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Meet the Family

The University of Glasgow Exploration Society has been helping teams of undergraduate students explore the world on zoological and geographical expeditions for many years. The earliest record  of an expedition is in 1920 and over the past 90 years hundreds of students have had the chance to undertake research in the field.

We are the 18th Expedition to Trinidad! And here we are:

Gillian Simpson (Expedition Leader) – Hellooooo!! I’m Gilz, I’m 27 years young, and I’ve just completed my 3rd year, studying Zoology. I can’t wait to head back out to Trinidad this summer for my 3rd visit to d’island (it really is my home away from home). I love everything Zoology related, but my main obsessions are symbiotic relationships, and insect behaviour and ecology. This summer I shall be carrying out a project on dung beetles, yey!

Roisin Lyle-Collins (Expedition Leader) – Hey, I’m Ro, a 21 year old, level 2, Zoology student. There’s always been a mad environmentalist streak in me and  since finding my focus of Zoology and volunteering with Friends of the Earth I’ve been raising awareness of our changing climate and proposing change in the University environmental practice through  GUEST. Juggling this work with the Trinidad Expedition has been an adventure so far, every day different and our conservation work is the next step for me! Working with the Trinidad family has and will continue to be a learning curve;  I am grateful for this opportunity to understand the scientific research first hand and to feel the Trini sand between my toes!

Tom Burns – Hi, my name is Tom. I’m 25 and have just completed 3rd year of Zoology at Glasgow University. In Trinidad I will be, among other things, quantitatively analysing the nesting process of leatherback turtles which visit the island. This is my first expedition and I look forward to being part of real field biology projects. Having always had a keen interest in the natural world I also can’t wait to experience some of the wide range of flora and fauna which inhabits the island.

Hannah McArthur – Hello! My name is Hannah, I’m 22 and I’ve just graduated with my MSc in Zoology. This is my first time in Trinidad and I can’t quite put into words how excited I am, but I’ll give it a go: WAAAAAAAAHHH!!. That’ll do. I’m interested in all aspects of zoology; animal behaviour, conservation, genetics, evolution, endocrinology…the list goes on! So I can’t wait to get out there and get involved in all the amazing and varied projects we will be carrying out during our expedition!!

Aaron O’Hare – Hey my name is Aaron. I am 20 years old and currently in my second year studying Geography. I cannot wait to get out to the lovely Trinidad and experience the wildlife and culture of the island first hand. I will be part-taking in the Zoology based work as well as mapping species distribution on GPS. CANNOT WAIT! =D

Mhairi Macdonald – Hi I’m Mhairi, I’m 21 and a 3rd year Animal Biology student. This will be my second visit to the island of Trinidad and upon my return I’m particularly keen to expand my field skills and knowledge of the local biodiversity. This year I will be leading a project focusing on the foam nesting behaviour of particular frog species – very exciting! I am also looking forward to exploring more of the island’s forested and beach areas as well as eating the famous local cuisine (mmm doubles!).

Sam Langford (Treasurer) – Hi guys my name is Sam and I am a 3rd year Zoology student. This is my first visit to d’island and I honestly could not be more excited to go. My main interests are three fold, firstly the conservation of all species, regardless of size, shape or public view. Secondly, the way in which animals interact with their environment, and the way in which this is affected by human disturbance is of great interest to me. Finally I am interested in reptile ecology, with snakes amongst my favourite species of animal. I will be running a lizard community project whilst on Trinidad, which will involve measuring the distribution and populations of various species of lizard found in different habitats on the island.

Gary Donaldson – Hello, my name is Gary. I am a 2nd year Geography student. I cannot wait to get out to Trinidad, as I have never been anywhere remotely like it! As a geography student I am very much looking forward to soaking up Trinidad’s vibrant culture and wildlife (I hear the rum is not bad either) and learning valuable skills in the field, which will involve a lot of the projects especially the GPS mapping we will be carrying out. As one of the older members of the expedition (the grand old age of 25) I shall be one of the drivers, which is at the same time exciting and a bit scary. All in all I just want to be there already!

Becky Watson –



Robbie Waugh – Hey people, I’m Robbie, I’m 18 years old and a first year zoology student. This will be my first time in Trini and first expedition so I’m very excited to get out there! I’m interested in animal behavior in general and anything wildlife related. I can’t wait to get involved in some hands on work!

Georgina Patterson – Alrighty kittens…I’m George, third year Zoology student and this is gonna be my first trip out to Trini! I don’t think I could be more excited. I love everything Zoology related and I’m looking to get experience out in the field. At the moment I spend my Saturdays volunteering at Amazonia, and my Sundays out Bird Ringing. In Trinidad I’ll be working on a project with Mannophryne trinitatis the Trinidad Stream Frog, looking at escape responses of individuals. I’m immensely excited with working with amphibians as I haven’t had much experience with them and I can’t wait to spend 13 weeks out in the Caribbean with my new family! ♥

Mark Greener – Hey, I’m Mark. I am a 20 years old (21 the day we fly out) level 2 Zoology student who has a passion for animals, especially frogs, so I can’t wait to get some experience working out there with them. My second passion is my beard, so my big… ginger beard and I are incredibly excited about going out to Trinidad. As this is my first expedition, I am so glad it is with these lovely people. All in all, I just wait to get out there and start!


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