Tertiary Education – Field schools

There’s no better laboratory for conservation and biology field studies than the island of Mauritius, once home of the Dodo!

Ebony Forest delivers a range of unique and bespoke field courses suitable for undergraduate and post-graduate students. We put strong emphasis on practical training, analytical thinking and teamwork for a wide variety of topics such as wildlife survey techniques, data management and presentation. Check out our extended, but not exhaustive, list below.

 

If your university is visiting for 1 day or 1 month, speak to us about what we can offer. We also propose and can supervise a wide range of projects for BSc, MSc and PhD students.

Flora and Fauna - Ebony Forest - Mauritius

Why choose Mauritius for your University field course?
• English and French are both spoken and written
• Safe and stable country
• Home to the icon of extinction, the dodo, and a catalogue of what not to do to an oceanic island. On the other hand , we also boast some of the greatest conservation success stories having saved species such as the Mauritius Kestrel, Pink Pigeon and Echo Parakeet from extinction.
• Mauritians are friendly and welcoming
• Direct flights from London, Paris, Dubai, Frankfurt, Perth, Durban, Johannesburg, Réunion, Mumbai, Nairobi, Istanbul, Seychelles, Singapore
• Good health-care and infrastructure
• Year round agreeable climate
• Sun, sand, mountains, and beach activities such as scuba diving, snorkelling, kite-surfing, sea-kayaking, dolphin and whale-watching
• Multi-cultural and inclusive society

Why choose Ebony Forest?
• We are leaders in forest conservation in Mauritius
• We offer courses in education, forest restoration, conservation and data management
• We already work with UK universities
• We work in close collaboration with terrestrial and marine NGOs and government bodies
• We provide hands-on practical training, supported by theory
• Not only are we a training facility, but you can live in a tropical native forest.
• Our instructors are passionate, patient and have years of experience
• We have two conservation sites in Mauritius, one in Rodrigues, and three in Madagascar, collectively comprising of more than 20,000 hectares of wilderness

Just some of the courses and skills we provide:
Courses combine formal lectures and group discussions with hands-on practical experience.
• Bird survey methods: mist-netting, bird ringing
• Survey techniques: plants, invertebrates, mammals, birds, reptile, fresh water census, amphibian, marine
• Invasive plant and animal control methods
• Statistics: introduction, linear models in R, general and generalised linear models
• GPS and GIS training: beginners and more advanced
• Fauna reintroduction feasibility studies
• Data management

 

For more details, contact us.

Details

Location:
Ebony Forest Chamarel and/or Vallée De L’Est. We also organize day excursions and learning activities to visit offshore islets, the National Parks, mangrove and marine conservation projects.

 

Accommodation:
students can stay on site at Ebony Forest and Vallée De L’Est. We can also assist in finding accommodation in the vicinity.

Duration:
1 day to 1 month or more

 

Language:
English or French.

 

Course instructors:
Dr Nicolas Zuel and Dr Christine Griffiths

Training Team
Dr Christine Griffiths - Ebony Forest - Mauritius

Dr Christine Griffiths

General Manager

 

Christine has a PhD from the University of Bristol. She has published extensively on tortoise rewilding and is passionate about species conservation and island restoration. She has worked in Hawaii, East Africa and Madagascar on island restoration projects and species conservation. Originally from Northern Ireland, Christine started working in Mauritius in 2004 with the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation.

 

She joined the Ebony Forest team in 2012 and has helped establish the conservation work, visitor centre and education programme.

Dr Nicolas Zuël

Conservation Manager

 

Nicolas has an MSc from the University of Reunion and a PhD from the University of Zurich in conservation and natural sciences. Prior to joining Ebony Forest in 2019, he was the Fauna Manager of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF) for ten years. During this time, he managed fauna conservation projects including the Mauritius pink pigeon, Mauritius kestrel, Echo parakeet, tortoise rewilding, seabird, Round Island, Mauritius fody, Mauritius cuckoo-shrike, Mauritius paradise flycatcher and Mauritius olive white-eye projects, involving bird reintroductions, captive breeding, species recovery and invasive species management. He also is experienced in invasive plant control and plant propagation having been the Round Island Warden for 3 years.

 

Nicolas enjoys sharing his skills and knowledge with students and volunteers and frequently runs training courses. In addition, he is experienced in planning, budgeting, training and implementing large-scale conservation projects. Advanced restoration and conservation expertise combined with his management skills and research capabilities make Nicolas an invaluable asset to both the conservation and teaching team.

Denis Li Lung Hok

 

Denis has an MSc in Biodiversity Management from the University of Toulouse, France. Denis joined the Ebony Forest team in September 2019, with over 12 years’ of field conservation experience on multiple bird projects in Mauritius. As the Pink Pigeon and Mauritius Kestrel Coordinator for the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, Denis developed a wide range of practical skills in bird handling, ringing and rigging transmitter harnesses, building and setting up nest boxes, tree climbing, hand rearing, doing bird releases and many more ecological skills. When not working, Denis likes to go abseiling, hiking, orienteering and crafting items with wood and metal. Denis’ practical and handyman skills are an asset to the team and he is always willing to share.

Christelle Ferrière

 

Christelle has an MSc in Conservation Biology from the University of New South Wales (Sydney) and Victoria (New Zealand). Christelle is our Miss Passerine with over 8 years of experience working with Mauritius Fody, Olive White-eye, Cuckoo-shrike and Paradise Flycatchers, as well as Pink Pigeons. She shares with us her vast array of experience in bird ringing, handling, population monitoring, hand-rearing and translocation of passerines. Besides presenting at multiple international conferences and publications, Christelle regularly does talks for secondary and tertiary institutions.

Adisha Sewdyal

 

Need help with GIS, then Adisha is our go to girl. Having completed a BSc in Agriculture, Adisha went on to pursue a career in conservation. She’s an alrounder with experience in plant restoration and propagation, nursery management, bird and reptile conservation. Adisha worked as a warden on the offshore island of Round Island, on the Echo Parakeet team and on the Cuckoo-shrike project for the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation for 6 years. Adisha knows all there is about the endemic and Endangered Cuckoo-shrike.

Dominique Baho

 

Dominique joined the team in September 2019 with over four years of conservation experience focusing on the conservation and management of the Mauritian Pink Pigeon. Besides his bird skills, Dominique is our resident drone expert and is always finding new technologies and approaches to improve the efficiency of our work. In his spare time, Dominique is committed to building capacity and sharing his knowledge with the youth of Mauritius as President of the Echo Club.

Elisa Laverdant

 

Elisa is an inspiration to us all. Having followed a career path in management, Elisa decided to dedicate her life to saving Mauritian wildlife. Elisa brings three years of experience working on Pink Pigeons and as a hand-rearer for the threatened Cuckoo-shrike. Highly motivated to develop her skills, Elisa spends her free-time working on her diploma in Animal Science. That is when she is not feeding stray dogs and working with local communities.

Jean-Luc Casimir

 

Jean-Luc is our local Chamarel Conservationist and you will always find a smile on his face. Having joined the team in July 2019, Jean-Luc knows Ebony Forest intricately as he can walk for miles every day, and still smile! Jean-Luc has a broad range of experience managing bird conservation projects on Pink Pigeon, Mauritius Fody, Olive White-eye and Paradise Flycatcher. Besides birds, Jean-Luc is responsible for caring for Flash, Vanille, Ralph and Donatello, our resident giant tortoises.

Antoine Rivière

 

Antoine is our plant man, but also has 6 months experience working with Pink Pigeons! Antoine is our Nursery Supervisor. He joins the team having previously worked for the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation as a Plant Conservationist and in Reunion on the LIFE + Forêt Sèche restoration project. Antoine has a BTSA (Brevet Technicien Supérieur Agricole) in Management and protection of the Nature. When not caring for plants, Antoine likes to do sports in particular play Rugby, walk in nature and taking pictures.

Small acts

of Kindness can
go a long way

CONTACT EBONY FOREST TO FIND OUT HOW TO DONATE, AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO OUR MAURITIAN WILDLIFE…