We have just submitted our second peer-reviewed paper for publication. This paper will be a detailed summary of the first year of Gorilla Game Lab, in terms of evaluating the device as a form of cognitive enrichment for gorillas at Bristol Zoo. Stay tuned for publication updates.
Fay will be a plenary speaker at the International Conference on Environmental Enrichment in June 2019, hosted by the University of Kyoto Japan. She will be presenting a detailed account of Gorilla Game Lab so that other zoos and enrichment researchers can benefit from our findings. https://www.iceekyoto.org/
We currently have two Bachelors students from the University of the West of England, Nathan and Mark, undertaking research as part of the Gorilla Game Lab team. Nathan and Mark are working side by side, to evaluate different aspects of the device. Nathan is taking a really zoomed-in look at how gorillas use their hands when they use the device. Mark is doing the opposite, looking more holistically at the whole troop’s behaviour on days when the device is present, and absent. A big thanks to Lucy Mason at Bristol Zoo for her assistance with coding video footage, and volunteer Kevin Murphy for filming assistance.
We have been drumming up media attention for the Gorilla Game Lab project, working with the press team at Bristol Zoo, as well as Reuters. Our project was featured on the regional news, BBC World Service, and Stuart even made it onto Talk Radio!
Last night, we held our official project launch evening at Bristol Zoo Gardens. The event was well-attended; we invited around 100 guests to get the first look at the Gorilla Game Lab enrichment device, and hear about our research journey. This included our funders the Brigstow Institute, colleagues, students, the media, and interested members of the public. The audience got a change to ask the team questions, have a go at the real device (gorilla gloves were optional!) and design their own device module.
EVENT NOTICE: Gorilla Game Lab evening lecture, Bristol Zoo Gardens, Wednesday 14th November 18:00-19:30h.
Join us for a special evening lecture at the zoo, where the Gorilla Game Lab team will be discussing how the project has progressed so far, and our plans for the future. Register for free on Eventbrite, tickets are limited https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/gorilla-game-lab-tickets-51582249898?aff=ebdssbdestsearch
We are currently in the process of preparing a special evening lecture to be held at Bristol Zoo Gardens on 14th November 2018. The Gorilla Game Lab project is now ten months old, and we have enough results under our belt to talk to an audience about:
- where the idea(s) for the project came from (including how Fay and Pete met for the first time in a fire station…)
- how we secured our project funding… tips for securing seedcorn funding
- how we forged new research links between the zoo and the university
- our gorilla game… the design process
- our gorilla game…results so far. Is it indeed a form of cognitive enrichment?
- great ape enrichment and well-being in general
- our plans for the future
Over the past week or so, we have been updating our website, working on a brand new project logo, and working with Patos productions to make a project showreel.
Our paper entitled “Gorilla Game Lab: Exploring Modularity, Tangibility and Playful Engagement in Cognitive Enrichment Design” has been accepted for publication at the Animal Human Interaction Conference this year in Atlanta, Georgia. Stuart will be leading on this, and we can’t wait to share our project with our ACI peers at this exciting meeting.