10 January 2024

Ben McDonald, joins our recent intake of Summer Scholars for 2023-2024

Embarking on a journey of scientific discovery, Bioprotection Aotearoa is thrilled to welcome four promising young minds as our Summer Scholars for the 2023-2024 period.  Beyond the realm of academia, Ben McDonald finds inspiration in the great outdoors.

Sports and outdoor activities are his go-to outlets, with a particular passion for surfing and hiking. “I love sports and getting involved in any outdoor activities. I don’t have one particular niche, but currently enjoy surfing and hiking in my spare time,” Ben shares.

Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Environmental Science (Honours) at the University of Canterbury, Ben shares a passion for tackling the critical issues surrounding climate change. Majoring in Environmental Change, his academic journey is guided by a profound desire to contribute innovative, research-based solutions to the environmental challenges of our time. “I aim to gain sufficient knowledge and experience to progress into a career where I can tackle some of the pressing issues underlying climate change, with innovative and research-based work,” Ben expresses.

Part of delving into science for Ben, is the allure that lies in being part of the rapidly advancing world of scientific discovery. “Working in the science industry provides opportunities to be a part of the rapidly advancing world, which I find exciting,” they explain. However, Ben also emphasises the societal importance of their chosen path – the chance to contribute to environmental preservation and sustainability.

“Preserving our environments and operating in a sustainable way is necessary for moving forward into the future,” Ben says, highlighting the broader collective benefits that come from the pursuit of scientific knowledge in New Zealand’s unique landscape.

“Joining a diverse team of academics spanning various specialities, and translating the knowledge gained from my studies into practical application,” Ben shares.

The prospect of bridging the gap between theory and real-world application fuels Ben’s eagerness to contribute to the impactful work happening alongside Bioprotection Aotearoa.

Ben will be working alongside Dr John Ramana zooming into the forest canopies around Aotearoa New Zealand.  Learn more about John’s research in Understanding the drivers of plant health.

Stay tuned for updates as we follow our Summer Scholars journey with Bioprotection Aotearoa.