Charles Joined us on September 4th and left November 10th. We wish you congratulations on your PhD post and all of the best once your start in January. For now, read below to find out just who this mystery Charles is.
"Hi, my name is Charles and I have just started volunteering with MCSS as part of the CICP project on Cerf Island. I am 22 years old and am a Masters student from the UK, and have arrived in the Seychelles after completing a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Exeter. While I was there I completed a research projected that examined the impacts of how the combined stressors of ocean acidification and ship-noise have on the physiology of the dog whelk Nucella lapillus, an intertidal snail common on the British shoreline. I have also spent over a year working within an ecology consultancy firm back in the UK, which mainly involved surveys of terrestrial species, including bats, reptiles and amphibians. I have also volunteered at the Bristol Aquarium in the UK, working within the husbandry department to ensure the successful keeping of the marine and freshwater species that they displayed. I am a keen scuba-diver and surfer back at home and hopefully this will come in handy while I am out here in the Seychelles.
My love for the marine environment has brought me over here, as the Seychelles offers some the most amazing and beautiful coral reefs to be found around the world. I hope that my time over here with the CICP project will allow me to study and understand how these ecosystems work and to help engage the public to be aware of the struggles coral reefs and their ecosystems are having today in our modern world. I also want to study how successful human intervention, whether through artificial reefs, through coral nurseys or other measures, have on the survival and resilience of coral reefs and whether this will encourage corals to thrive in the future.
I experienced the underwater world of the island for the first time today and was very happy to see a great diversity in fish species while snorkelling. The parts of the reef that were still intact were also amazing, however it is sad to see the extent on which coral bleaching is having an effect on the reefs of the island. However, the artificial reefs that have been installed by the project were looking healthy and hopefully this is a good sign to come for the future!"
Skip ahead during the months of September and October as Fides and Charles describe their daily routines here on Cerf Island.
"Over the last couple of months, we have gained knowledge about the coral, fish and other marine creatures that inhabit the coral reefs around Cerf Island. We started every day with a beach clean and were surprised with the variety of rubbish and debris that comes from the ocean such as flip flops, bottles, GPS navigation system, safe (empty) and polystyrene. However, by the end of our time here, we were noticing a decrease in the amount of rubbish picked up every day and felt like a small victory after all the hard work every day.
Our day continued with guided snorkelling tours with the guests from the hotels/guesthouses on the island. This was the highlight of the day, where we could pass on the knowledge we had learnt to the guests to engage them with the problems the marine ecosystem is facing today. It also gave us a chance to take pictures and videos of the amazing creatures living on the reef, which we then created a video for the project which can be watched here (insert hyperlink).
In the afternoons, we were tasked with the maintenance of the coral nurseries and we also were able to set up three new coral nurseries. Being able to watch these grow over the past months has been amazing, and even though these are on a small scale, it is good to know that we are contributing to the addition of new healthy corals to the reef that has been badly damaged over the past 30 years.
At the weekends, we took excursions to Mahe, Moyenne and Praslin where we visited a variety of gardens, beautiful beaches and enjoyed the giant tortoises living on Moyenne. We also tried some local restaurants in Bai Lazare, Anse Takamaka, Anse Parnel, and Eden Island.
We would like to thank everyone that has made our time here enjoyable and hope that the coral reefs will continue to recover from the impacts that have occurred over the last 30 years. Even though this project is relatively small scale, we hope that what we have accomplished something positive to the environment here in the Seychelles, and that our message will be carried on by the guests when they get home. "
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.