In the wake of PNG’s 41st Independence anniversary, two science honour students aim to make PNG proud at an international event.
Dillian Nason and Dzarina Susuke will be attending the Students Conference on Conservation Science that is organised by the University of Cambridge.
That conference is the only scientific conference for students who work in the field of conservation.
While being honour students in their respective universities, they also work as interns with the PNG Institute of Biological Research in Goroka.
Under PNGIBR they are able to conduct fieldwork on their thesis.
Both of their presentations will be based on the ongoing research; Dzarina’s titled “Investigating Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Conservation of Cassowaries using a bio-cultural approach” and Dillian’s titled “Frog species distribution and abundance along an elevational gradient on Mt. Michael, EHP PNG.”
Dzarina reflects on important cultural species saying PNG needs to know the exact number of cassowaries still in the wild so that they can be properly conserved.
While Dillian’s research will shed more light on climate change impacts on biodiversity in Papua New Guinea.
Getting a space at the conference required a lot of hard work as they were competing for limited space with PHD and masters students from around the Asia Pacific region.
Dzarina and Dillian have big shoes to fill as fellow Papua New Guinean, former Miss PNG, Grace Nugi, attended last year and was awarded the best presentation at the conference.
“She has set the standard and it is up to us to maintain that standard for other biology students who will go to that conference future,” Dzarina said.
She said PNG needs such international exposure so that conservation efforts by organisations such as PNGIBR can be appreciated and supported as they currently do not receive any government funding.
Dillian says Grace’s performance last year is motivation and inspiration. She said PNG needs to be recognised on the world stage for conservation.
They will leave on Monday for the conference which will run from the September 21-24.