Jen MacIsaac

PhD Student

Jen started her PhD with the BTO and the University of East Anglia in October 2020. Her project title is “Calling in the wilderness: the use of Passive Acoustic Monitoring in biodiversity surveys” and is based in Polesia, a vast lowland area in Eastern Europe covering more than 18 million hectares. 

Interests & Responsibilities

The BTO is working in partnership with Frankfurt Zoological Society to protect Polesia as part of the Endangered Landscapes Programme (
and Jen's research focuses on the use of passive acoustic monitoring coupled with random forest classifier and convolutional neural network machine learning techniques to assess the biodiversity of Polesia. 

Following graduation, Jen worked as an ecologist surveying bats, great crested newts (Triturus cristatus) and reptiles. She was also involved in badger translocations and gained her class 1 great crested newt survey licence. In her spare time Jen enjoys volunteering with her local dormouse and bat groups. 


Jen graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a master’s degree in Biodiversity Conservation in October 2019. Her research project investigated a new method of surveying hazel dormice (Muscardinus avellanarius) using acoustic recorders and automated classifiers and was shortlisted for CIEEM’s postgraduate project of the year award (2020).