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Team Interview: Leela Channer

March 31st, 2024

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a zoologist and photographer, currently working towards a PhD in animal behaviour (on a symbiosis between mongooses and warthogs!). I’ve been passionate about wildlife conservation for as long as I can remember, and I’m interested in all aspects of ecology. I love exploring the outdoors, going for long walks, climbing trees, and kayaking and snorkelling the coastlines of where I live in Cornwall.

What do you do with Another Way?

As communications assistant, I create the monthly newsletter and help with website updates, as well as creating scientific content for our social media platforms in collaboration with Poppy, our social media manager, and helping manage our Translating Science project volunteers to write lay versions of scientific papers.

What do you most enjoy about working with Another Way?

I really enjoy working with a close-knit team of people who are all passionate about the same topics I am and believe that each individual has a responsibility and, most importantly, ability to make a change in the world, however small. Our team works remotely and is spread across the world but we all come together to work on what’s important to us.

Which environmental topics are you most excited about?

I’m a zoologist, so protecting biodiversity is an important topic for me! I’m particularly interested in the effect of climate use change on biodiversity loss, a link which is often forgotten or overlooked as the subjects are treated as two issues to be tackled separately. On a more fun note, however, sensory ecology has always been a draw for me, especially how animals like chameleons and cuttlefish communicate through different colours and colour change.

What are some small steps you take to create a more sustainable lifestyle for yourself?

I’m a big believer in buying second hand, and giving away old clothes and items that I don’t use anymore. My laptop, phone and camera equipment were all bought second hand or refurbished, and I resell my old and broken electronics on eBay to give them a chance to be reused for spare parts. Clothes are similarly bought from various online or high street second hand shops – not only is this good for the environment and my bank account, but it means I can find more fun clothes that aren’t available elsewhere!

Leave us with a piece of positive news you’ve heard about this week!

As a fan of moths and other insects, I can’t help but be extra approving of agroecological methods for protecting crops from pests while also protecting the environment and human health from pesticides. So, I was excited to read a recent study which showed that pesticides are actually less effective than integrated pest management systems for protecting maize from the fall armyworm. Instead, improving natural soil fertility and providing vegetation cover for the caterpillars’ predators made the maize healthier and more resilient to infestations.

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