Elana Super

Conservation Scholar

  • Qualifications Meng Mechanical Engineering with Bio engineering
  • Focus area
    Populations
  • Location
    Madagascar and the Mascarenes

 

Elana is part of an EPSRC – funded project in the school of Materials at the University of Manchester. Her primary supervisor is Dr Samuel Jones and is working alongside Chester Zoo in order to tackle a conservation challenge being faced by researched trying to save the endangered Mauritian Echo Parakeet. Her PhD is funded by the EPSRC and Chester Zoo.

My first degree was in Mechanical engineering; however, I have specialised and always been passionate about bioengineering and creating novel materials. I have research background in new material synthesis as well as molecular and microbiology. I have worked on projects to prevent bacterial adhesion and clot formation on medical plastics, testing coatings to improve the adhesion and acceptance of scaffolds to repair damaged cartilage, and dialysis like therapeutics for sepsis treatment. The main focus of my PhD is to develop non-toxic broad spectrum virucidal antiviral materials and apply them to real world challenges.

This project is focussed on the conservation efforts of the endangered Mauritian Echo Parakeet. By the 1980s the population had dwindled to 20 individuals of this species but through extensive conservation efforts this number was brought to 120 breeding pairs. Unfortunately there was a population crash in 2005 when an endemic virus was reintroduced into the population resulting in failed breeding attempts and a drop in fledgling success.

The project revolves around conducting extensive testing for the safety of the material and then the potential to apply it to areas that the conservation team has identified as key places that the virus transmits between individuals.

 

Supervisors:

Dr Samuel Jones

Dr Steven Edmondson

Dr Simon Tollington