Support Malagasy for a conference

I am raising funds to support two students from Madagascar (Nancia Raoelinjanakolona and Rindra Nantenaina), to present the findings of their Master thesis research at the international meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC). The event will be held in Merida, Mexico on July 9-14, 2017. Both of them have their abstracts accepted for poster presentations, and they have received scholarship  from ATBC to cover their registration fees, but need help paying for their flight and visa fees. You can learn more about the meeting here:

Attending ATBC is particularly important for the professional development of early career tropical biologists like Nancia and Rindra. They will greatly benefit from their  interactions with leading scientists and practitioners during the meeting. Their participation will provide them a great opportunity to exchange ideas with professional leaders in the field, to hear about their latest research, and to potentially foster new collaborations. It will also be a chance for them to receive feedback on their research from highly qualified mentors. In addition, being engaged with a diverse community of intellectuals will help them develop and enrich their interpersonal skills. This meeting will also offer  them an intellectually stimulating environment.

Being from a developing country, it is often a challenge for them to receive such opportunities that are not only important for their professional development but also crucial for the advancement of this field in their home country, an island nation universally known for its megadiversity of unique animals and plants.

About Nancia and Rindra
- Nancia Raoelinjanakolona: recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Zoology from the University of Antananarivo in Madagascar and will soon start a PhD program under my co-supervision. She is currently interning as a Research Coordinator of my research project, overseeing and leading a multicultural research staff working in the eastern rainforest of Madagascar.  Nancia will present her work investigating how the composition and structure of herpetofaunal  communities (reptiles and frogs) are influenced by habitat topography and distance from water source.

"I hope to use the knowledge I gain at ATBC to contribute in finding conservation solutions in my country, a threatened biodiversity hotspot. " - Nancia R.

- Rindra Nantenaina: recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Botany from the University of Antananarivo in Madagascar, and will also soon start a PhD program under my co-supervision. Rindra is currently working closely with me as a research intern, helping with project management and data collection in the eastern rainforest of Madagascar. She will present the findings of her research in the tropical ecosystems of Madagascar, examining the factors that influence the production of Darutoside in Sigesbeckia orientalis (St Paul's-wort), a medicinal plant known for its wound-healing property and highly demanded in cosmetic industries. 

"I would also like to share the findings of my research with the international community of tropical biologists and conservations, to make my work visible and known. " - Rindra N. 

Fund needed
As stated above Nancia and Rindra have received some funds from ATBC to cover their registration fees, and have arranged with other conference attendees to share rooms at a low cost; but they need your support to cover the following costs:

Round-trip flight Antananarivo-Merida: $3500 * 2 = $7000
Visa fees: $160 * 2 = $320

The  remaining from the requested fund correspond to GoFundMe fees.

Any help is much appreciated! Your contribution will not only support these two Malagasy students to present and attend an international conference, but will contribute to the capacity building of the future generation of conservation biologists who will work on preserving Madagascar's imperiled biodiversity.

About me: 
​I am an ecologist and conservation biologist. My work lies at the interface of tropical ecology, animal behavior, evolution and conservation biology. My current research project that Nancia and Rindra are invloved on seeks to understand the impacts of habitat fragmentation on plant-animal mutualistic networks and seed dispersal services in eastern rainforests of Madagascar. More here:


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Onja Razafindratsima 
Cambridge, MA
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