What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?
I had to write up first-draft reports on British mammal species to be submitted into the review. Other tasks included creating questionnaires, emailing, communicating with other researchers and assisting with the collation of the results. I also worked on developing code in R to produce species-specific population estimates from large data-sets of mammal population densities in different habitats. In addition, I researched using ArcGIS to model species distribution, and to extract habitat data to go towards initial population estimates.
What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?
I developed my skills in GIS and R, by a considerable degree. It was fantastic to potentially be the first person to know how many of a particular mammal existed in the UK! It was very rewarding to go through the process, from using GIS, carrying out meta-analyses, obtaining the estimate and finally writing up the species account. I learnt a great deal about the amazing mammalian wildlife we have here on our shores.
What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?
The Mammal Population Review is a huge undertaking, and I hope I hoped to considerably lower the workload needed to be done. I hope others felt I became a valued member of the team. I felt that I was, and had an incredibly enjoyable time working with the others in the lab.
“Luke made an excellent contribution to the team. I believe he also gained valuable skills that will help him get a job in the future” – Associate Professor.