Emma Fitzsimmons

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Like others in the conservation community, Emma’s love and curiosity with nature started from an early age with some of her fondest childhood memories involving insect collecting, bush walking, and listening to her cassette tape of “What Bird Call Is That?” ad nauseum. These interests led her to completing both a Bachelor of Environmental Management (Natural Systems and Wildlife) with honours and a Master of Conservation Science at the University of Queensland.

Emma’s honours project saw her assess the effectiveness of Australia’s protected area network at conserving the most at-risk bioregions, while her master’s project focused on evaluating the costs and benefits of both in-situ and ex-situ management actions in the conservation of the southern Black-throated finch (Poephila cincta cincta). During this period, Emma also spent several years volunteering at Currumbin Wildlife Hospital on the Gold Coast, assisting with the rehabilitation of native wildlife. Although her cassette tape listening days may be over, Emma is still an avid birder and spends a lot of her spare time outdoors with binoculars and camera in hand.

Emma is excited to be spending the next few months interning at the Conservation Ecology Centre and hopes to deepen her animal handling and survey skills as well as gain new knowledge of fire and invasive species management in the Otways.