Durrell Women: Elizabeth Corry - Senior Bird Keeper and Chough Field Manager
In our first short interview to celebrate International Women's Day, we have Elizabeth Corry. Liz is currently the Field Manager for the project to reintroduce choughs to Jersey and also a senior bird keeper at Jersey Zoo.
How long have you worked at Durrell and what does your job involve?
I started out as a volunteer for Durrell in 2014 working on the Saint Lucia green iguana project. I stayed for almost two years until moving to Jersey to begin as a junior bird keeper. I now manage the chough reintroduction project on the island.
What did you do before coming to work at Durrell?
I pretty much came straight out of academia having done a BSc and MSc. Although there were several months of not knowing what career path I would take and I ended up working random jobs to make ends meet.
What were some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in your career so far, and how did you overcome them?
Cheesy as it sounds, the biggest challenge has been me. Not believing in myself. Always thinking someone could do it better. Listening to self-doubts. Honestly, I don't think I have overcome that. Through perseverance, focusing on the positives, and surrounding yourself with a supportive network you learn to drown out the pessimistic voices.
What advice would you give to others thinking of pursuing a similar role?
Working in conservation is not easy. You certainly don't go into the role for the money. Made even harder by the fact it's all about gaining experience. The great thing nowadays is that there are so many more opportunities and ways of networking thanks to the web and social media. Follow pages like Durrell for jobs or online training opportunities and follow local interest groups such as you local Wildlife Trust. There's always a citizen science project somewhere you can participate in or webinars to broaden your knowledge. Networking isn't just for people in suits!
Photo credit - Matt Morton
Posted 8 March 2021