Hi, and welcome to my page, thanks for visiting! I'm Lauren, a third year Geography student at the University of Oxford originally from Norfolk.
As a geography student, it probably doesn't come as a surprise that I love all things nature, and I've got an amazing opportunity to go on an expedition to the Great Rift Valley, East Africa, during the summer of 2019 to complete a research project that will aid local biodiversity conservation. The expedition will last for two weeks, the first of which I'll be based at a school learning about how fish are evolving in crater lakes within the Great Rift Valley. I'll then put this new-found knowledge into action in Lake Malawi! Whilst in Malawi, I'll be characterising invertebrate and bird fauna in and around the lakes, examining the ecology of Lake Malawi and conducting underwater population and biodiversity surveys. With a changing climate and increasing human population, monitoring changes in Lake Malawi is critical and what I research will help the conservation of local animal populations and the sustaining of the natural wildlife. The expedition is run by Operation Wallacea (www.opwall.com), an organisation whose expeditions have had a real, influential impact on the locations in which they are based. By the end of the expedition, I hope to have contributed to this legacy!
To help fund this important research, I'm going to be participating in a number of events and challenges between now and summer 2019.
In September 2018, I swam across the English Channel as part of a relay team from the University of Oxford. What better way to prepare for diving in Lake Malawi than getting hands- (or costumes!) on experience in open water swimming?!
I also ran the Oxford Half Marathon in October 2018. Swimmers are notorious for their lack of running capabilities so I thought I’d put this to the test in another fundraising challenge.
Suggestions for any other challenges are very welcome!
Thank-you for taking the time to read my story and thank-you in advance for any donations, no matter what size!