Madagascar – Escape to Science: thank you and farewell Asia Murphy

August got off to an awesome start on RealScientists with Asia Murphy (@am_anatiala), who has the enviable job of studying the wildlife of North-eastern Madagascar. And when it comes to the types of animals, she isn’t fussy – birds, mammals, it’s all good for sciencing with!

Asia led important conversations about the diversity of Madagascan flora and fauna, and how current diverse populations have formed from initial colonisation events. And let us in on the ins and outs of camera trapping, night forest trekking and the destructive effects of introduced species on the Madagascan environment.

Can’t get enough of those Madagascan animals! (except the leeches, ugh leeches)



Following her week curating Real Scientists, we asked Asia how she thought it went.

In general terms, how did you find your week as a curator?

Exhausting, exciting, interesting, nerve-wracking.

It can be a shock talking to so many. Did you find the sudden rush of interactions (good and bad) daunting?

I found it a bit daunting. It was awesome when people were excited about certain things, but I’d never done something like this before, not even on my own twitter account, so I grew anxious whenever someone seemed upset.

What were the highlights? Were there any lowlights?

I guess I would say that there were highlights. I didn’t expect so many people to enjoy my work, so that was awesome.

Is there anything you wanted to get out of / do on the RS account that you didn’t manage to fit in?


Did you have a plan? If so, did you stick to it?

I roughly had a plan, and I did stick to it. I knew that there were a couple topics I wanted to cover each day. Some days I’d get tired, so I wouldn’t be able to cover all of them.

Do you have any tips or advice for future RS curators?

Plan ahead? Ask people if they want any specific questions answered.

What other people or accounts should people follow if they enjoyed your tweets this week?

@AnneWHilborn–Anne Hilborn, does cheetah work in Serengeti
@whapavt–my lab at Virginia Tech. Depending on who’s doing the curating, there will be camera trap pictures
@MyFrogCroaked–he just has really nice reptile/amphibian pictures

Thanks once again Asia from all of us here at RealScientists HQ. If you missed anything from her week, you can catch up with all of the tweets at this link.

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