Debbie Young and Clare Padfield

Debbie Young and Clare Padfield mentored Alison at the African Elephant Research Unit (AERU), located near Knysna, South Africa. Dr. Young is AERU’s director, and Ms. Padfield, MSc, is AERU’s research officer. Alison contacted them when she was looking for a site for her International Research Opportunities Program (IROP) research project for summer 2016. AERU hosts several student researchers each year, so Dr. Young and Ms. Padfield knew just how to help Alison develop her project so that it met her interests and research requirements. Dr. Young oversaw the project, advised on what would be feasible and useful, and provided expert advice on elephant behavior. Ms. Padfield provided “on the ground” support for Alison as she developed her research methods, learned field techniques, and analyzed her data. Both commend Alison’s work at AERU and describe her as “dedicated, thoughtful, and very positive.” They note: “As well as being committed to her project and using her time well, she didn’t hesitate to offer to help with other research tasks and hands-on work whenever she had the opportunity.”