Zoology students gain research experience in Africa

Published 13 August 2015
Photo by Paul McDonald

Photo by Paul McDonald

A group of undergraduate students from the University of New England have recently returned from Africa with an annual internship deal in hand.

The 11 students and four staff spent a fortnight travelling between Zambia and Botswana as part of a research expedition led by UNE’s Dr Paul McDonald.

“It was a great opportunity for our students to get involved in seven different research projects there and to learn about vastly different ecosystems to those in Australia,” Dr Paul McDonald said.

UNE staff and students worked closely with Wildlife ACT, an African conservation organisation in Botswana, to collect data for UNE research.

So impressive was the enthusiasm and commitment of visiting students that Wildlife ACT has now agreed to take UNE groups on a yearly basis.

Photo by Paul McDonald

Photo by Paul McDonald

“A great achievement from the trip in July is the agreement between UNE and Wildlife ACT that gives our Zoology students the opportunity to get practical experience with one of Africa’s best conservation organisations in some of world’s best locations for zoology,” Dr McDonald said.

“UNE doesn’t just have the only specialist Zoology degree in Australia, we are now offering worldwide opportunities to our students that greatly advance their knowledge and understanding in the field.”

According to Dr McDonald, the success of this trip will allow Zoology to run two separate trips annually, one at the end of each year and one mid-year.

The next group, due to take off in December for either nine or 12 weeks of study only has six places left.

For further information about Zoology study trips or the recent expedition to Africa, contact Dr Paul McDonald 6773 3317.