I am a 25 year old Conservation Biologist and Zoologist with a keen interest in science communication and research. In 2017, I graduated from the University of Southampton with a first class honours in BSc Zoology and in 2018, I graduated with a Merit in MRes Wildlife Conservation, jointly awarded by the University of Southampton and Marwell Wildlife.

 

I have extensive experience in the field, living in remote and challenging environments whilst planning, conducting and executing my own research projects. These include managing a dolphin research project for African Impact (Zanzibar), two three-month projects in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (Kenya), working as a survey assistant in Dinokeng Game Reserve (South Africa) and my undergraduate dissertation in the Mahamavo Forest (Madagascar). 

Social media has changed the way that scientists communicate with the public and I believe that raising awareness is the key to successful conservation efforts. It is a powerful engagement tool which, if used correctly, could inspire young minds and increase the number of people entering the scientific world. Through my social media channels, I connect with more than 15,000 people via regular posts and story updates.

Why Wildlife Conservation?

Ever since I was a little girl, I have held a keen fascination for the creatures that we share this earth with. It is this passion and love for the natural world that has led me to pursue a career in zoology and wildlife conservation. 

 

Having spent six weeks in Madagascar, studying an endangered species of mouse lemur, I have experienced first-hand, complete infuriation that such creatures are being driven to the brink of extinction as a result of human activities. Currently, the greatest threat to the earth’s biodiversity is habitat loss which directly results from anthropogenic impacts like deforestation. However, in countries like Madagascar, where 80% of the population live under the poverty line, an issue arises..
Where do you strike the balance between providing resources for the well-being of the local human population and protecting the habitable areas for the species that naturally occur there?

 

This problem is ongoing and there will never be a simple solution, but by researching the ecological requirements that a species needs for survival and educating local populations on the importance of biodiversity, we can make a start.

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© 2020 by  Lara Jackson.