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Conservation scholarship awarded to Research Assistant Jennifer Alderton-Moss

Research Assistant and MSc student Jennifer Alderton-Moss has been awarded one of 10 scholarships by the Department of Conservation. 

Jennifer Alderton-Moss was a summer scholar last year, and continued at Te Papa this year as a Research Assistant while undergoing post-graduate study at Victoria University. We have an on-going relationship with the University which sees grants awarded to students to enable them to get first-hand experience at Te Papa, across a variety of disciplines.

Jennifer is currently studying for her masters in cell biology, with a focus on orchids. Her specialism was formed after working with Carlos during her summer scholarship which, in her own words, was inspiring! The scholarship grant she has been awarded is one of ten introduced recently by the Department of Conservation “to support high-quality research to achieve New Zealand’s conservation goals”.

Jennifer is studying the swamp helmet orchid, a tiny 2-3 cm tall orchid found only in New Zealand. Her research will help to develop methods to germinate the orchid seeds in the lab and identify the fungus that supports germination and growth of this orchid in the wild. This information is critical for the long term survival of the swamp helmet orchid as there are less than 400 plants left in the country, all growing at a single spot in a wetland near Hamilton.

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