Driven by the opportunity to work alongside scientists, Serena joined her first Earthwatch expedition - Crocodiles of the Zambezi - in 2008. She enjoyed the experience so much that she went on to join Earthwatch’s shark conservation expedition in Belize in 2013.
These experiences have led to an interest in how communities can benefit from protecting their local environment.
Serena recently returned from a pilot trip to Madagascar where she stayed with a local community who had bought the forest back from companies in order to develop an eco-tourist model. “Interacting with the communities was amazing” said Serena.
“It was really motivating to understand how the research we were doing was contributing to the bigger picture. For example, the data we collected in Belize persuaded the government to increase the size of the country’s marine protected area. It made the trip feel really worthwhile.”