When Emma told me a little bit about Mia, Mark and their dog Juno, I immediately fell in love with their story. Their rescued their gorgeous dog Juno whilst travelling in Australia and spent their honeymoon fund to get her back home with them.
Here’s a little about them in their own words:
We met at BirdLife International in Cambridge, when we both went for the same job. Mia already worked there but a new job came up in the office which she applied for, but (fortunately for us!) Mark got the job instead and joined the office. Once we got talking we realised that we had a lot in common, from our previous experience studying birds in the rainforest (Mark in the Amazon, and Mia in Borneo), to our love of travel and our interest in marine birds. We quickly became best friends, spending our lunch breaks picking blackberries and apples in the orchard near the office, and making jam in the evenings.
We love going on adventures together, particularly if there is interesting wildlife involved! We have been lucky enough to travel to some beautiful places together, including working as each other’s’ research assistant on our PhD projects – Mia’s working with mammals and insects in the tropical rainforests of Australia; and Mark’s working with seabirds on breathtaking Pacific islands. We have caught giant fruit bats, climbed mountains in search of rare friendly petrels (a seabird), swam with sharks and turtles, been bitten by angry marsupials, tickled platypus, raised baby wallabies, and explored tropical coral atolls together. We recently got married in picturesque Devon and moved into a little campervan (Jacobim) whilst Mia finished her PhD. But that’s just the start of the adventure. We’re now upping sticks again and moving to Rwanda (with our rescue dog Juno), to study the biodiversity of the Virunga National Park rainforests.
Our greatest adventure so far has probably been studying the seabirds on Lord Howe Island every summer for the last three years. Lord Howe Island is a World Heritage-listed island in the Tasman Sea, a natural paradise of subtropical rainforest surrounded by turquoise waters teeming with vibrant fish and turtles. For us this place is particularly special as we’ve spent our last three summers here handling adorable fluffy shearwater chicks by day, and GPS tracking their magnificent parents by night. It has been wonderful to go from being two colleagues with a love for wildlife, to spending our days and nights immersed in nature with these incredible animals. And for us to be able to experience this together has just been magical.