COVID-19 Advice for the JCU Community - Last updated: 3 December 2021, 10am (AEST)

Apply now

Sara Kophamel (Spain)

JCU PhD candidate creates fond memories studying in Townsville

As she prepares to make the move to Germany in August to finish her PhD remotely, JCU international student Sara Kophamel from Spain reflects on her academic journey.

Sara’s PhD thesis topic was “Assessment of Health Status in Sea Turtle Populations by Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis Method”. She said it was JCU’s research expertise that initially attracted her to study in Townsville.

“I am a veterinarian currently working on wildlife health, with sea turtles as model species, and JCU has a very strong focus on marine sciences, and a Turtle Health Research Facility on site,” Sara said.

“After undertaking an internship to get to know my advisors, I decided that JCU would be a good institution to conduct the PhD,” Sara said.

(Image: Sara Kophamel from Spain. Photo credit: C├ęsar Herrera)

A highlight of her study experience was meeting and working with students and academics from all over the world, and with experts in wild animal medicine and conservation.

“JCU boasts open-minded students, most of which have travelled the world to pursue their career plans,” she said.

“Each of these persons have their own, strong personal motives that made them move to Townsville. I have never met such a tolerant and welcoming environment before and will miss JCU's cultural melting pot after leaving Townsville.”

Sara plans to work in the field of applied wildlife conservation in the marine animal sector after she completes her PhD.