Featured ‘Day in the life of’: Tamanna, Wildlife Conservationist researcher, currently focusing on identifying Asian Elephants.

A day in the life of Tamanna (Wildlife Conservationist researcher).

Hi, I’m Tamanna from India. I am a wildlife conservationist and I currently work as a researcher in Pondicherry University. I’m interested in understanding how humans and wildlife interact with each other in human modified landscapes, particularly crop plantations such as tea and coffee. My current research deals with identifying Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus) across protected areas in South India as well as understanding how closely related they are to other populations occurring in neighboring regions.

Tamanna also writes a blog: thewildernesschronicle.wordpress.com

1

6:00 AM: I like to start my day with a long walk or run. I haven’t been able to make it out the door for a few days because of the rains, I am thankful it wasn’t raining today! I have a lot of dog friends and I like to stop by each morning to pet them. Some like this one, stand in my way and refuse to let me continue my run!

2

8:30 AM: I like to start my lab work early as it’s quiet and devoid of other life forms! Today I am working on samples collected from a Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu. I will be performing the second step in DNA isolation. My samples go into the PCR machine, and two and a half hours later, with all my fingers and toes crossed, they should be amplified! I say a quick prayer to the gods of the PCR machines, cross my fingers and keep a close eye on people and things trying to jinx my samples (kidding)!

3

10:00 AM: While my samples are running in the PCR machine, I set up the gel unit for the samples I worked on the previous day. This is step three of our procedure and we do this to check whether the DNA has amplified.

4

11:00 AM: The next hour was a total blur because it involved completing multiple tasks- meeting my advisor, paper work, checking if the chemicals I need for the following week were prepared, etc., etc.

5

12:30 PM: We have a long holiday this weekend, which I have been looking forward too for some time. As I finish work in the lab early, I decide to head back home. I live on campus during weekdays and head home for the weekends. I catch the local bus and three hours later I’m home.

6

04:00 PM: I quickly eat, shower and then dive back into work again. I spend most of my weekends working because, let’s face it, home is where there’s uninterrupted Wi-fi (lol), endless coffee and homemade food! I have to prep for a class I’m taking the coming week, so I get straight down to that. Lucky for me, it’s an interesting paper!

7

05:30 PM: Despite living close to the sea, it’s been a while since I went and buried my feet in the sand and waters of the vast Bay of Bengal. So I decided to do so today.

8

7:00 PM: I have been working on my blog for a few weeks now. I had three failed attempts at blogging earlier this year, but a recent trip made me realize that finding the right words to describe my experiences in the wild, can help preserve memories longer. There is still SO much I need to work on adding and I’m trying to take it one day at a time.

9

10:30 PM: I am officially exhausted and it is lights out for me! Good night world!

 

P.S- I hope you enjoyed reading my post and I look forward to you following my blog- thewildernesschronicle.wordpress.com

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