For the month of April, Bush Heritage hosted foreign exchange student Weronka Konwent at Hamelin Station.
Weronika is a student at Claremont McKenna University in Claremont, California. She's visiting Australia with the Study Abroad World Learning Australia program of the School for International Training (SIT) and has been based in Cairns to do their Rainforest Reef and Cultural Ecology module.
During Weronika’s semester in Australia, she's looked at the relationships between humans and their environment. She's focused in particular on coral reefs, the rainforest ecosystems of Far North Queensland and on the differences between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal views of the land. In this she was guided and instructed by a Dyirbal Elder. Part of the program required Weronika to undertake an independent study, which led her to Hamelin Pool.
Weronika is an Organismal Biology major at Claremont McKenna, but is planning to attend graduate school in Earth Sciences. The stromatolites of Hamelin Pool are a perfect combination of both biology and geology, enabling her to expand her knowledge about how microbial communities have left signatures in the rock record for over 80% of Earth History.
Part of Weronika’s effort at Hamelin has been focused on looking at the different water chemistry parameters around the margins of Hamelin Pool and how these affect stromatolite growth and preservation.