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Lemone Sebastian

Lemone Sebastian

2021 Intern

While growing up Lemone Margeaux Sebastian wanted to study forensics, but nature called her in a different direction, and she answered. Lemone holds a Master’s degree in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology from the University of the Western Cape.

She is excited to be a WWF intern with IUCNs TRAFFIC, specialising in wildlife trade monitoring. During her internship, she has learnt that TRAFFIC plays a critical role in international cooperation to address wildlife trade issues, with particular emphasis on CITES – the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Lemone is involved in the development of a “non-detriment finding” for a local plant, the South African geranium (Pelargonium sidoides). What this means is that her work aims to ensure that the export of this plant species will not negatively impact its survival in the wild.

Lemone gives us some insights into her career journey, and her goals and wishes for the future:

What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about animals and the environment. I have always been in such awe of the beauty that the natural world brings.

What inspired your choice of study?
When I applied to do my undergraduate degree, I initially chose to study Forensic Science, but my application for the course was unsuccessful. I had put down Biodiversity and Conservation Biology as my second option, and I was accepted. I decided it was fate and stuck with it, and I enjoyed every moment of the journey. I even chose to do a Master’s degree in the same course.

What excites you about your internship?
This internship is out of my comfort zone. I studied marine organisms for both my Honours and Master’s degrees. So, the internship is a change. Although it is different, I am excited to learn something new and broaden my skills in the biodiversity and conservation space. 

What are your expectations of this internship?
I expect to learn as much as I can in the 12 months. I also want to figure out where I want to see myself growing. I know I'm in the right place but there are so many opportunities, so I need to work out where I fit.

What contribution do you hope to make towards a future in which people and nature thrive?
I’d like to bring awareness to how important conservation is. There are so many people out there who don't realise the importance of the environment. So, I want to contribute to that.
I also want to leave my mark by doing my bit towards protecting the environment and wild animals. Hopefully, my internship journey will help me find a way to accomplish that.

Who inspires you the most and why?
This is a difficult one. I think it would be my fellow colleagues that are out there making a difference, doing their part to conserve the natural environment.

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