TODAY: Opwall Presentation at UConn – Field research experiences for undergraduates

Operation Wallacea Presentation by Dr. Tim Coles

Monday, September 30th


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Operation Wallacea is a network of academics from European and North American universities, who design and implement biodiversity and conservation management research expeditions.  Research is supported by students who join the programme, to strengthen their CV or resume or collect data for a dissertation or thesis. Academics benefit from funding for high quality fieldwork enabling them to publish papers in peer reviewed journals. This model enables the collection of large temporal and spatial datasets used for assessing the effectiveness of conservation management interventions.  More information:

Past UConn students have used their time on an OpWall trip to collect data for use in their Honors thesis, or to gain independent study credit.

What is Operation Wallacea?

Operation Wallacea (Opwall) is a conservation research organisation that is funded by, and relies on, teams of student volunteers who join expeditions for the opportunity to work on real-world research programmes alongside academic researchers.

Most science programmes abroad that deliver research outcomes are funded on a short-term basis by grants with typically tightly restricted aims. Long-term projects covering large bio-geographical scales that can incorporate more than one ecosystem are rare. By adopting a volunteer funded model, Opwall does not suffer from those restrictions and can draw upon researchers from a wide range of different disciplines and academic institutions, and create long-term research projects.

Those researchers and academics also separate Opwall from other volunteer organisations, allowing a truly research orientated project. You can also find out more about peoples experiences and our projects at the Opwall Blog.


  • Over 460 Peer Reviewed Publications
  • 12 vertebrate, 29 invertebrate and 4 plant species discovered
  • Supported more than 80 biodiversity conservation research PhDs
  • Involved in the establishment of multiple protected areas
  • Supervised over 1000 undergraduate and masters dissertations
  • Directs $millions every year to on-the-ground conservation and research
  • Alumni includes more than 20,000 volunteers from over 100 countries