My first experience with Crees started in 2018, when I decided to join the Conservation Internship Programme. I had recently graduated from university and was looking for somewhere to gain some practical experience and learn some valuable field skills. During the six-month internship, I found my passion for studying reptiles and amphibians, managed to publish my first scientific note, and made some amazing memories along the way.
Ever since first leaving the MLC, I always had a desire to return. Then, in 2021, after having graduated from a masters and gaining more field experience in other fascinating countries, I came across an opportunity to return to the MLC as part of the Professional Exchange Programme. Although there had been many changes in the time that I had been away, especially due to the challenges of the pandemic, I immediately felt at home again. With a few more years of experience under my belt, I set myself some new objectives this time. I wanted to educate MLC staff and visitors more about the incredible diversity of reptiles found in the regenerating forest that we live in, particularly how to identify and handle snakes, which many people have a fear of. Furthermore, I wanted to create a field guide of all of the reptile species of the MLC (watch this space!).
Since finishing the Professional Exchange Programme I progressed to Senior Field Staff and then Research Coordinator, and have continued to pursue my passions and share my knowledge with others. I am extremely grateful to Crees, for allowing me to contribute to their incredible research programme while also giving me the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally. Even after spending such a long time at the MLC, I am still excited about what the future holds here, as there are endless possibilities to conduct interesting and innovative research.
Education Programme (Carolina)
MSc Joseph Oakley – Research Coordinator