Ecologist with camera ready for Galapagos trip

Published: Comments:
Animals Wildlife or Pets Creative Arts Environment Science & Research University & TAFE

USC Honours student Kate Berry.

Photographer Kate Berry will be collecting more than just pictures when she heads to the Galapagos Islands on a research trip this month.

The 22-year-old USC Animal Ecology Honours student from Cashmere has received an Early Career Grant from National Geographic to gather data on how Galapagos marine iguanas and lava lizards thrive in their wildlife paradise.

Kate says for a fascinating species that can dive 30 metres underwater and hold their breath for 40 minutes, very little is known about their unique body shape, size and how they interact with their environment.

Working with her supervisor Dr Christofer Clemente, she will be gathering data on how the iguanas move on land in order to understand the evolutionary trade-offs that are a result of their aquatic life.

“We will be visiting different islands because, depending on which island they are from, they could be anywhere from 900 grams to 12 kilograms, and we suspect that will mean they move in different ways,” Kate said.

The researchers will collect the information using high-speed cameras to capture 98 marine iguanas and 98 lava lizards moving through a plastic tunnel on the ground which will act as a makeshift “running track”.

Combined with information from a preliminary study in 2017, the data will help provide a better understanding of the factors affecting the survival of marine iguanas.

“Environmental changes in recent years are threatening the species’ long-term survival, so it is vital that we research the way they live in their habitat to help us inform future strategies to protect them,” Kate said.

The project is in association with the UNC Galapagos Science Centre, the University of North Carolina and the Galapagos National Park Services.

As a keen photographer with her own website – Ecologist with a Camera - Kate also plans to have her camera on hand at all times.

“I love getting up close and taking photos from a unique perspective,” she said.

“From a very young age I’ve been outside chasing animals and watching conservationists such as Steve Irwin and Sir David Attenborough, so my love for animals has always been there.

“My ultimate goal would be to combine my ecological research with photography and documentary making.

“All it takes is just one image for people to connect with and it can change their perspective on wildlife and the importance of conserving the natural world.”

USC Honours student Kate Berry

University Of The Sunshine Coast : View Full Profile
90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
07 5430 1234
University Of The Sunshine Coast
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
Swimming guru is UniSport Coach of the Year 12 December 2018 | USC Spartans para swimming head coach Nathan Doyle has tipped his hat to his late mentor Jan Cameron after being named the Unisport Australia Coach of the Year for 2018. More information...
Early USC offer is music to Jamison’s ears 13 December 2018 | There is no nervous wait for aspiring Sunshine Coast singer and songwriter Jamison Kehl ahead of the release of OP scores this Saturday (15 December). More information...
Boost for USC in search for epilepsy treatment 13 December 2018 | Epilepsy research led by the University of the Sunshine Coast has had a $600,000 boost to investigate new treatments for severe seizures that affect children. More information...
‘Tis the season to take stock of our mental health 12 December 2018 | As the year draws to a close, mental health should be right up there with merriment and mistletoe as a topic of conversation, says the USC researcher behind a new survey. More information...
Campfire connections to continue online 12 December 2018 | Social media has fostered lasting connections for Aboriginal and Torres Strait students who attended the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Buranga Camp. More information...
$2.7 million for USC sea cucumber research 11 December 2018 | A $2.7 million research project to boost stocks of a high-value sea cucumber has been awarded to the University of the Sunshine Coast. More information...
Community light trail a celebration of solar 06 December 2018 | USC Sunshine Coast will celebrate its plans to become a solar-powered campus with an ethereal and interactive light trail for the whole community to enjoy during December. More information...
Rebuilding environment in a humanitarian crisis 10 December 2018 | A USC forestry researcher has been called on to help prevent an environmental calamity occurring as a result of the world’s largest refugee crisis along the Myanmar border of Bangladesh. More information...
Green light for students to go global 10 December 2018 | Two USC students will take their studies in Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander health and ocean current energy across the Pacific Ocean, after receiving scholarships to study globally. More information...
‘Sweet spots’ the key to habitat restoration success 10 December 2018 | Habitat restoration projects around the world need to be placed more strategically to be successful, researchers from the University of the Sunshine Coast have found. More information...

comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service