Australia - Operation Wallacea


Enhanced understanding of syllabus

Those going on an Operation Wallacea expedition and studying Senior Science and Biology courses will discover that a significant amount of what they are learning in the classroom can be explored first-hand on their expedition. Students will experience many of these topics when they become involved in collecting data, observing scientists at work and attending a series of activity lectures specific to each country. The Terrestrial and Marine ecology lectures explain the research they will become involved in and students can then relate this to what they will learn in their school curriculum.

Course work essays and field investigations

The majority of Senior Science courses, especially Biology, require students to investigate a research topic (group or individual) and submit a report for assessment e.g. Extended Response Tasks, Extended Essays, Field Reports etc. Many of these could be based around the research being carried out in the field and in which they will become involved.

For more information please contact or the Australian office at

Whilst we cannot usually support independent research projects (IRP) involving primary data collection by students, we can provide past data sets and, in most cases, ensure that a student will be involved in relevant data collection but observing existing strict scientific protocols.

An example of an independent research project (IRP), in this case an IB Extended Essay, can be here.

Opwall also provide free data sets (WRL – the Wallace Resource Library) and exam style questions (Biodiversity Data Tasks) which are based on Opwall research projects conducted around the world at Opwall sites. These datasets not only provide an invaluable resource for class teaching, but are also a way to inspire students when trying to choose their own research topic. You can view the Wallace Resource Library demonstration edition here. For more information please contact

University applications and interviews

Applying for university or a job is becoming increasingly competitive and often involves interviews and a personal statement of achievement. Many students will be able to discuss the experiences gained on their expedition and this will help them stand out from other candidates.

Furthering career development

Opwall’s research expeditions provide an ideal opportunity for students to meet university academics and also, depending on the expedition, to work alongside university students doing degree courses of potential interest to them. These expeditions provide an excellent way of making contacts and many of the students that have joined previous Opwall expeditions have then completed degrees in relevant subjects and gone on to careers in wildlife conservation or field research.