School of Biosciences

Operation Wallacea

Operation Wallacea is a company working with a network of academics from European and North American universities, who design and implement biodiversity and conservation management research expeditions.

Research is supported by students who join the programme, either simply to gain experience and strengthen their CV or to collect data that they then use for a dissertation or thesis.  

Operation Wallacea

Operation Wallacea



There are two options available:

  • Select the Dissertation/Thesis option if you want to use the field research to complete your own research project for an undergraduate dissertation, thesis or independent research project
  • Select the Research Assistant option if you are more interested in gaining experience. Research assistants take part in a shorter expedition than the dissertation/thesis students.

Penny Banham, BSc Animal Science student on Operation Wallacea on the Welgevonden Private Game Reserve in South Africa with rhinos in the background

“I spent six weeks in Welgevonden Private Game Reserve researching the rhinoceros population. My dissertation title was: Ranging patterns of the southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) in Welgevonden Private Game Reserve and the implications for conservation management. I was tasked with renewing the rhino identification kit; the key to recognising individual rhinoceros in the reserve. 

My time in South Africa was inspiring and cemented my interest in wildlife conservation. Not only did I learn a huge amount from doing such a hands on research project, but also, my data will be used in the reserve to better manage the rhinoceros population, meaning that my research project has made a difference for those animals. "

Penny Banham, BSc Animal Science 


More information

  • Operation Wallacea operate in a variety of destinations across Central America, Asia, South America and Europe.
  • Joining the expeditions as a Research Assistant with Operation Wallacea offers the opportunity to work with a range of academic teams and research topics, helping to gather primary data. 
  • The Dissertation/Thesis option offers undergraduate students in the School of Biosciences the opportunity to use data collected during their Operation Wallacea experience as part of their final year project.
  • There is no additional funding available from the University to support students who take part in Operation Wallacea

For full details of dates, cost and how to apply, visit the Operation Wallacea website.

JD Ivins Memorial Travel Scholarship

Students from the Schools of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine and Science are eligible to apply for funding from the JD Ivins Memorial Travel Scholarship managed by the Old Kingstonian Association towards the costs of applying for Operation Wallacea.

Please contact the Student Services Centre Sutton Bonington for further information.



School of Biosciences

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