In this post, we welcome our new PhD student Josie Humphries!
"Growing up in England, I’ve always been a lover of our wildlife, but not so much the cold and rain. Any opportunity to hop to a new country and spend a while in their climate, I would take it!
I started my degree in Zoology at the University of Manchester, taking part in all the field trips I could and making my way to Scotland, Africa and South America. I spent the third year of my degree working as a marine biology intern in Cartagena, Colombia, assisting with coral restoration work and working closely with the local community, coming up with ideas to reduce the impacts of climate change and over-fishing in the area.
It gets a little bit warmer in the summer months of the UK, but even with the occasional day of sunshine I still did as much overseas animal welfare work as I could between my years of university, working at animal rescue centres in Malawi, Thailand and Peru. It’s fair to say throughout this time I tried a little bit of everything, with my independent research ranging from ungulate behavioural study, marine lab work, herpetofauna fieldwork and desk based modelling. It was this final modelling project that introduced me to disease ecology, with my master’s thesis focusing on the impacts of the fungal disease chytridiomycosis on Madagascan amphibians in the wake of climate change.
I was fascinated by the impacts of this disease, and I immediately started looking for postgrad work in this area. I was extremely lucky to find the PhD at SCU, which will focus on the immunological genetic responses of amphibian populations to chytrid disease. The programme will allow me to continue trying a bit of everything, as I carry out my own lab work, population modelling and even have the opportunity to take part in some fieldwork. And even more lucky, I get to do it all in sunny Australia."