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New recruit…

By on September 24, 2008 in Uncategorized, EDGE HQ

Having happily skulked about the office since I joined the EDGE team mid-June this year, Carly, Helen and Sally have decided it’s time I was nudged in the direction of the EDGE Blog to introduce myself, so…

I am the newly appointed EDGE Birds Co-ordinator, and the latest recruit to the burgeoning team! As you know, work on the top 100 mammal and amphibian EDGE species is firmly underway, and so the ambitious team is now expanding the EDGE of existence programme to include a new group of vertebrates: birds! That’s where I come in. My role initially will be to research the top 100 EDGE bird species that have been identified. An exciting new ‘birds section’ is being developed for the EDGE of Existence website, which will present the latest information on life history, threats faced, and current conservation actions for each EDGE bird species. This will enable us to bring threatened avian species to the attention of a wide audience and help catalyse (much needed) conservation action in order to secure their future. I will also play a role in supporting the EDGE team in general, including its development of educational, promotional and fundraising initiatives. 

Shoebill: Balaeniceps rex

In terms of my background, I studied Zoology with a year in industry at Manchester University, and (following a year spent furiously saving) undertook an M.Res in Evolutionary Biology & Systematics at Glasgow University. Since graduating, I have sought to gain as much fieldwork experience as possible and have so far enjoyed a number of positions ranging from monitoring the growth and development of lesser black-backed gull chicks on Walney Island, to the survival and breeding success of guillemots on Skomer Island, to a translocation project for a population of great crested newts in Kent! As well as enabling me to contribute to valuable research projects, furthering my own knowledge and skills, and of course being immensely rewarding, this work has also allowed me to successfully avoid having to buy a suit – to the continued horror of family and friends…

Fieldwork on Walney Island

As for my interests, these lie firmly in the fields of conservation and evolutionary biology, and as such I was (and am) a frequent attendee at ZSL’s public scientific meetings. In fact, it was at the “saving species on the EDGE: from theory to practice” lecture in March last year (following the successful launch of EDGE in January, 2007) that I became really interested in this programme. So when a voluntary position was advertised to assist with EDGE’s exciting expansion to avifauna I jumped at the chance!

Since joining the team I’ve gained a real insight into the valuable work that the programme is undertaking around the world; particularly impressive given the (as ever) limited resources available. So I’d feel I wasn’t doing my job properly if I didn’t unsubtly(!) urge all those keen to support this pioneering global conservation initiative to make a lovely donation to EDGE today. It really is your support that enables EDGE to do the vital work it does…

Katrina Fellerman

On that note, I’ll take my leave!