Ashleigh Donaldson | Research and Training Coordinator | Continuum Conservation
Welcome to the latest ‘Inside The Industry’ interview from Ecology Jobs. Today we’re speaking with Ashleigh Donaldson, Research and Training Coordinator at Continuum Conservation.
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Why do you work as an ecologist?
As a child I loved being outdoors and was fascinated with animals from the beginning. South Africa is well known for it’s wildlife and outdoor lifestyle and growing up there knowing that being a wildlife researcher was a possibility really fuelled my passion and allowed me to turn it into a career.
What are the main activities in your current role?
Most of my time is spent coordinating and presenting training courses to ecology students and early career biologists. I really enjoy being able to share my experience with students and helping them to further their careers.
I am also involved in the research side of the company which helps ecologists from around the world fund and implement their projects.
What is it like to work for your organisation?
I have very flexible work hours which allows for a great work-life balance. I am able to constantly explore new opportunities and interact with different people, which is great.
What careers advice would you give someone wishing to follow in your footsteps?
Some of the best tips which helped me build a career in the field are:
1. Decide early on what your passion is, whether it is plants, birds, mammals or something else, and work towards that.
2. If the opportunity arises to gain experience and skills, take it. This may come up in the form of a course or a volunteer position.
3. Build your network. Get involved with local groups and get to know people.
Find out more about Continuum Conservation here.