Meet the University of Glasgow’s Trinidad Expedition team for 2018!
We are a group of students getting ready to embark on a summer-long research trip to Trinidad that is hosted through the University of Glasgow’s Exploration Society. This exploration will involve various environmental projects, including work in wildlife conservation. The projects will be focusing on turtles, frogs, bats, and particular physical hazards that impact the island.
This is our first post on the blog, and we have decided to dedicate it to introducing the new team.
Here is a little bit about us and our roles in the team!
Jessica Melrose (21), Team Leader
“I’m a third-year geography student and I was on the expedition last year working on the geography project. This year I plan to continue past research further for my Honours project investigating the perception and vulnerability of the population to environmental hazards. I have carried out geography fieldwork projects in Singapore and Chang Mai, Thailand. In addition to this, I have also undertaken some turtle conservation work in Malaysia. Growing up in Singapore volunteering was an integral part of social responsibility, from building houses in Cambodia and a road for an orphanage in Malaysia to teaching English in India and Cambodia. I can’t wait to be back in ‘Trini’ to experience more of the culture, to get involved with the zoology projects and to give back to the local communities.”
Freya Pellie (21), Secretary
“I’m a third-year zoology student and this is my first expedition with the university. I’m really excited for the opportunity to experience a diverse range of wild animal species I’ve never encountered before, as well as a whole new culture! Whilst in Trinidad I’m hoping to investigate organic pollutant levels in leather-back turtle eggs, which may offer further insight into the low rates of hatching success in this species. I have done quite a bit of youth work through long term involvement in a children’s summer camp and two social circus projects and so I’m also really keen to utilise the skills I’ve learnt from these ventures to help with the education project.”
Emily Hutton (23), Treasurer
“I’m a third-year zoology student. This is my first time travelling to Trinidad with the Exploration Society and I’m excited to experience the amazing nature and culture that exists there. While on the expedition I’ll be carrying out my honours project on species of frogs native to Trinidad and I’m looking forward to learning a lot about many of the different species of frogs and other animals living on the island. I have had some experience with conservation in larger mammals in places like South Africa but have never had the chance to experience anything like the nature in Trinidad. I’m looking forward to spending next summer with the rest of the team doing dedicated and rewarding work and experiencing everything that Trinidad has to offer!”
Rachel Mosley (19), Treasurer
“I am a second-year Zoology student, and this will be my first time on an expedition. I have never been to the Caribbean before and I am excited for this new experience. I have always been passionate about wildlife and I am looking forward to studying bats, frogs and turtles while on the expedition, as this will be invaluable experience for my future. I have previously been involved with Scottish wildlife rescue groups and I hope this will stand me in good stead for this expedition. I am also very interested in the environmental hazards project, as I live along the coast and would love to see how coastal landscapes differ and what this means for the people there.”
Ainslie Mackenzie (21), Fundraising
“I am a third-year zoology student, and this will be my first expedition with the University of Glasgow, which I am very excited about. I am planning to carry out research for my honours project on sea turtles whilst in Trinidad. I’ve always known that I have wanted to work with animals and I am now most interested in conservation and climate change. I have spent the previous summer in South Africa completing a conservation internship, helping with ongoing studies into white rhino behaviour and elephant feeding habits. I am very interested and excited to be going to a different part of the world and seeing a whole new variety of wildlife as well as helping with the geography project and I can’t wait to start my research and help the others with theirs.”
Jessica Young (19), Fundraising
“I’m a second-year zoology student from Dunblane and this is my first expedition with the University of Glasgow. I’m very much looking forward to the expedition in June and getting stuck in with the bat, turtle, amphibian and geography projects. I’m eager to learn not only about Trinidad’s wildlife and environment but also its people and culture. This summer I had my first experience of field work when I volunteered with the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust. I recently gained my PADI Open Water diving qualification, so I’m interested in discovering more about Trinidad’s marine life when I’m not helping with the other projects. Finally, I’m also excited to get to know my team and the people we’ll be working with in Trinidad.”
Louise McMurtrie (23), Fundraising
“I’m a third-year zoology student hoping to do my honour project out in Trinidad this year. I’m a keen animal lover and hope to do work that will help lead to a career in conservation work. I’ve had the great luck of visiting the island before, working with frogs and turtles, and I hope to add to that in this year’s trip. In the past, I’ve helped out with frog life a couple of times, teaching people about the important of nature and frogs. I’m keen to get more field work under my belt and learn more about the geology projects taking place on the trip. I love to meet new people and learn about their cultures so going back is great way to learn more.”
Jude Wilson (19), Fundraising
“I’m a second-year zoology student and I have never been on an expedition before but I’m excited to gain experience. This opportunity will allow me to learn new field skills which I will be able to apply to a career after university. I’m looking forward to experiencing the diverse range of species and habitats Trinidad has to offer, along with the unique culture. I’m extremely interested in the species that are being researched and I’m excited to help out with all the projects running this year, especially those focused on the turtles in Trinidad. I’m also looking forward to helping out with the geography project being performed this year.”
Eugenio Carlon (18), Grant Applications
“I’m first-year Zoology student at the University of Glasgow, and will be participating in the Trinidad Expedition of 2018. My interests and passions lie, amongst a multitude of different things, in animal biology and environmental and species conservation. Fuelled by the love for the Caribbean’s flora and fauna, and by the words of Konrad Lorenz and Steve Irwin (in cooperation with R. Kipling and J. London), I cannot wait to be working on the field. My experience consists in working as a volunteer in a project on nightingales (Cervia, Italy) as well constructing and writing up my own project on snails, for my IB Extended Essay. I’ve also volunteered for LIBERA, an anti-mafia organisation based in Italy. Furthermore, I’ve also gained experience in animal handling through dogs and hamsters.”
Emma Plant (20), Grant Applications
“I’m a second-year zoology student at the University of Glasgow. My passion for animals and conservation is my main reason for going on the Trinidad expedition. This will be my first expedition and I’m looking forward to gaining valuable experience in field work and seeing the diverse range of animals Trinidad has to offer. I’m also very excited to help out with the geography project, looking at the effects of hazards such as tsunamis and earthquakes. In the future I’m planning to work in conservation so the opportunity to work with vulnerable leather back turtles in Trinidad is very exciting.”
Stephen Smith (20), Grant Applications
“I’m a third-year anatomy student and this will be my first trip to Trinidad. I’m looking forward to experiencing more of the world and getting a chance to photograph an entirely different ecosystem than the one I’m accustomed to in Scotland. I have an avid interest in environmental change as well as tropical wildlife, so will be assisting with both the animal and geographical projects being run this year. I am particularly excited as this is my first trip to the Caribbean and I’m looking forward to experiencing a new culture.”
Gregor McAdam (18), Media
“I’m a first-year zoology student and I have never taken part in an expedition before. I’m passionate about animals and can’t wait to go to Trinidad as I have never been to the Caribbean and this will also be the furthest I have ever been from home. I’m also looking forward to doing some practical zoology in the field, working with bats, tree frogs and sea turtles. I’m looking forward to finding out more about these fascinating animals.”
Erin Fowler (19), Media
“I’m a second-year geography student and this will be my first ever expedition. As a keen student geographer, I volunteer as part of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and I’m the sub-editor of their magazine the ‘Young Geographer’. I’m also the second-year representative for the university’s own Geography Society. After living in Spain for one month over the summer where I worked on an eco-project, I’m looking forward to return to a hotter environment. I’m particularly excited to research physical hazards within the island and to take part in conservation work with turtles, frogs and bats.”
And that’s us!
We’re all extremely excited to stay in Trinidad for the summer and we have already started fundraising for our expedition. We hosted a successful 90s themed pub quiz and we’re planning many more fun events in the coming new year. In the meantime, please support our expedition by donating to our gofundme page and by following our social media.
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