A student from Dundee has spent a month in South America where he developed his research skills.
Wayne Gourlay, 22, from Whitfield, is studying zoology at the University of St Andrews.
He headed to the tropical rainforest to gain experience working in the ecosystem which he hopes will help his future career.
He said: “I have just returned from a month-long trip to the Guiana Shield, a huge expanse of undisturbed tropical rainforest.
“I was there with a conservation organisation called Operation Wallacea which runs a series of biological and conservation management research programmes in remote locations across the world.
“I left for Guyana in early June of this year.
“The main purpose of the trip for myself was to gain invaluable field experience working in one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet as this is the type of job I would love to pursue once I graduate.
“However, the main purpose of Operation Wallacea conducting research in Guyana is to gather long-term data sets to identify the impact of selective logging on different field sites within the rainforest.”
The trip was the first of its kind Wayne has participated in and he definitely saw his fair share of nature and animals.
He added: “This was my first research-based trip and it gave me an amazing insight as to what life is like for a field biologist working in a challenging, remote location.
“It is hard to pick out only a couple of standout moments as I was fortunate enough to witness some amazing wildlife encounters which before I could have only dreamed of.
“A particular moment that will remain in my memory was one day while setting up mist nets to catch birds, we heard a loud commotion in the canopy above and large branches began to fall around us.
“Looking up into the foliage, I was somewhat surprised to be greeted by a red-faced spider monkey (Ateles paniscus) glaring back at me.
“It then began to shake nearby branches so they would fall on us.
“This behaviour is a sign of uncertainty around humans and due to our remote location, we may have been the first humans they had encountered.
“We retreated back down the trail and the troop of spider monkeys silently moved away.
“Another stand-out moment for me was locating jaguar (panthera onca) tracks only a few hundred metres from our hammocks, a very harrowing experience knowing that such an apex predator was so close to our camp.
“We identified the tracks were from a large male and, using camera traps, we also identified that a female was in the area.
“These are only two moments among catching wild caiman, seeing venomous snakes daily and falling asleep in a hammock every night to the ambience of the rainforest.
“I would love to conduct similar research elsewhere in South America and I one day hope to return to Guyana.”