon Science Partnership and Science Oxford on a badger-based citizen science project being funded by the Royal Society.
The badger is one of the UK’s iconic species and our largest land predator. It is just as common as the fox but much more elusive – we have only ever seen our resident population at Stansfeld Park on camera traps! Badgers live in large family groups and have a highly developed sense of smell. With just a sniff, they can recognise each other as well as knowing the sex, age and social group membership. However, little is known about how they react to the scents of other species – including humans.
Tanesha Allen is a third year PhD student at the University of Oxford. As part of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit’s (WildCRU) ongoing European badger project, her research focuses on olfactory mate choice via specialised glandular secretions and metabolic by-products. She previously studied Animal Sciences at Washington State University (BSc.) and Zoology at the University of Cambridge (MPhil).
Join us for the next event in our Science on Your Doorstep series, where we shine a spotlight on fascinating people living and working in Headington. The event is free to attend, but you are invited to make a donation towards a special fund we’re setting up to support disadvantaged schools across the region. The fund will help these schools with their travel costs, to enable them to come and enjoy the new Science Oxford Centre.