Robbie Waugh - Team Leader
Hello! I’m Robbie, I am 20 years of age and currently undertaking my 3rd year of study in Zoology at the University of Glasgow. This will be my second year carrying out research at the MLC and I am thrilled to be leading an expedition back. The Manu biosphere is absolutely full of fascinating and biodiverse organisms and I am extremely excited to get in the midst of it and learn more about the ecosystem as a whole. During the previous year in Peru, among other field work experience in Scotland and Trinidad, I gained a lot of knowledge and valuable scientific techniques which I look forward to putting into practice this year. Previously, mammals have been a main interest of mine, however my recent experience in the jungle has greatly increased my interest in other organisms found in Peru, particularly butterflies and amphibians. I am very enthusiastic about conservation as I feel it is extremely important to conserve what biodiversity we have left for endless reasons. The work being carried out at the Manu Learning Centre is invaluable and I cannot wait to put forward my skills and be a part of it and make this expedition a success.
Nikki Andrews - Team Leader
Hey! I’m Nikki, I am in my final year at the University of Glasgow studying zoology. I was on the Peru expedition 2013 carrying out my honours project on abundance, diversity and distribution of amphibians in habitats with differing human disturbance history. I enjoyed all aspects of carrying out an honours project in the field; data collection, thinking on your feet and getting others enthusiastic about your project and it really encouraged me to go back. The flora and fauna of this region is just amazing and so diverse and I enjoyed helping out with other projects asides from just amphibians such as mammals and the carbon studies. The opportunity to co-lead this expedition was one that could not be missed – prior to the 2013 expedition I went on the University of Glasgow Tobago expedition which involved marine turtle conservation. After seeing the work the leaders did before and during the expedition I knew I wanted to lead an expedition at some point.
Giovanni Bianco - Treasurer
Hello! I am Giovanni and I am a second year Zoology student at the University of Glasgow. Since I was a child I have always been really keen on natural world and animals, especially reptiles and amphibians. Taking part in an expedition focus on conservation and research in the Amazon rainforest is such a great opportunity to put this passion into practice and has always been a dream since I was in fields running after lizards. It will be a great occasion to gain useful field experience as well as to know great people and different cultures, and I can’t wait to give my contribution to such an amazing project.
Stuart Anderson - Transport Coordinator
I am a 26 year old 5th and final years Zoology Masters student at the University of Glasgow. I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of the Peru 2014 expedition! I have always been a keen nature enthusiast from a very young; many of my oldest memories include going on my own imaginary expeditions in my back garden and the local woods trying to find as man y cool critters as I could. My main areas of interest mainly lie with etymology. I was lucky enough to have spent 10 months on placement in Ecuador doing my own research into the biodiversity of butterflies and personally looking at the behaviour of territorial dragonflies. I have always been passionate about conservation and can’t wait to get out to the Manu reserve to help in whatever way I can. I look forward to all the challenges that lay ahead and hope to further improve upon my field work skills and hope to improve my employ-ability. South America has always fascinated me and I am also excited to be able to return again and experience the culture of the area hands on as well as brush up on my Spanish. As you can imagine, I am really excited to get back out into the Amazon and get hands on with nature again!
Arabella Ogilvie – Fundraising
I am 18 years old and in my first year studying Biology with Psychology at university. I feel overwhelmingly lucky and excited to be part of the team to Peru and cannot wait to bring everything I have to make it a successful expedition. Despite being only a first year I have a keen passion for conservation and nature which has developed over the years of growing up surrounded by wildlife and being an avid admirer of Sir David Attenborough’s work. The Gold Duke of Edinburgh expeditions have increased my ability to work as a team and overcome demanding physical and mental challenges and I am eager to applying these skills in the completely new environment of the rainforest that I have always dreamed of visiting. My passion has always been birds but I have a keen interest in all aspects of Zoology and cannot wait to learn more about the diversity and conservation of the Amazon and improve my experience in the field. I look forward to this fantastic opportunity and to carrying out valuable research with new friends!
Degree: Psychology and Biology
Mairi Hilton - Secretary and Treasurer
My name is Mairi, I’m 21 and I’m in 4th year studying Geography. I have always had a passion for animals and conservation so I am very excited to go to Peru and get the chance to study some of the many interesting species of animal that the country has to offer. I am especially interested in studying the diverse amphibian species in Peru, and am also very excited to investigate how various levels of human disturbance impacts the way in which animals interact with their environment. Having been on the Exploration Society Tobago expedition in 2012 and 2013 I have gained experience of amphibian research, and I am excited to now apply this experience to the species in the Manu National Park. Whilst in Tobago in 2013 I was also able to carry out research for my own dissertation, which has taught me many important data collection and analysis skills. I also have previous experience of working with GIS, having helped to create population density and distribution maps for the amphibian species in Tobago and for research for my own dissertation, and I look forward to using this skill to help to represent various species populations in Peru. Travelling to Peru has been a lifelong dream for me, and I feel very privileged to be offered the chance to go on this expedition.
Caitlin Cant - Fundraising
I am eighteen years old and currently in my first year at Glasgow University studying zoology. I have always had a huge passion and interest for biology, wildlife in particular, so I am delighted to be able to take part in this expedition. I was fortunate enough to go on a biology research expedition with my school, in summer 2013, to Honduras through the organisation Operation Wallacea. It was an incredible experience, which greatly increased my interest and enthusiasm in conservation and scientific research, as well as providing fundraising skills. The Amazon rainforest is a place I never thought I would get the chance to visit and this expedition will allow me to fully appreciate the enormous species diversity and unique environment there. The work being carried out will hopefully give me valuable practical skills and new experiences as well as building on what I already know. I am particularly interested in mammals, so I am looking forward to using the camera traps to record and research them. After university I am looking to hopefully continue to carry out biological research and pursue a career in wildlife conservation and so I am very grateful for this opportunity to make a difference and develop the necessary abilities.
Sarah Green - Merchandise
I am extremely excited to have the honour of being part of this 2014 Peru expedition and am already looking forward to the upcoming challenges of planning such a trip. From a very young age I was always fascinated by all things animal and since starting my studies at university I have become increasingly interested in ecology and conservation, realising how important it is for the survival and success of all living organism on the planet. This expedition provides me with an excellent opportunity to carry out some worthwhile research as well as the chance to travel to an area of the world that I have always wanted to visit. Having been lucky enough to take part in a marine conservation research program in Fiji in 2010, I gained valuable experience of living and working in the field as well as liaising with local people to identify potential management strategies. I am very much looking forward to this excursion to another of the world’s biodiversity hotspots and to working with brilliantly motivated and like-minded colleagues.