Stacey Fund supports student’s Amazon field trip

Amy Gallimore_v1

Amy Gallimore, a 2015 UG student from the School of Biosciences, set off with the British Exploration Society on the trip of a lifetime during the summer vacation. Amy explored the plant and animal species of the Amazon jungle. Amy funded part of this trip herself through sheer determination via fund raising, begging letters and car boot sales. With Amy’s commitment to  fundraising, The Stacey Fund was able to step in and help Amy with the remainder! The Stacey fund was established in 2012 in recognition of the inspirational leadership of Ken Stacey, founding Director of the School, to continue his work inspiring young scientists to gain career-building experience, improving their job prospects after graduation.

During the expedition, the British Exploring Society were working in collaboration with the Crees Foundation, who research and support sustainability in the Amazon. The aim of the expedition was to cut a trail to the top of the Pini-Pini ridge, to enable a working group to study the plant and animal species at different elevations on the ridge. Trails make access much easier, allowing a wider range of areas to be researched. Along the way the group surveyed animal species and collected vegetation mapping data at different elevations, which allowed them to produce data that could be used to compare the secondary rainforest (lower elevations) to primary rainforest (higher elevations).

During the course of the expedition Amy learned to cope with the physically strenuous environment while also enjoying the challenge that each day presented, from sleeping in a tent in hot humid conditions or a hammock under the stars, to lighting fire which helped keep her boots dry for the activities of each day! The most important element Amy learned from her trip is her ability and aptitude for the strains of a field research career: something she had always aimed for, but previously hadn’t felt confident in pursuing.

Congratulations to Amy, and many thanks to the generous Stacey Fund donors for supporting the careers of our students.