✉ emma.fitzsimmons [at] uq.net.au
I am currently in my final year of my undergraduate degree in Environmental Management majoring in Natural Systems and Wildlife. Besides having always been fascinated by nature, I chose to study this degree for its focus on bridging the gap between science and management, something I consider to be of extreme importance when dealing with environmental issues in our modern world.
A highlight of my degree was having the chance to travel to South Africa to study a variety of issues relating to conservation and wildlife management. It was there where I was provided with an opportunity to actively participate in a rhino horn micro-chipping program and witness first-hand the effects of poaching and human-wildlife conflict. This experience not only exposed me to the many challenges of conserving some of the world’s most threatened species, but instilled in me a deep desire to be a part of the bigger picture in saving these species from extinction.
I am now undertaking my honours thesis under the supervision of A/Prof James Watson, Dr Ayesha Tulloch and Stephen Kearney. My research is looking at the effectiveness of Australia’s protected area system at conserving biodiversity by evaluating whether an adequate mix of protected area sizes are incorporated into the National Reserve System.