Galapagos Islands Research Spring 2011
Brianna Payne, AU graduate student in Biology, using her undergaduate Spanish minor, made this trip happen through an extensive permitting process with Parque Nacional Galapagos. She was accompanied by fellow graduate student, Libby Megna, and AU research professor, Dr. Jim Hayward. They were joined in Ecuador by a science teacher, Susana Velastegui, from Colegio Adventista del Ecuador (CADE). They sailed to Isla Fernandina, most active of the Galapagos volcanic islands on a little 42-foot ship, the Pirata. It was the most remote place that any of them had ever been. They spent 3 weeks there with only a makeshift shelter. They had brought all their drinking water with them on the Pirata in barrels. It was a tremendous life adventure! The title of Brianna's thesis is Temporal dynamics of Galapagos marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) haulout.