Introducing: Scarlett Murphy ’13

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Scarlett Murphy ’13

People think of Australia as the hot, dry outback. They don’t realize that Australia has beautiful rainforests that are home to unique native species. The Daintree Rainforest, a biodiverse gem nestled in the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Site, contains astonishingly lush flora and fauna preserved from another time—a rarity after centuries of logging and land clearing. I am fully immersed in genuine field biology, experiencing rainforest ecology in practice. I’ve become comfortable sharing my living space with species like the harmless, fluffy bandicoot to the deadly red-bellied black snake to the flightless cassowary. I’ve collected data, controlled weeds, helped replanting efforts in reforestation projects, and traveled through the Tablelands towns, conducting interviews in hopes of discovering what motivates people to live sustainably in the Wet Tropics. Soon, I’ll complete a research project that I hope will shed light on some of the complexities threatening this region, so that the Wet Tropics can be preserved for future generations.

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