An undergraduate from the University of Liverpool has won a top environmental charity award for her ground-breaking project to enhance marine conservation.
Third year BSc Geography student, Lisa Reilly, 22, has won a National Student Award from P1 Marine Foundation to continue with her research, collecting and analysing data from loggerhead turtle nesting sites.
Lisa spent three months in the Greek islands last year examining turtle nesting sites mapped using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to educate local residents, tourists and environmental agencies on the importance of improving conservation and habitat protection. The islands of Kefalonia and Alonissos, with its national marine park, are at the forefront of Lisa’s ongoing research, with representation of data on GIS enabling simple interpretation.
Commenting on the project, Lisa Reilly (pictured below) said: “I believe that education, particularly amongst the younger generation, is vital to develop respect for ocean protection and this gives individuals the opportunity to make a difference to their local ecosystem and feel a sense of pride in conserving biodiversity.
“I also involve tourists in beach clean ups and educational activities so that they can take home and share their experiences to enhance conservation globally.”
The awards were launched by P1 Marine Foundation in 2012 to reward students at all levels of higher education for outstanding work in the areas of science, technology and engineering that benefits the marine environment. Entries from students at universities and colleges across the UK were judged by a panel that included marine scientists and environmental leaders.
Sabrina Taseer, projects and development manager at P1 Marine Foundation, said: “The judges were impressed by the imaginative use of GIS technology as well as by her clear focus, pragmatic approach and educational content.
“We are delighted that our National Student Awards are giving prominence to exciting and valuable projects of this nature that go beyond research and analysis to develop solutions to environmental problems.”
Lisa will be presented with her award and prize of £1,000 at The Royal Institution of Great Britain in London next week.