From debugging to conserving insects in agriculture
Having previously completed an undergraduate degree in Software Engineering at ANU, returning to study in the beautiful leafy ANU campus has been a nostalgic experience. My postgraduate journey started with enrolling part-time in a Master of Environment degree at the Fenner School while working full-time. The variety of courses offered has helped me increase my knowledge-base on broad issues in environment and sustainability science, and develop critical analytical and research skills. More importantly, this degree has helped me discover my passion for conservation biology and plant ecology, and connected me to very helpful and inspiring academics and mentors in my fields of interest.
I have now started a full-time PhD with the Fenner School after completing my Master’s degree. I will be researching the distribution and dispersal mechanisms of ground arthropods and plants in a fragmented mixed-cropping landscape in the New South Wales Lachlan Catchment. I will also examine the ecology of animal-plant interactions, and hope to discover how sustainable agricultural management methods can improve the conservation of patch-dependent arthropods and the ecosystem services they provide. I am very thankful for the PhD scholarship support from both ANU and NSW Central Tablelands Local Land Services.
I don’t know where the future will take me, but I look forward to contributing to the urgent challenge of integrating agricultural production and conservation biology, and hope that I can use my cross-disciplinary skills to address apparent gaps in the use of technological tools in natural resource and agricultural management.