15th April 2003
Spirits are high among a team of students and scientists who are currently on expedition in the African bush.
One member of staff and one student from the University of Lincoln are part of a team of 15 who are carrying out field research in the Nyika National Park in Malawi.
Rachel Olson works in Learning Resources at the Brayford Pool campus and Catherine Tabor is a Forensic Science student.
Peter Overton of Welbourn-based conservation organisation Biosearch Nyika, which has organised the expedition, visited the team in Malawi earlier this month and says he left them in excellent spirits.
“I felt the team spirit was one of the best we have had on our series of expeditions over recent years,” said Mr Overton. “ I watched them disappear from the magnificent 7,900 foot viewpoint overlooking the Mondwe and Chipome Valleys, down a misty ridge and on their way to a wilderness experience of a lifetime and a rapid increase in physical fitness!”
After he left the team Mr Overton was in communication by satellite telephone with the team leader. This was the only scheduled contact point during the expedition as the team needs to retain battery power in case it should be needed in an emergency.
“The team leader told me that everyone is well, they are making some interesting discoveries and have had some rather exciting moments!” said Mr Overton.
The aim of the expedition is to track large mammals and assess the success of their populations against poacher activity. Studies on plants, insects and birds will also contribute to the understanding of Malawi’s share of world biodiversity.
The team is carrying out ground work which will prepare the way for a further expedition in July, when participants will be able to explore remoter valleys in the Nyika National Park.
Traveling on the summer expedition will be University of Lincoln Animal Science students Elaine Freemantle, Victoria Collins and Emily Fereday as well as other students from the Universities of Derby, Nottingham Trent, Nottingham and Edinburgh.
University of Lincoln (tel: 01522 886042) or
Marianne Overton, Biosearch Nyika (tel: 01400 273323)