Panji Gusti Akbar is an ornithologist that worked with Opwall at our Sulawesi field site in Indonesia from 2017-2019. Panji became passionate about birds when he moved from the bustling capital city of Jakarta to the smaller town of Yogyakarta where he had much more access to nature. He went on to study biology, becoming a skilled field researcher who has worked with academics from all over the world to identify and protect rare species of birds across Indonesia. Today, he works as a travel writer and bird guide, and is adamant tourism can help protect some of the world’s most unique species.
In this episode, we discuss how Panji helped advance Opwall’s research in Sulawesi, his hopes for the future of conservation in Indonesia, and how to stay safe as a wildlife researcher.
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- [0.43] Panji’s background
- [2.51] Panji’s inspiration to become a scientist
- [6.04] The impact of Operation Wallacea on Panji’s career
- [8.34] When did Panji realize his passion for ornithology?
- [10.41] The nature of Panji’s work with Opwall and some key findings
- [13.13] Panji’s role with Birdpacker Indonesia
- [15.21] The importance of writing and communication for scientific work
- [16.30] The connection between conservation and tourism in Indonesia
- [21.24] The impact of Covid-19 on Panji and ecotourism in general
- [24.01] Panji’s favourite part of fieldwork
- [25.38] Some of the challenges of fieldwork
- [27.08] The craziest thing that has happened to Panji during fieldwork
- [31.28] Panji’s advice for starting a career in conservation and ecology
- [33.22] What keeps Panji fighting to protect biodiversity?
- [35.00] Panji’s hopes for the next field season
- [35.56] Recommended articles to learn more