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Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by BowersNTU, 19 Aug 2016.

  1. BowersNTU

    BowersNTU New Member

    Joined:
    19 Aug 2016
    Posts:
    2
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Hello everyone, I'm currently studying Zoo Biology at NTU! I'm (relucantly) heading into my third year, so came here for some dissertation inspiration!

    I was hopefully looking to do my project on Asian elephants, but I'm really struggling to come up with ideas. I was thinking something along the lines of a captivity vs wild comparision or specific issues they face in captivity.

    I am trying my best to avoid having to do a data collection (SPSS and I do not get on at all), but I am worried that I won't source an adequate amount of info for a lit review.

    Basically, I am in a right panic. So if any of you lovely people could point me in the right direction, I would be forever grateful.

    Jade :)
     
  2. karoocheetah

    karoocheetah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    31 Aug 2010
    Posts:
    1,107
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Hiya Jade,

    Firstly - welcome to Zoo Chat :) you can find a hugely varied set of people with a hugely varied amount of knowledge both real and imagined :)

    OK with respect to your project/dissertation - I think you do yourself a disservice with your statement that you are looking to avoid data collection completely - by definition science requires data of some sort and it's only by understanding that data whether actual measurement or observational measurement do we then understand what we are investigating - hopefully - normally by definition it opens up more questions from the answers you get - that is the basis for the whole educational system - to build on previous data and expand the field.

    So I think you are going to need to collect data i some format - but do not despair - it's not all about being able to number crunch and manipulating huge reams of numbers via statistical packages - there are other types of data and other types of data analysis!

    Asian Elephants is a great topic - a popular topic though as they are one of the more popular animals that students want to write about.
    Why not take to opportunity to study a species that has not been looked at much maybe and discover something totally unique? Many captive collections have a research officer that will happily discuss with you areas that they are keen to explore and if you elect to do something they have a keen interest in then the likihood of you getting access etc is much more likely.

    I'm currently doing a research project on a captive common Eland herd - it's fascinating, original and really stretching - now if you had asked me when I was approached to do this project which animals in this collection I would have picked to study then the Eland would not have featured high on my list as like many Browsers/Herbivores they are often overlooked for the "sexier" animals like Rhino, Ellies, Big cats etc etc.

    Anyway - why not approach the collection you are thinking of spending most of your time at and see what they would like some help with?

    If you are really insistent on doing Asian Ellies then I suggest trying to think of an interesting niche that would not only be useful to you but also to the collection you will use as your study group.

    I think I've rambled enough here - if it helps feel free to discuss further - if not - then no harm done and best of luck with the studies!
     
  3. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    10 Dec 2012
    Posts:
    11,595
    Location:
    fijnaart, the netherlands
    Hello welcome to ZooChat from the Netherlands ! I'm not really an "Elephant-person" but I'm sure quite a number of ZooChatter can ( and WILL ) help you !
     
  4. BowersNTU

    BowersNTU New Member

    Joined:
    19 Aug 2016
    Posts:
    2
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Really helpful! Thank you. I have been looking into doing something a little more obscure! I have contacted a few zoos, just waiting to here back now. It's just all a little daunting, being my first proper research project

    Thanks again,
    Jade
     
  5. karoocheetah

    karoocheetah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    31 Aug 2010
    Posts:
    1,107
    Location:
    Cheshire
    it's good to get a little scared sometimes - stretching yourself is rewarding and often terrifying in equal measure but that shouldn't stop you doing it!

    Best of luck in your endeavours and if I can help just give me a shout - this weekend for my research project I had myself, the research officer and a keeper in a vehicle positioned strategically waiting to see specific Eland pooping :) at which point we collected said sample from identifyable animal whilst ensuring safety at all times - you don't want to either scare the animals or get yourself too close so they could skewer, stamp, kick, barge, knock, squish or mangle you - whether intentionally or otherwise - it was a great job, well planned and fun too - but just that small task too significant planning and resource allocation - I suppose what I'm saying is don't underestimate the impact of even seemingly small tasks on time and resources.

    anyway - gimme a shout if you need to bounce some ideas around I'm happy to help where I can :)

    take care
     
  6. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    27 Oct 2008
    Posts:
    1,752
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Welcome on Zoochat. Though I am not involved in any zoo research, as an ecologist I spend enough time with statistics, so if you need any help on that, send me a message ;).