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Fieldwork for Sam in Mauritius

11 February 2022

Sam Peta - In Mauritius at long last

The COVID-19 restrictions have been tough on most people, but for MSc student Sam Peta they turned his international fieldwork for his MSc studies into a very local affair. Sam was supposed to be investigating diet and trophic levels of invasive and native populations of the Guttural Toad (Sclerophrys guttuarlis) using a suite of quantitative methods. Those invasive populations include Cape Town, and the Indian Ocean islands of Mauritius and Reunion. 

However, the COVID lockdowns started only 3 months into Sam's thesis, when he had only managed a single trip to the native range in Durban. At the time, we thought that we'd still get Sam into the field to work on the island populations before the end of his thesis. But back then we were not familiar with the course of the pandemic, the waves and the variants that would see those in southern Africa become the new pariahs of the rest of the world. 

Although the trip was postponed, happily for Sam he managed to make it to Mauritius and conduct the planned field work on their tiny toads. Sadly, this work is too late for his thesis, but it'll be a great addition to his existing work on Guttural Toad diet. Reunion remains closed.

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