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Nesting loggerhead at Gnaraloo

Welcome to our new Turtles! Intern introduction GTCP Season 2015/16

The Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program would like to officially kick off pre-season 2015/16 by introducing our new interns, Alistair (Scotland), Kimberly (USA), Nick (UK) and Melanie (Australia). During the course of the week we will also be introducing our new Program Assistant and behind the scenes team for season 2015/16.

Hello, My name is Alistair. Originally I’m from South Africa but I have lived and studied in Scotland for most of my life. I have a BSc in Zoology from the University of Glasgow and an MSc in Wildlife biology from Edinburgh Napier. While completing my BSc I volunteered and went on to become the deputy leader of a turtle conservation project in Akitori, Cyprus. During this time I got up close and personal with loggerheads and greens. The moment that really resonated with me was rescuing a trapped female turtle that had fallen down a large gully. During my MSc I conducted a tag-recapture study on sharks in Durban, South Africa. After gaining some amazing experiences and some pretty scary ones (nothing beats the rush of jumping in the water with pretty big sharks about!), I ended up back in bonny Scotland. I started working with the Scottish wildlife trust on their red squirrel project but I’ve always wanted to get back into researching and working with turtles again. With the world’s third largest nesting loggerhead population Gnaraloo looks to be the perfect place to achieve this. I have never been to Australia and I could not be more excited and grateful for this opportunity to work with the GTCP. It will be an amazing experience and I can’t wait to meet everyone and get my hands stuck in!

Hello amigos! My name is Kimberly Nielsen, and as a native Southern Californian, I have always loved the ocean. I majored in Marine Science (Biology pathway) at the University of San Diego, where I completed my undergraduate thesis on Marine Protected Areas and human impacts on the California coastline. During my time as an undergrad I studied abroad for a semester in Queensland, which is where I had my first encounter with sea turtles in the wild – I was hooked! Since graduating from USD, I have worked as a research assistant on sea turtle conservation projects in Costa Rica and Texas. Through these experiences I have had the opportunity to study nesting females and protect the eggs and hatchlings of olive ridleys, greens, kemp’s ridleys, loggerheads, and even a leatherback. I am so stoked and honored to be interning with the Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program and can’t wait to continue working for sea turtle conservation out in the field!

Hi everyone, I’m Nick Goldsmith and I’m from the south coast of England. I have just graduated from Newcastle University (UK) studying marine zoology and am looking forward to travelling to the other side of the world to carry on my passion for sea turtle conservation. I have chosen to work with Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program as i see it as another step on my marine journey having not studied in the Indian Ocean previously. I have worked with turtles at the Zakynthos Turtle Rescue Center in Greece and conducted my undergraduate thesis on green turtles in Bahamas. I am writing this introduction from Barbados where I am currently a field volunteer for the Barbados Sea Turtle Programme. In my spare time I’m an avid SCUBA diver and field hockey player. I’m looking forward to experiencing the amazing snorkelling on offer and I cannot wait to get stuck into this program!!

Hi! My name is Mel, I’m from Australia and I’ve just finished my Masters degree in Conservation Biology at the University of Queensland. I’d applied as a Gnaraloo turtle intern because I wanted to gain further experience in working for an NGO that focused on my two biggest passions in life; wildlife conservation and community education. I also love to travel and volunteer with community-based projects whenever I get the opportunity. I cannot wait to start a new chapter with Gnaraloo’s marine turtles and to meet everyone over there, see you all soon!

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