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Dr. Tim Coles founded Operation Wallacea in 1995, and the Operation Wallacea Trust (Charity no. 1078362) in 1998. The idea behind the programme was to be able to fund academics to complete long term data sets as an alternative to the normal 3-year funding that comes with grants. The programme has grown from small beginnings in Sulawesi to now operating in 15 countries around the world and has more than 3000 students each year funding the academic team. Opwall is supporting 200+academics and is (or has recently completed) funding 98+ PhD students. Science output has grown commensurately and 2020 saw the 550th paper in peer reviewed journals published from these research programmes that run from early June to early August. Best of all though is that the project has been running so long and giving great experiences to participating students, that some students who came out in the early days as high school students are now teachers or academics themselves and coming back with their own student groups!

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Episode Outline: 

  • [0.43] Tim’s background
  • [3.10] Why Operation Wallacea (Opwall) was started
  • [4.48] Some of Tim’s memorable moments from the field
  • [6.01] how Opwall has innovated in response to the pandemic
  • [6.47] Overview of the natural reforestation initiative
  • [10.41] Overview of re-greening the UK
  • [12.55] Introduction to the Knepp Estate field course
  • [16.50] Opwall’s work with UK farmers
  • [18.28] The case for rewilding in other countries
  • [19.59] More information on the Knepp Estate field course
  • [21.40] More information on Opwall’s online courses
  • [23.32] How Opwall has shifted to support in-country partners during the pandemic
  • [28.12] Ways to support conservation organizations and international communities during the pandemic
  • [31.07] Tim’s advice for people looking to get into the field of conservation
  • [35.27] What keeps Tim fighting to protect biodiversity?
  • [37.17] What Tim is most looking forward to for the next field season
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Wallace House, Old Bolingbroke, Spilsby, Lincolnshire PE23 4EX, UK
| +44 (0) 1790 763194 or +44 (0) 1522 405667 | info@opwall.com