Thursday, 12 January 2012

Summer placement; Flamingo Land

I've been a little lax with my updates, I know, but I've been so ridiculously busy with revision and getting distracted by various happy things in my life. A few e-mails have been passed between my supervisor, Julie Hawkins, and my potential summer placement leader, Andrew Marshall. Since funds are very tight this year (probably my own fault with Egypt and my Open Water diving course) I need to stay within York or, at a push, the North-East of England. A fantastic opportunity has popped up to work with Flamingo Land zoo which I'm definitely interested in. I'm going to meet with Andy on Monday after our stats lecture (he also happens to teach us stats using 'R') and get some of the background and what it would entail.

The e-mail states that it is a behavioural study on the Humboldt penguin, a threatened species native to the east coast of South America. A lot of research has been done with Flamingo Land in order to determine the optimal conditions for keeping this species based on behaviour, breeding and veterinary care, of which will soon be in review for publication. A new enclosure has been provided to home a large colony of penguins and represents one of the UK’s largest penguin pools. It provides an excellent opportunity to test the conclusions of the paper, and this is where I come in… I need to gather data on the behaviour and breeding success of the penguins in Flamingo Land and analyse the data together with the CIRCLE researchers (Centre for the Integration of Research, Conservation and Learning).

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