We have some great news. Hilda Waqa (Entomologist of the South Pacific Regional Herbarium and now holding a senior research position in the Department of Forests) and Tamara Naikatini (Frog population genetics) will be graduating this Friday at the USP graduation ceremony.
They have contributed to our knowledge of insects (especially beetles) and endemic frog population genetics through their research. Both also had two children each during the course of their studies! A significant achievement by two amazing women.
We now have two more local specialists to look up to in Fiji.
Tamara has been instrumental in the development of our Annual operational plan since 2011. Tamara’s research has confirmed living populations of the Fiji ground frogs in Vanua Levu and has shown that the Taveuni ground frogs are genetically unique (but is yet to confirm if it is a separate species)
Hilda has described two new species of Arthropods (one of which has a type locality in Gau!) and co-authored the recently published field guide to Fiji damselflies. She was also instrumental in the establishment of the Fiji Museum’s Natural History Gallery through her Darwin Initiative project.
A major achievement for conservation in Fiji! The two ladies both came through the PABITRA/ taxonomy capacity building program that was set up at the Institute of Applied Sciences – the same program that Isaac and I came through, under Marika’s mentoring.