My unforgettable field trip to study animals in South Africa

by Sarah Crudgington
28 May 2015

Sarah Crudgington

Hi! I’m Sarah and I’m studying the BSc Anthropology.

Anthropology is such a broad subject, and different universities have different things to offer. The course here at Roehampton has an emphasis on primates, which is my main interest. When I saw that I could pick modules such as ‘hunter gatherers and human evolution’ and ‘primate biology and conservation’, I knew Roehampton was my number one choice. The campus is also at close proximity to some amazing places relevant to my course such as the London Zoo, The Natural History Museum and The British Museum, to name a few! Also, many primate conservation charities have bases in London.

The highlight for me has been the two-week South African field course as part of my third year. I got to see conservation first hand; I visited Somkhanda Game Reserve where I learnt about rhino conservation and leopard monitoring. I also got to visit Tembe Elephant Park and saw these magnificent creatures up close! I was also exceptionally lucky to spend two nights in a traditional Zulu village in Kwazulu-Natal – where I stayed with a wonderful family and immersed myself in Zulu culture. It was an unforgettable experience – and has only fuelled my passion for anthropology further.

Tembe Elephant Park

The field-course in South Africa has also given me my first real taste of travelling and experiencing another culture – and this is something that I would love to do more of in the future. See a fantastic video summary of the Roehampton 2014 South Africa Trip.

Being vice-president of the Roehampton Rainforest and Conservation Society in my second year was extremely memorable; the society ran many successful events and it was such fun to be a part of. We raised a lot of money for The Orangutan Foundation and raised awareness about the problems surrounding unsustainable palm-oil plantations that are decimating the orangutan’s forest home.

Another memorable moment for me was presenting my dissertation research entitled ‘the coronal suture and hominoid evolution’ as a poster at the Primate Society of Great Britain’s (PSGB) Easter Conference, held here at Roehampton! For an aspiring primatologist, this was such a fantastic opportunity. I got to meet other, well-established primatologists. The support from my lecturers was fantastic and the abstract for my research will be published in the society’s magazine – it will look great on my CV for the future.

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