University of Helsinki’s RESPECT field course on ecology and biological diversity was arranged in the hotspot of biodiversity, Madagascar. Watch the video to get an idea what the course was all about.
In autumn 2009, a group of students from the University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences took part in RESPECT field course in the tropical island of Madagascar. First, the implementation of course was in jeopardy due to political unrest, but at the end everything went as planned.
Altogether six students from Finland and six students from Madagascar participated in the course, coordinated by metapopulation researcher Mar Cabeza and planner Jukka T. Lehtonen from the University of Helsinki. The atmosphere within the group was great.
In the video the group visits local school, and Academy Professor Ilkka Hanski tells about the course. The video is in English apart from a section at the end where one of the Finnish students tells about catching rodents and reptiles for samples and measurements.
“We did some field studies the aim of which was to evaluate the biodiversity, for example, with different indicator species, such as dung beetles. We also caught some rodents, amphibians, and reptiles with three different traps and on three different locations. It was quite difficult to catch especially the larger species, but we were able to caught some and hopefully get some good results too,” says RESPECT course student Saana Kemppi.