At the beginning of March, work will begin on the ground floor of the Wallace East wing thanks to a generous grant by the Royal Society/Wolfson lab refurbishment scheme.

Smart LabsThis work will see the creation of a laboratory dedicated to the conception, production and testing of state-of-the-art animal tags as well as the building of the Swansea Lab for Animal Movement (SLAM) visualisation centre, both hugely enhancing SLAM’s working capacity. The visualisation centre will be unique in the world and will harness the power of a computer cluster and ingenious in-house software, specially designed to deal with SLAM tag data, to display multi-dimensional information  in innovative configurations on a giant screen. Interaction with the screen will allow users to signal-process behaviour, identifying particular patterns and teasing out differences in behaviours that may not be apparent to the naked eye but that are faithfully recorded by the tags. Although bioscientists are already working with tag data from a suite of animals ranging from weevils to whale sharks, the general approach  has ramifications to issues that extend from sports science through substance abuse to the detection of sub-clinical illness and beyond. The construction of the SLAM lab (scheduled to be completed about 6 months after starting) will ensure that the exciting research avenues already opened up with Swansea’s sports scientists, psychologists and engineers can continue rapidly in this vibrant new research facility.