Talitha McGuire ’19

Talitha is a religion and biology major from Flagstaff, Arizona.


Cornell Fellow in Botanical Conservation

Gullele Botanic Garden | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Week 9:
Ciao for Now


April 12, 2019 | I hate goodbyes. I’m so bad at them, maybe it’s the Irish in me. This sounds dramatic (and it is), but whenever I feel a goodbye coming, I immediately want to vanish into thin air. That’s the Irish Goodbye anyways, right? Disappearing without a trace? Ethiopian goodbyes are the opposite of Irish goodbyes. Goodbye for […]

Week 8:
Write-Up Coming Right Up!


April 6, 2019 | Last week, I said that my data sheets would become my life. It appears that I am a fortune teller because I’ve been staring at these things all week and my fingers are shaking from typing ‘Juniperus procera‘ (the dominant tree species here) so many times. Let’s back up for a second though. What is […]

Week 7:
The Botanical Part


March 30, 2019 | During my time here at Gullele, I’ve been super fortunate in that I’ve been able to do fieldwork, which is one of my favorite parts about biodiversity conservation as a field. There’s nothing that makes me happier than to be outside on the hunt for information (data in my case). Most of my field time […]

Week 6:
Gloriously Inglorious


March 24, 2019 | I think we hold science on this pristine, non-contaminated pedestal in which we decided that science is glorious. We imagine real-world science to involve people in white coats looking at microscopes or adventurous, Patagonia-wearing folks documenting undiscovered species in some remote yet gorgeous location. While this image of science can be true, it wasn’t true […]

Week 5:
More Discoveries


March 16, 2019 | Finding the bushbuck last week was a victory, but we found ourselves faced with a new task: we needed to find a female bushbuck. The bushbuck we had recorded was a male; the horns and darker coat coloration made that evident. But now our priority was finding a female. Why was finding a female bushbuck […]

Week 4:
Plot Twist


March 10, 2019 | So we found the bushbuck. I have to admit, it feels like I’ve been here for so long without seeing the reason for this research project (the bushbuck) that I was starting to think I’d never see the thing. ‘Ok,’ I told myself. ‘Be prepared for your research to fail and for absolutely zero data […]

Week 3:
Called it!


March 1, 2019 | In my last post, I had a feeling that data collection would need to go through some adjustments before it began running smoothly. This has, in fact, turned out to be the case. To study Menelik’s Bushbuck, I am using camera traps (hidden cameras). This week I had 3 of my 5 cameras up, and […]

Week 2:
The Fine-Tuning


February 24, 2019 | There’s nothing like taking a juniper branch to the face to remind you that you are, in fact, doing fieldwork. While the rough needles and bark definitely give you a sharp wake-up call, there is something rather thrilling about winding your way through dense undergrowth despite the looming dangers of low-lying branches, thorns, and twisting […]

Week 1:
Adapting to Addis


February 13, 2019 | The prospect of me coming to Ethiopia had been in the works for a little under a year, and thanks to my resourceful and supportive advisor and professors (Steven Sacks of the Religion Department and Tammy Mildenstein of the Biology Department), the opportunity for me to intern at Gullele Botanical Garden, has now officially materialized […]