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After my PhD contract had ended, but before I could defend my thesis, I travelled to Laos and Sri Lanka for five weeks. When I left, I did not know, that this would be just in time to still enjoy a full holiday before the corona virus changed the world.
As a little treat during my PhD time, I got to do a seven-week project on hearing thresholds of bats in Panama. Details about the research I conducted there can be found on the CV and Research tab. Aside from measuring an increadible diversity of Neo-tropical bats, I also got to see some of the other exotic Panamenian flora and fauna.
After an exciting week attending the International Conference for Neuroethology and the Animal Biosonar Symposium in Brisbane, I got to travel the Australian outback for a week. Renting the most flamboyant camper van possible, my friend and colleage Ms. M. Overpassing and I travelled through the varied landscapes. Frequently shouting 'drive left' at each other, we saw beautiful mountains, volcanoes, plains, and forests. And most importantly, we had a great time enjoying the exciting and surprisingly unfrightening fauna.
At the end of 2017, I joined a herpetological expedition in the rainforest of Northern Madagascar. The team of researchers led by Mark Scherz was studying reptiles and amphibians occuring under diverse ecological conditions, and especially at different altitudes on a volcanic mountain. Even having been warned well in advance about the expected weather conditions on this trip, it was quite an experience. Though one month is not enough to get a comprehensive impression of this diverse and beautiful island, it was enough to finally combine the fascinating stories told at home with sights, sounds, and smells.
Between graduating from the MEME Master Programme and taking the final steps to get started with my PhD in Munich, I spent a month on the Greek island Corfu together with my partner, Mark Scherz. We travelled the whole island in persuit of all its little critters. The plan was to find at least half of the endemic herpetofauna. Although we did not quite manage to achieve this goal, we came pretty close. Among the others we spotted Rana dalmatina, Pelophylax epeiroticus, Emys orbicularis hellenica, Mauremys rivulata, Algyroides nigropunctatus, Podarcis taurica ionica, Ablepharus kitaibelii, and Hemidactylus turcicus.
All photos are a courtesy of Mark and most of the photo credit goes to him.
Between my exchange semester in Sweden and the beginning of my last year of my Bachelor's in Berlin, I had an unusual and exceedingly pleasant two months long break. After three weeks on the islands in the South of Thailand, which were the most beautiful places I had seen in my life, I spent 10 days in a silent retreat. These 10 days were intense, educational, and completly different from anything I had experienced until then. Another two weeks I spent in Laos, travelling via scooter through the jungle. The last days of the trip were spent in Bankok, which was a stark difference to the rest of the trip and showed me again how much I prefer the wild to city life.
In 2010, at the end of my first year as a Bachelor student, I participated in the marine turtle research and monitoring project of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. In teams of two we checked nests of the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) and the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). In contrast to the vast majority of hatchlings, which start digging their way up at night, some hatchlings try to leave the nest during the day and die in the burning hot sand. Our main task was to check the lower sand layers for new hatchlings and keep them cool until the evening, when we released them into the sea. Furthermore, we collected data for a long term survey, such as hatch dates and number of (fertilised) eggs per nest. It was an amazing experience not only because of the chance to actually interact with newly hatched turles, or the rare occasion to find an leucistic and a double-headed turtle, but also because it was the start of a great friendship.