Zhou Feng is an EDGE Fellow working on the Critically Endangered Chinese giant salamander – EDGE’s highest priority amphibian for conservation action. She recently spent over a month at ZSL receiving training to facilitate her work on understanding and mitigating the threat of infectious disease to the Chinese giant salamander, both in the wild and captivity. Here is a blog about her time in London…
My experience in London
I come from Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China. The city is famous for its Terracotta Warriors and Horses.
I am an EDGE Fellow working on Chinese giant salamander disease. In the last year, an outbreak of ranavirus occurred amongst farmed Chinese giant salamanders in Shaanxi Province. It caused a large number of deaths.
I came to London to complete 45 days of training in amphibian disease diagnostic techniques at the Institute of Zoology. I was working with Dr. Andrew Cunningham’s staff in his laboratory – they are very kindly and professional people!
I learned a lot of things in London, it was hard work to study such a lot of things in such a short period of time, but they were really very helpful to me. I was so lucky to get the opportunity to learn at ZSL. Now that I have returned to China, I am continuing the Chinese giant salamander disease study as before, using my new-found skills to good effect. The study focuses on determining the cause of this current disease crisis and conducting research investigating to what extent disease poses a threat to the future conservation of this species in the wild and in captivity.
I also saw some famous places in London, such as Big Ben, the British Airways London Eye, the British Museum, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and so on. The buildings of London are very beautiful and Subway transportation is very convenient!
I was surprised that there were such a lot of animals in London. Every day I can see seagulls, ducks, eagles, rabbits, and even a fox! It is really great to see so many animals in a city of more than 7 million people. I really enjoyed my visit very much.
Many thanks to Andrew Cunningham, Helen Meredith, Marie Chambers and all of Dr. Cunningham’s staff!
I will provide more updates as my work continues!