The research team in Mauritius, including MUW undergraduate Maddie Guerin and Assistant Professor of Biology Travis Hagey.

MUW undergraduate Maddie Guerin was sent to the island nation of Mauritius for two weeks this past August as part of an independent research project she is doing in the lab of Dr. Travis Hagey.

Mauritius is an island in the Indian Ocean, 500 miles off the coast of Madagascar, which itself is 250 miles off the coast of Africa.

Maddie, a junior biology major in the Dept. of Sciences and Mathematics, spent long days in the jungles of the Black River Gorges National Park on the island, collecting information on four unique species of geckos only found in Mauritius, including information on their habitats and their toe pads. Now that she is back, she is spending time between her classes analyzing that data to reveal how the geckos’ toe pads are adapted to their habitat preferences.

Maddie Guerin holding a gecko in Mauritius.

The opportunity to work on independent research projects with faculty while still a rising undergraduate is one of the many benefits of the W’s small size. Sometimes, those projects can lead you to places you never even dreamed you would visit.

Maddie Guerin enjoying the mountain view in Mauritius.