Anders I pre-course introduction

Hello, everyone! I am Anders, a student from Norway, currently doing a Master’s degree in
Evolution, Ecology and Biodiversity at the University in Bergen. I will start writing my thesis
this summer, which most likely will be about sexual selection and dimorphism in a
monogamous bark beetle native to the Canary Island. I will by no means claim that this is an
area of expertise at the moment. The topic came up rather as a bit of coincidence. Still, I am
very much looking forward to explore the sexual behavior of these 2 mm long creatures.

The last year of my undergraduate degree, I studied abroad in Fiji. It was an engaging and
inspiring experience, and very practically orientated with a lot of fieldwork. I had a broad
specter of courses, but in general, it was much focus on coral reef ecology, biodiversity,
conservation, and fisheries. Before studying biology, I took interest in several other subjects,
including psychology, human nutrition and media. Besides the studies, I am working in a
music record store, and I have previously been an active member in a film club. Interests for
both music and film is something that is still clinging on to me.

I have little previous experience or knowledge related to functional traits in plants, but are
looking forward to learn more about it. The project sounds both thematically interesting and
important, as well as relevant for my master’s program. I find it especially interesting to
connect practical fieldwork together with theory, which I also want to do in my master thesis.
This project will most likely enrich my experience in conducting fieldwork, designing
methods and collect data. It also sounds like a great opportunity to work with a team where
people have different backgrounds, and where we all can learn from each other.

One of the main advantages with fieldwork, besides the research and the learning outcome, is
that it is social and fun. Being out in the field and having the privilege to observe plants and
animals in the Andes region is of course also an inspiring factor, and poses a different
learning environment besides sitting in front a desk at home. I am very grateful to be a part of
the course, and are excited to travel to Peru, which seems to be a country with beautiful nature
and diverse culture.

All over the world, there are probably huge individual variations in what one thinks of human
induced climate change. How people answer will probably correspond with degree of
education, political perspectives, economical capital, and cultural background. The impact on
climate change might also differ between geographical areas. Do people living by the ocean
have the same perceptions as people living in the jungle? Are people in Lima, for instance,
more aware of the problems than those living in smaller villages?

Regarding perceptions of climate change in Norway, I find it hard to state a definite trend, and
there is probably many factors affecting people’s perceptions here as well. Raising awareness
of the human impact on climate change are partly integrated in the education program, and
climate change are often discussed in the media, so I think most recognize it as a problem. My
impression is also that most of the people acknowledges it as induced, or at least hastened, by

I think that there is an increased awareness among the younger generation, and that the
younger are more climate committed compared to the elder generations. There might not be a
huge gap between people regarding awareness. On the other hand, there might be a greater gap in people’s attitudes towards doing something with the problem. While some are very
idealistic, others remain more cynical.

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