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Alejandra Toledo

PhD-student in paradise
I now work at…. the paradise. Seriously. My fieldwork is taking place around several islands in Anguilla, a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean.

When I am not doing fieldwork I am not in the paradise, but still nice because it must be one of the countries with the highest number of bird lovers per square kilometer: United Kingdom. Specifically, I am a member of the Center for Research in Ecology within University of Roehampton. I am also part of the Roehampton University Behavioural and Energetics Lab, leadered by my main supervisor, Lewis Halsey.

The aim of my PhD project is studying which features may define “individual quality” in Caribbean seabirds. This means I study which features are important for determining if the individual has success or fails during their breeding attempt. My studied species are Brown boobies (Sula leucogaster) and Masked boobies (Sula dactylatra).

Getting this PhD position was incredibly quick and I am aware that it is not like this in all cases. I started to apply for PhD positions around 7 months before finishing the master, and luckily I got this the same month I finished at Lund University. However, it was very helpful for my CV all the extra-curricular activities that I have been doing the last 7 years: learning bird ringing during weekends, analysing data voluntarily and presenting the results in conferences, volunteer in several bird observatories, NGOs, societies, research institutions, etc.

I really appreciated the flexible and wide perspective that I got during my master’s at LundUniversity, especially during the courses Evolutionary Animal Ecology and Molecular Ecology and Evolution. You really learn how to analyse your surroundings and ask research questions. Learning R (the statistical program) was pretty useful, and I think that using it during the master thesis is one of the best things that you can do if you are interested in perusing a career on science (nothing better that hands-on experience!).

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Alejandra Toledo

Alejandra Toledo, graduated in 2015, PhD student

Master’s Degree in Biology, Animal Ecology, with special focus on: Evolutionary and Molecular Ecology