Mark D Holton

Mark D Holton
Swansea University | SWAN · College of Engineering

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79
Publications
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (79)
Article
Many studies of animal distributions use habitat and climactic variables to explain patterns of observed space use. However, without behavioral information, we can only speculate as to why and how these characteristics are important to species persistence. Animal-borne accelerometer and magnetometer data loggers can be used to detect behaviors and...
Article
Full-text available
Accelerometers in animal‐attached tags are powerful tools in behavioural ecology, they can be used to determine behaviour and provide proxies for movement‐based energy expenditure. Researchers are collecting and archiving data across systems, seasons and device types. However, using data repositories to draw ecological inference requires a good und...
Article
Full-text available
The combined use of global positioning system (GPS) technology and motion sensors within the discipline of movement ecology has increased over recent years. This is particularly the case for instrumented wildlife, with many studies now opting to record parameters at high (infra-second) sampling frequencies. However, the detail with which GPS logger...
Article
Animal-attached devices have transformed our understanding of vertebrate ecology. To minimize any associated harm, researchers have long advocated that tag masses should not exceed 3% of carrier body mass. However, this ignores tag forces resulting from animal movement. Using data from collar-attached accelerometers on 10 diverse free-ranging terre...
Article
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The presence of wildlife adjacent to and within urban spaces is a growing phenomenon globally. When wildlife’s presence in urban spaces has negative impacts for people and wildlife, nonlethal and lethal interventions on animals invariably result. Recent evidence suggests that individuals in wild animal populations vary in both their propensity to u...
Article
Full-text available
Background Understanding what animals do in time and space is important for a range of ecological questions, however accurate estimates of how animals use space is challenging. Within the use of animal-attached tags, radio telemetry (including the Global Positioning System, ‘GPS’) is typically used to verify an animal’s location periodically. Strai...
Article
Full-text available
The time that animals spend travelling at various speeds and the tortuosity of their movement paths are two of the many things that affect space-use by animals. In this, high turn rates are predicted to be energetically costly, especially at high travel speeds, which implies that animals should modulate their speed according to path characteristics...
Article
Full-text available
Background Quantifying metabolic rate in free-living animals is invaluable in understanding the costs of behaviour and movement for individuals and communities. Dynamic body acceleration (DBA) metrics, such as vectoral DBA (VeDBA), are commonly used as proxies for the energy expenditure of movement but are of limited applicability for slow-moving s...
Article
Full-text available
Animal-borne tags (biologgers) have now become extremely sophisticated, recording data from multiple sensors at high frequencies for long periods and, as such, have become a powerful tool for behavioural ecologists and physiologists studying wild animals. But the design and implementation of these tags is not trivial because engineers have to maxim...
Preprint
Full-text available
1. Accelerometers in animal-attached tags have proven to be powerful tools in behavioural ecology, being used to determine behaviour and provide proxies for movement-based energy expenditure. Researchers are collecting and archiving data across systems, seasons and device types. However, in order to use data repositories to draw ecological inferenc...
Article
Full-text available
Background Fine-scale data on animal position are increasingly enabling us to understand the details of animal movement ecology and dead-reckoning, a technique integrating motion sensor-derived information on heading and speed, can be used to reconstruct fine-scale movement paths at sub-second resolution, irrespective of the environment. On its own...
Preprint
Full-text available
The combined use of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and motion sensors within the discipline of movement ecology has increased over recent years. This is particularly the case for instrumented wildlife, with many studies now opting to record parameters at high (infra-second) sampling frequency. However, the detail with which GPS loggers...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Understanding what animals do in time and space is important for a range of ecological questions, however accurate estimates of how animals use space is challenging. Within the use of animal-attached tags, radio telemetry (including the Global Positioning System (GPS)) is typically used to verify an animal’s location periodically. Straig...
Preprint
Full-text available
Zoos are valuable resources for research, providing scientists with access to rare and elusive species in an easy to observe environment. Animal-attached loggers (aka biologgers) offer profound insight into animal behaviour. Their use in zoos has high yet largely untapped potential to collect data relevant for wild animal research and conservation...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the behavioural ecology of endangered taxa can inform conservation strategies. The activity budgets of the loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta are still poorly understood because many tracking methods show only horizontal displacement and ignore dives and associated behaviours. However, time-depth recorders have enabled researchers to i...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Fine-scale data on animal position are increasingly enabling us to understand the details of animal movement ecology and dead-reckoning, a technique integrating motion sensor-derived information on heading and speed, can be used to reconstruct fine-scale movement paths at sub-second resolution, irrespective of the environment. On its own...
Article
Full-text available
For group-living animals to remain cohesive they must agree on where to travel. Theoretical models predict shared group decisions should be favoured, and a number of empirical examples support this. However, the behavioural mechanisms that underpin shared decision-making are not fully understood. Groups may achieve consensus of direction by active...
Preprint
Animal-attached devices have transformed our understanding of vertebrate ecology. However, to be acceptable, researchers must minimize tag-related harm. The long-standing recommendation that tag masses should not exceed 3% of the animal’s body mass ignores tag forces generated by movement. We used collar-attached accelerometers on four free-ranging...
Preprint
Full-text available
Animal movement paths are variously tortuous, with high turn rates predicted to be energetically costly, especially at high speeds. Animals travel most efficiently at the speed that gives the lowest cost of transport (COT), a well-defined point for movement in fluid media. However, theoretically, land animals should travel at their maximum speed to...
Article
Full-text available
Flight costs are predicted to vary with environmental conditions, and this should ultimately determine the movement capacity and distributions of large soaring birds. Despite this, little is known about how flight effort varies with environmental parameters. We deployed bio-logging devices on the world’s heaviest soaring bird, the Andean condor ( V...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Active PinScreen is a tactile feedback grid that can be mounted on the back of a mobile device to give spatio-temporal direction information over multiple fingers, synchronised with the digital content on the phone's touchscreen. The main image shows a close-up view of the device's 1 mm diameter pins. The small nature of the Active PinScreen (as se...
Article
Full-text available
• The use of animal‐attached data loggers to quantify animal movement has increased in popularity and application in recent years. High‐resolution tri‐axial acceleration and magnetometry measurements have been fundamental in elucidating fine‐scale animal movements, providing information on posture, traveling speed, energy expenditure, and associate...
Article
Full-text available
• Animal behavior is elicited, in part, in response to external conditions, but understanding how animals perceive the environment and make the decisions that bring about these behavioral responses is challenging. • Animal heads often move during specific behaviors and, additionally, typically have sensory systems (notably vision, smell, and hearin...
Article
Full-text available
Vertebrates are recognized as sentient beings. Consequently, urgent priority is now being given to understanding the needs and maximizing the welfare of animals under human care. The general health of animals is most commonly determined by physiological indices e.g., blood sampling, but may also be assessed by documenting behavior. Physiological he...
Article
Full-text available
1.It is fundamentally important for many animal ecologists to quantify the costs of animal activities, although it is not straightforward to do so. The recording of triaxial acceleration by animal‐attached devices has been proposed as a way forward for this, with the specific suggestion that dynamic body acceleration (DBA) be used as a proxy for mo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Mainstream digital interactions are spread over a plethora of devices and form-factors, from mobiles to laptops; printouts to large screens. For emergent users, however, such abundance of choice is rarely accessible or affordable. In particular, viewing mobile content on a larger screen, or printing out copies, is often not available. In this paper...
Article
Energy harvesting by animals is important because it provides the power needed for all metabolic processes. Beyond this, efficient food-finding enhances individual fitness [1] and population viability [2], although rates of energy accumulation are affected by environmental- [3] and individual stochasticity [4]. Typically, differences between indivi...
Article
Full-text available
Many large birds rely on thermal soaring flight to travel cross-country. As such, they are under selective pressure to minimise the time spent gaining altitude in thermal updrafts. Birds should be able to maximise their climb rates by maintaining a position close to the thermal core through careful selection of bank angle and airspeed; however, the...
Presentation
I present a framework for classifying behavior from an accelerometry and magnetometry data set using an unsupervised artificial neural network, coupled to iterative k-means clustering to construct a behavioral probability profile for feral pigs.
Article
1.The development of multi‐sensor animal‐attached tags, recording data at high frequencies, has enormous potential in allowing us to define animal behaviour. 2.The high volumes of data, are pushing us towards machine‐learning as a powerful option for distilling out behaviours. However, with increasing parallel lines of data, systems become more lik...
Article
Two prime issues can detrimentally affect animals that have been equipped with tags; (i) the effect of the capture and restraint process and (ii) the effect of the tag itself. This work examines some of the issues surrounding quantification of tag effects on wild animals for both restrained and free‐living animals. A new method to quantify stress e...
Article
Full-text available
Animal‐attached technologies can be powerful means to quantify space‐use and behaviour, however, there are also ethical implications associated with capturing and instrumenting animals. Furthermore, tagging approaches are not necessarily well‐suited for examining the movements of multiple individuals within specific, local areas of interest. Here,...
Article
Full-text available
Highly specialized diving birds display substantial dichotomy in neck length with, for example, cormorants and anhingas having extreme necks, while penguins and auks have minimized necks. We attached acceleration loggers to Imperial cormorants Phalacrocorax atriceps and Magellanic penguins Spheniscus magellanicus, both foraging in waters over the P...
Article
There is a dearth of suitable metrics capable of objectively quantifying motor competence. Further, objective movement quality characteristics during free play have not been investigated in pre-school children. The aims of this study were to characterize children's free play physical activity and investigate how gait quality characteristics cluster...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies have suggested that changing direction is associated with significant additional energy expenditure. A failure to account for this additional energy expenditure of turning has significant implications in the design and interpretation of health interventions. The purpose of this study was therefore to investigate the influence of walk...
Conference Paper
Biologging devices incorporating accelerometers and magnetometers can facilitate the quantification of animal behaviour and fine scale movement patterns. Swansea University’s Daily Diary features a tri-axial accelerometer and tri-axial magnetometer, as well as temperature, pressure and light sensors. Behavioural observations carried out on individu...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Accelerometers are powerful sensors in many bio-logging devices, and are increasingly allowing researchers to investigate the performance, behaviour, energy expenditure and even state, of free-living animals. Another sensor commonly used in animal-attached loggers is the magnetometer, which has been primarily used in dead-reckoning or i...
Article
Full-text available
Background The use of accelerometers in bio-logging devices has proved to be a powerful tool for the quantification of animal behaviour. While bio-logging techniques are being used on wide range of species, to date they have only been seldom used with non-human primates. This is likely due to three main factors: the long tradition of direct field o...
Article
Full-text available
Accelerometry is the de facto standard in objective physical activity monitoring. However traditional accelerometer units undergo proprietary pre-processing, resulting in the ‘black-box’ phenomenon, where researchers are unaware of the processes and filters used on their data. Raw accelerometers where all frequencies related to human movement are i...
Article
Obese children move less and with greater difficulty than their normal-weight counterparts. Whilst the effect of high BMI on cardiovascular fitness is well known, the effect on movement quality characteristics during a standardised fitness test has not been investigated. The aims of this study were, to characterise the movement quality of children...
Article
Fundamental movement skills are considered the basic building blocks for movement and provide the foundation for specialized and sport-specific movement skills required for participation in a variety of physical activities. However, kinematic analyses of fundamental movement has not been performed. The aims of this study were to, (1) characterise t...
Article
Full-text available
Background We are increasingly using recording devices with multiple sensors operating at high frequencies to produce large volumes of data which are problematic to interpret. A particularly challenging example comes from studies on animals and humans where researchers use animal-attached accelerometers on moving subjects to attempt to quantify beh...
Article
Introduction: The aim was to establish children's mechanical movement patterns during a standardised assessment of fitness by means of an accelerometer. Further to this, our objective was to use the information from the accelerometer to profile individual time courses of exercise, across the cohort. Methods: A multi-stage fitness test study was...
Conference Paper
Introduction Obese children move less and with greater difficulty than their normal-weight counterparts (Stratton et al, 2007). This is a result of increased joint pressure, decreased mobility and detrimental modification of gait pattern (Nantel et al, 2006; Shultz et al, 2014). Whilst the effect of high BMI on cardiovascular fitness is well-known...
Article
Full-text available
The swim bladder provides a mechanism for buoyancy regulation in teleosts. However, in certain species, its location can result in an unstable body position, with associated energetic costs assumed for maintaining posture in addition to the energetic demands from swimbladder volume regulation. Direct observations show that some body-compressed, cav...
Conference Paper
The potential of the device is demonstrated through the results of a micro-bead counting experiment. A 0.5 µl sample volume containing 10 µm polystyrene micro-beads in Dl water is deposited into an on-chip inlet reservoir from where it flows, under capillary action, through a buried flow cell. A laser on one side of the cell is forward biased and t...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Smart tags attached to freely-roaming animals recording multiple parameters at infra-second rates are becoming commonplace, and are transforming our understanding of the way wild animals behave. Interpretation of such data is complex and currently limits the ability of biologists to realise the value of their recorded information. Des...
Article
Full-text available
Background Smart tags attached to freely-roaming animals recording multiple parameters at infra-second rates are becoming commonplace, and are transforming our understanding of the way wild animals behave. Interpretation of such data is complex and currently limits the ability of biologists to realise the value of their recorded information. Descr...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Whether, and how, animals move requires them to assess their environment to determine the most appropriate action and trajectory, although the precise way the environment is scanned has been little studied. We hypothesized that head attitude, which effectively frames the environment for the eyes, and the way it changes over time, would...
Article
Full-text available
Background Research on wild animal ecology is increasingly employing GPS telemetry in order to determine animal movement. However, GPS systems record position intermittently, providing no information on latent position or track tortuosity. High frequency GPS have high power requirements, which necessitates large batteries (often effectively preclud...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the way humans inform themselves about their environment is pivotal in helping explain our susceptibility to stimuli and how this modulates behaviour and movement patterns. We present a new device, the Human Interfaced Personal Observation Platform (HIPOP), which is a head-mounted (typically on a hat) unit that logs magnetometry and a...
Article
A prototype optical structure suitable for advanced biological investigation has been successfully manufactured using plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition and deep reactive-ion etching techniques. Our approach to the design and fabrication of the structure is such that it can easily be integrated onto a lab-on-a-chip cell positioning platform,...
Article
Assessment of animal internal “state” – which includes hormonal, disease, nutritional, and emotional states – is normally considered the province of laboratory work, since its determination in animals in the wild is considered more difficult. However, we show that accelerometers attached externally to animals as diverse as elephants, cockroaches, a...
Article
For phenotypic behavior to be understood in the context of cell lineage and local environment, properties of individual cells must be measured relative to population-wide traits. However, the inability to accurately identify, track and measure thousands of single cells via high-throughput microscopy has impeded dynamic studies of cell populations....