Volunteer/Staff Profile! Introducing Nathan Adams!
‘As a student at the University of Malta, I had the great fortune of hearing about Operation Wallacea in my second year of studies in 2011. I first enrolled with Opwall as a voluntary research assistant and joined the herpetofauna team during my 2 week stay in the remote village of Labundo-bundo. I also spent 2 weeks as a diving buddy on the picturesque island of Hoga.
After having the time of my life, I reapplied to join Operation Wallacea for the 2012 season as an undergraduate dissertation student. I spent 2 months trapping and monitoring bats in the lowland forests of Buton island. I fell in love with the site, grew attached to the villagers (having also acquired ‘passable’ Indonesian by then) and decided to return for a third consecutive season with Operation Wallacea in 2013 in the capacity of Bat Team Leader.
I would never have imagined capturing bats as a potential career path for myself! However I progressively gained more and more experience in this field, and in 2014 I ran the Indonesian bat project in its entirety.This was perhaps the most rewarding experience I have ever had, and I will be returning to join the 2015 Rapid Biodiversity Assessment team surveying across several islands in the Indonesian Archipelago.
Over my 4 years of association with Operation Wallacea, I have had the opportunities to experience wildlife in its purest form, immerse myself in different cultures, supervise wildlife conservation schemes, facilitate data collection, associate with brilliant scientists and work holistically with volunteers and research assistants in some of the most amazing and remote locations on this planet. It’s been a life-changing experience which allowed me to grow both as a scientist, and also as a person.
I would say that the highlight of my career with Operation Wallacea so far was the successful capture of the largest insect-eating bat in the world; the Fierce Leaf-Nosed Bat (Hipposideros dinops). I was with my dissertation student Olivia Cropper, checking our Harp Traps in the rainforest and we noticed one of our traps had been knocked over. We suspected that the bad weather had hammered the trap down to the ground, when in actual fact, the sheer force of the collision between the bat and the trap caused the entire system to fall down against a tree! It was an incredibly exiciting wildlife experience.’
Nathan is now the Office Manager for our Mediterranean office.
Photos courtesy of Nathan himself, as well as Nicole Di Cintio.
Have you gone through a similar (amazing!) journey of success as Nathan? Get in contact to be a featured volunteer/staff profile!