Improving Scientific Output by National Papua New Guinea Biologists
A project by the Papua New Guinea Institute of Biological Research and the Indo-Pacific Conservation Alliance and supervised by Andrew Mack and Katayo Sagata
New Guinea is home to roughly 6% of Earth's biodiversity and is arguably the least studied of the Earth's tropical rainforest biomes. Part of the dearth of science in Papua New Guinea (PNG) stems from a shortage of resident and national research biologists. Much of the science coming out of PNG is done by visiting biologists on short visits. Young biologists in PNG have few options for mentors and collaborators who can guide them through the process of publishing in peer reviewed journals, presenting at international scientific meetings, and preparing grant applications to international donors. But national biologists do have opportunities to conduct field research. This has created situations where young biologists have quality data, but lack the experience and help needed to get it published.
This project facilitates communication and collaboration between young biologists in PNG and experienced research biologists. The goals are to help PNG biologists get their field research published and presented at international meetings, and to help them improve writing skills for proposals that will help fund their continued research. The project supports writing workshops, mentoring, and communication between PNG authors and senior biologists able to help with editing, analyses, and publication of nationally produced research.
Figure 1. Dr. Andrew L. Mack leading a group of national university students on a field ornithology course on the side of Mt. Michael, Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea.
Figure 2.Arison Arihafa collecting data in a treefall gap. This project will continue his efforts to publish these field data; the first of two publications recently appeared in Pacific Science.
Figure 3. Diat Warakai and two other national collaborators studied occupancy of artificial nest boxes in PNG. She was supported with mentoring as funded in this project and published the results in Tropical Conservation Science.