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Students’ fieldwork in the Peruvian Amazon

Two Johnian undergraduate biologists, Wilfried Genest and Sophie Lawson, have just returned from the Peruvian Amazon. After travelling to a remote field site deep in the jungle, they carried out research to understand how biodiversity and tree growth is affected by low impact log harvesting in Amazonian forests.

This initiative is sponsored by Green Gold Forestry and Johnian alumnus Stuart Clenaghan, and has now been running for two years, offering an opportunity for biologists at St John's College to experience some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world during their summer vacation.

Sophie writes, ‘for me the best part of the trip was experiencing the Amazon rainforest in a way not many people get the opportunity to - camping in a remote part of the jungle with only the basic essentials and waking up at dawn to the sound of howler monkeys was pretty incredible! Being surrounded by a culture completely different to the one I know and meeting Green Gold's amazing staff was also a highlight. I learnt a lot about how much work really goes into scientific research and how my studies and skills fit into the real world.’

‘Complete immersion in the heart of the Peruvian rainforest was a beautiful and fascinating experience’, adds Wilfried. ‘Moreover, the great liberty we were given in conducting the investigation was an intellectually rewarding challenge. I am very grateful that a fruitful cooperation between Green Gold Forestry and St John's made this interesting project possible and I can only hope that many students will experienced the wonders of Iquitos and its jungle in the coming years.’