Otago University student Annie Robertson is currently working in a roguing gang around Mid Canterbury, but earlier this year she was wading through thick jungle and experiencing 100 per cent humidity in an unforgettable experience in Brunei.
She was one of 10 students chosen for the three-week research trip to the island of Borneo, the third-largest island in the world and shared by the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, Indonesian Kalimantan and the tiny nation of Brunei.
Annie and her fellow students were involved with an ongoing project looking at amphibian population numbers in the Brunei jungle.
Research involved exciting night walks through the noisy and lit up rainforest, said Annie.
The Brunei rainforest was among the most pristine in the world and there was so much life, including snakes, spider, proboscis monkeys, bats and cicadas.
Annie is a big spider lover and had to take jet-boats and longboats to reach remote jungle areas.
‘‘As a kid growing up in Mayfield I was obsessed with the jungle and rain forest.
‘‘The rain was so heavy in Brunei and a welcome relief and something amazing to experience.’’
She says the jungle is such a stark contrast to the flat, dry summer plains of Mid Canterbury.
Annie has just finished her third year at university and will soon earn a bachelor of science degree in ecology and zoology.
Travel is something she wants to do more of in the future and Africa is on her radar.
In January she returns to summer school in Dunedin and is looking to graduate in March.
She then plans on doing post graduate studies in science education and is eyeing teaching as a possible future vocation.
‘‘I’m really keen to share my enthusiasm and passion for nature and conservation with others.’’
For now she is content to earn money and to lead her roguing team across the paddocks of Mid Canterbury.
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