Adrian Lee

Major: Biology

Home School: Kenyon College

OTS Program: African Ecology and Conservation

Spring 2023

Adrian Lee

Adrian is a senior at Kenyon College, Columbus, Ohio. He’s majoring in biology and doing a concentration in scientific computing where he learns about statistics. His main interests in biology are the landscape-level impacts of herbivores and fire.

After spending a semester in our African Ecology and Conservation in South Africa, Adrian is more than happy to share his experience with potential candidates for the program.

“My main interests in biology are the landscape-level impacts of herbivores and fire – which OTS taught me a lot about! 

I actually learned about OTS when I was bumped on a flight and seated next to a student working on a Master’s in ecology. We got to talking about biology, and she mentioned that she was an OTS grad. I hadn’t heard of the program until then, but was looking at research-focused abroad programs, so it seemed like a great fit. Upon further research, I decided that the heavy emphasis on research and ecology was for me, and I’m really glad I ended up choosing OTS.

Our first research site was in Eswatini, a very small country next to South Africa. I’m very interested in birds, and bolted awake to the loud croaking of my first-ever purple-crested turacos. I ended up going for a walk around the reserve we were staying in later that morning, as it is free of large, dangerous animals, and being able to experience the bush and see giraffes on foot made me fall in love with the savanna.

Be prepared! Bring field clothes that you’ll actually wear and even if your hat is hideous, the sun protection is worth it. You’ll be challenged academically, but also learn more than you ever have before, and be so grateful for the experience.

I’ve been throwing myself into research at my home institution, and am excited to be planning a return to the SSLI this summer, to continue studying grasses and flammability! I started learning about grass for my capstone project, and found some interesting results when we burned our samples and compared burn time to the physical traits of the grasses, so I’m curious to continue this project.

Ask our Alumni what they think of our Program!

You can contact one of our Alumni Ambassadors directly to ask for their impressions and recommendations for the programs we offer. Send a message to Sam to learn more about her experience in our African Ecology and Conservation Program.