Nunia Thomas joined NatureFiji-MareqetiViti in December 2007.
Nunia is from Draunivi in Ra and completed her MSc. at the University of the South Pacific in September 2007. The subject of her thesis was ‘The Distribution and Abundance of the Endangered Fiji Ground Frog (Platymantis vitianus) and the Introduced Cane Toad (Chaunus [Bufo] marinus) on Viwa Island in Tailevu’. The results of this study have been presented at two international conferences.
As an undergraduate student (2000 – 2002) at the University of the South Pacific, Nunia gained field research experience in various wide-ranging projects in Fiji: archeological surveys, vegetation ecology studies, bird surveys and frog surveys; Youth/ HIV-AIDS awareness campaigns and workshops and undertook counselors’ training with the YWCA.
Nunia was a graduate assistant at the USP’s South Pacific Regional Herbarium in USP from 2003 – 2007, where she attained her MSc and conducted biodiversity survey expeditions, environment impact assessments and community based conservation workshops with the SPRH team. Nunia was involved in planning and establishing long-term monitoring plots for invasive plants in two of Fiji’s protected areas (Wabu Forest Reserve and Sovi Basin); was part of teams conducting ecological studies on some of Fiji’s endangered species (Fiji crested iguana, Fiji ground frog, Giant forest honey-eater); and post-graduate invasive species research (cane toads and the small Indian mongoose). Nunia has been co-author in four scientific papers through her partnered research on Tropical Montane Cloud Forests, Fiji crested iguana ecology and Fiji ground frog ecology and has contributed to several technical reports (Institute of Applied Sciences).
With her first project with NFMV launched in April 2008 (the Endangered Species of Fiji project), Nunia is now managing four of the organisation’s projects; is the NGO focal point of the Ramsar Communication, Education, and Public Awareness; manages NatureFiji-MareqetiViti’s role as Fiji’s Ramsar Secretariat and other biodiversity campaigns, NatureFiji-MareqetiViti club members’ activities and updates and volunteers; and is NatureFiji-MareqetiViti’s herpetologist in biodiversity expeditions.