Name: Zoe Melvin
Institution: Bangor University
Placement Host: Tropical Biological Association
When planning my placement, I wanted to utilise my creative side to help communicate science and hopefully aid conservation. So, I was over the moon when I was accepted for a three-month placement with the Tropical Biology Association (TBA). The TBA trains scientists, project managers and educators in the tropics to manage and safeguard biodiversity, and I thought there was no better way to use my creativity than to help develop training programs for the next generation of conservation leaders.
My placement focused mostly on developing the TBA’s online training courses, which have become a large part of their training program in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. I redesigned the appearance of their existing teaching materials and developed new teaching content for several of their courses including Decolonising Fieldwork, Women in Conservation Leadership and Conservation Project Design. I also created a library of icons and graphics for the TBA to use throughout their teaching materials and taught in several live sessions for a variety of courses. In addition, I illustrated and animated a one-minute-long animation and put together a video demonstrating the conservation success stories of TBA course alumni. Hopefully, these two videos will communicate the impact that the TBA has had on conservation in the tropics and attract future funders.
This placement has allowed me to develop skills in teaching, science communication and graphic design which I hope to apply to my PhD and to my future career. Working in a conservation organisation outside academia has also been very informative and inspiring for me. I have really enjoyed partaking in applied conservation work in an NGO environment.
I am very grateful to ENVISION for funding this placement, which I truly believe has been transformative for my career. I would also like to thank the TBA for hosting me for this placement; I feel privileged to have had the chance to work with such a supportive and welcoming team who are truly making a difference to conservation on the ground. I hope to have made a lasting contribution to the TBA’s mission to train the next generation of scientists through my placement.
Further information on the courses that TBA offer can be found here: