Growing up in inner city Melbourne Mahalia didn’t grow up immersed in nature, however, she was always intrigued by the diverse range of environments and species she encountered on her numerous bush walks. It was early on during her undergraduate degree that Mahalia became passionate about environmental conservation and knew she wanted a career in the field. She completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours at Monash University, double majoring in Zoology and Ecology Conservation Biology. Her honours project involved travelling around Australia examining the intrinsic and extrinsic factors of numerous Australian skink species to determine whether differences in these factors existed between range-restricted and widely distributed species.
Currently studying a Masters of Ecosystem Management and Conservation at the University of Melbourne, Mahalia hopes this internship at the Conservation Ecology Centre will provide her with a hands-on experience. She hopes to gain practical fieldwork experience, particularly in mammal trapping and surveying, enhance her species identification skills, and further explore the beautiful Otways region during her time at CEC.